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fear of death and dying


bruno2016
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I recently had a pretty traumatic experience with my father. He was undergoing chemo of lymphoma and contracted the west nile virus because chemo knocks out the immune system. I had to watch him go downhill once he got the virus (which we didnt know about until recently. Apparently the initial test for it came back negative). He eventually became comatose and it has been about 6 weeks since he got admitted. A couple weeks ago he started opening his eyes, but you can tell he is not all there and the doctors have given him little hope of recovery. Since this whole incident has happened, I have become paranoid about contracting things, about having things, about death, about dying, etc. I fear the unknown and fear suffering. Has anyone else gone through this? Also, do you all think that even after a year of being off the drugs, part of my sensitivity and fear has to do with withdrawal syndrome?

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)

 

How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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I'm really sorry to hear about the health problems for your dad. That is, I'm sure, a big stressor. And I know in my case, I've gotten concerned for myself when something so devastating strikes someone close to me.

 

I don't know, obviously, if your specific fear issues are related to your withdrawal. Fear of death is common. It's probably one of most common roots of obsessive worry.

 

I have to deal with problems like this myself. I actually don't fear death nearly as much as fear injury or illness. I have at times been very concerned about contracting illnesses and I am absolutely positive it has to do with my drug dependence. I used to modulate my benzos by the degree of fear I'd have at AA meetings, where there is a high % of IV drug abusers.

 

After I'd make a benzo change, I'd become very self-conscious and avoidant of the closing. For AA-naive, at the end of an AA meetings, the alcoholics typically hold hands and say a short prayer, like the Serenity Prayer. When I was feeling highly fearful, I'd try to avoid standing next to anyone who looked like an IV-abuser since I'd be irrationally worried about micro-cuts on my hands... so I know what you mean.

 

I have found that using calming principles, reminding myself that I understand fear and also that I have more control than I think... These things help me in dealing with the irrational.

 

Good luck,

Alex

 

PS - You have more control than you probably realize.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Zepp,

 

I'm very sorry to learn of your father's condition. I think your reaction and feelings are natural for anyone, possibly more pronounced due to withdrawal, even at a year out.

 

This experience has made me more aware of my own mortality in an existential sense. I watched my mother suffer (without a diagnosis) for many years and have felt more understanding of what she was experiencing since withdrawing from Pristiq. Prior to that, it 'looked like' depression to me. My perspective has changed on many things and I now fear suffering more than I fear death.

 

You've been hit with one trauma on top of another. I sure hope your father proves the doctors wrong. Please keep us posted.

 

B

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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It seems the withdrawals from these meds expands a lot of fears. It blows them up in your face. Fear of dying, of suffering, all of that is expanded. Just remember that it is one of those neuro-emotions and will go away. I am sorry to hear about your dad. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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thanks everyone for your responses. I hope I can level out eventually and not be so scared all the time. Everytime I hear of someone getting ill or dying, I get panic attacks. I also worry in general. I hope I can have a normal life without all this worry and anxiety. That will just make things even worse.

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)

 

How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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Everytime I hear of someone getting ill or dying, I get panic attacks. I also worry in general. I hope I can have a normal life without all this worry and anxiety. That will just make things even worse.

 

This reminded me of my first w/d experience with the Cymbalta while I was in the hospital on IV for a week. It was one thing facing my own illness, however I knew I'd recover. But what was really provoking my intense fear of illness and death, was watching other patients coming in and out of the hospital. It was torturous for me to hear them suffering. One elderly lady down the hall from me was especially loud, and having serious depression and anxiety. She kept crying to the nurses that they don't care, nobody cares, etc. It made me so depressed, and made me think of getting sick and old and not having anyone to care about me and help me. It was at that time that I started having the Bag Lady Syndrome as well. After the hospital and more antidepressant w/d, it was this fear of death that turned into a fear of life. Living in a sickened and helpless state. Well, thank God that is all over now. I no longer feel that way. I can see now it was neuro-emotion.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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