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West Warwick, RI
A 39-year-old female asked:

If anxiety is caused by a phobia, which is defined as an unreasonable fear, how does one handle thanatophobia, and control anxiety caused by it?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barbara Lavi
Clinical Psychology 35 years experience
We all have some: Fear of death and need to cope with the inevitability that life will end. If you are 39 and healthy, it has become irrational or all encompassing and therefore it is a phobia. Psychotherapy is the best way to handle it.
Dr. Mara Fiorentino
Psychiatry 36 years experience
Thanatophobia: (From Greek:Thanatos meaning "death" and Phobos meaning "fear") is an intense and irrational fear of death. While it sounds normal to be afraid of dying, people with it responds to this knowledge in excess. They feel queasy whenever they sense any danger, not only for themselves but for their family and friends. The extreme fear makes them feel stressed and unproductive.
Dr. Mara Fiorentino
Psychiatry 36 years experience
Provided original answer
The best treatment would be ruling out any medical illness which can accelerate death, psychosis and engaging in insight oriented psychotherapy to discover the basis of the phobia. Possibly it is PTSD related to medical illness or near-death events.
Jul 2, 2014

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Last updated Jul 19, 2014

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