Death Anxiety in Your 20S - What Are the Death Anxiety Symptoms?

Written by: Arooj Paulus – B. Sc (Applied Psychology)
Last updated date : December 19, 2022
If you constantly worry about your death then you might have death anxiety. The fear of the unknown is inherent in us as humans. It is normal for people to get concerned about their health as they become older. It is also typical for people to be concerned about their friends and relatives after they have passed away. However, for some people, these worries and fears might turn into more serious fears. Death anxiety is also common in your 20s. Let us look at this condition and the death anxiety symptoms in detail.

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Chapter 1:

What Is Death Anxiety?

Thanatophobia is an anxiety disorder that involves fear of death or the process of death. Death anxiety is a common term for it. For instance, you can be worried about dying yourself or losing a loved one.

Death anxiety has been labeled a biopsychosocial concept by researchers. This is because they discovered that death was the basis of a wide range of mental illnesses. It is linked with disorders such as specific phobias, illness anxiety disorder, or panic disorders. It can severely affect your life. Such as you may believe that death will be painful, difficult, or lonely. However, if you have death anxiety, your worry about dying has an impact on your daily life. It may make performing at school, job, or in social life more challenging.

Death anxiety appears to be prevalent despite people rarely talking about it. According to studies, between 3% and 10% of people are more concerned than others about the idea of death. Further research suggests that death anxiety rises in your 20s and slowly falls as you mature in age. Both males and females experience death anxiety in their 20s. Females, on the other hand, get a second wave of death anxiety in their 50s.

Chapter 2:

What Are the Death Anxiety Symptoms?

When you worry about death, you could have body symptoms like a panic attack. Also, you may go to great lengths to avoid discussing death or the process of dying. You may avoid sites and events involving death. Your thoughts may be obsessed with your health and you may continuously look for signs of disease. They may develop health anxiety in which people are too concerned about being unwell.

Let us look below at what it is likely to have death anxiety in your 20s and what death anxiety symptoms are

Physical Signs
  • Headache and nausea
  • Sweating heavily
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing problems
  • Shivering or trembling
  • Digestive problems
  • sensitivity to heat and cold
Behavioral signs
  • Extended lengths of time spent avoiding friends and relatives.
  • Avoid situations where they can encounter death.
Emotional and Cognitive Signs
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Guilt
  • Frustration
  • Fear
  • Continuous worry

Symptoms may appear and disappear during a person’s life. While they worry about their death or the death of a close one, such as when they or a family member is very ill, someone with mild death anxiety may feel increased death anxiety symptoms.

Chapter 3:

What Are the Risk Factors of Death Anxiety?

Adults and children are both prone to death anxiety. It occurs more frequently in people who
  • Have a major sickness or are in failing health.
  • Do not follow any religion.
  • Feel unhappy with their current situation.
  • Have a poor sense of self-esteem.
  • No close friends or family members.
  • Have old, ailing, or dying parents or relatives.
  • Healthcare or social workers, such as those who see disease, trauma, and violence on the job.

Chapter 4:

What Are the Causes of Death Anxiety?

Death anxiety can be triggered by a specific incident or experience. You may get it, for example, if you
  • Have you had a painful incident with dying or death.
  • Have lost a parent or a dear one.
  • See someone going through a painful or tough death.

Also, it can give rise to other fears such as fear of heights, flights, water, unfamiliar places, closed spaces, and so on.

Chapter 5:

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis will be given by a health expert based on the following
  • Duration of death anxiety (which should be at least 6 months).
  • Intense fear of death and symptoms of death anxiety.
  • You avoid situations where there is death.
  • Because of your fear, you are unable to operate in your regular life.

If you see the death anxiety symptoms in you or someone you, don’t be shy to seek help. As getting help can save you from further distress. You can consult a mental health expert to examine your condition when it is interfering with your capacity to perform at school, job, or in social life.

Therapy helps you speak through your fears and hence resolve them such as Cognitive Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Therapy. The majority of people who suffer from death anxiety react positively to therapy. Exposure therapy has been shown to benefit the majority of persons suffering from certain phobias.

Death anxiety can be reduced by forming social support networks. Religious beliefs might help some individuals find a way to deal with death. People who have a strong sense of self-esteem, overall wellness, and the belief that they have lived a meaningful life are less likely to be afraid of death than others.

You cannot prevent death anxiety but you can lessen its impact on your life by taking the following steps:

  • Avoid taking alcohol, caffeine, or other drugs that can raise your stress levels.
  • Get support from your friends and family and spend time with them.
  • Seek help from a health expert if it becomes quite a distress for you.
  • Practice deep breathing to calm yourself if you find yourself panicking.

Chapter 6:

Call to Action

You can read and learn more about anxiety at Epsychonline by reading “Chronic Worry about the Future – How to Break the Cycle”. Further, you can start a course “Managing IBS” or “Low Self-esteem” on Epsychonline. Research has shown that self-esteem serves as a protective factor against death anxiety so building self-esteem will help you to reduce your death anxiety symptoms. We hope to be a help to you. Join right away!

"Learnt a lot from this course" Sally

51 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount