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Статья опубликована в рамках: Научного журнала «Студенческий» № 3(173)

Рубрика журнала: Психология

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Библиографическое описание:
Fot A. FEAR OF DEATH AND DYING IN PSYCHOLOGY // Студенческий: электрон. научн. журн. 2022. № 3(173). URL: https://sibac.info/journal/student/173/238353 (дата обращения: 16.05.2022).


Fot Anastasia

Master student, Department of Philosophy and Psychology, KarU named after E.A. Buketov,

Kazakhstan, Karaganda


This article examines the problem of attitudes towards death in psychology. Negative and positive associations of attitudes towards death are considered. This article can be useful for professionals dealing with death, as well as psychologists and psychotherapists.


Keywords: death, attitude towards death, fear of death, acceptance of death.


In psychology, the fear of death is a complex of anxious experiences about one's own limb or the limb of loved ones, aimed at preserving. People are afraid to die because this fear is necessary for survival. It is impossible to call it “just an instinct”, due to the lack of instincts in people in general, but most living organisms tend to avoid unpleasant and dangerous influences. This allows them to stay alive longer [1, s. 3].

A phobia is characterized by obsessive thoughts or actions that do not bring comfort: for example, if a person has passed basic examinations, everyone tells him that he is healthy, but he is still afraid of dying from an unknown disease. Or it cannot approach the crosswalk. Or has difficulty sleeping. If there is no direct threat, but there is strong fear and anxiety, it is necessary to consult a doctor for anti-anxiety drugs and a psychologist to provide therapeutic assistance [2, s. 428]. Fear is opposed by rational thinking - anxiety is extinguished only by the work of the frontal lobes, so analysis of trauma reduces the level of anxiety. But only on condition that there are no disorders in the brain.

This is an example of magical thinking - an incorrectly constructed causal relationship [3, s. 620]. But our brain is evolutionarily capable of building various causal relationships - both correct and, in some cases, incorrect. Therefore, he is capable of both forming adequate connections between a real danger and the possible consequences of this danger, as well as imaginary fears - when something is really not dangerous at all [4, s. 24]. But, undoubtedly, we need both to fully experience loss and restore emotional well-being.

In existential psychotherapy, it is believed that death and the fear of dying are those experiences that absolutely every person has, but in everyday life they are hidden and come out at certain moments of life. Then a condition called existential crisis arises.

Suppose a young man, not thinking about death, accidentally stumbled upon the news of the accident of his peer. He cannot get this case out of his head and constantly thinks about it for a long time [5, s. 136]. Obsessive thoughts about his own death or the death of people close to him appear. Over time, bodily symptoms appear: heaviness in the chest, the inability to take a deep breath and a permanent feeling of anxiety, as if someone is constantly nearby and reminds of the inevitability of one's own death. Thus, the fear of death, fantasies about it, reflections and obsessive thoughts were launched [6, s. 352]. That is, in this case, the symptom is in the sphere of meanings from the above-mentioned balance model. However, this symptom, in fact, is very interesting in that it is quite extensive and covers almost the entire life of a person.

It often happens that the energy spent on living through the fear of death interferes with us. It removes us from those questions and inconsistencies that are present in other areas (and at the same time, helps us to touch them). But if we answer the question of what death is and why we need to know it, we will come to the conclusion that the most complete life, in which there is no fear of death interfering with us, presupposes observation, cognition, acceptance, research, and sometimes change of certain aspects. ourselves and different spheres of life in order to bring it closer and closer to our inner true values.

However, it also happens in another way: the desire for the ideal of life turns out to be so strong that the idea comes of the need to become as self-realized, great and popular as possible, and that only in this case my own life and I myself will be worthy of living it.

Because most often it is their deficit that a person tries to overcome. If such ideas about oneself penetrate deeply into a person's personality, then the discrepancy between real life and the ideal model of oneself will indeed cause many fears, including the fear of death and the meaninglessness of life [3, s. 620]. Striving for this ideal model of life and oneself will seem to prevail over real life.

In the case of the presence of such concepts and ideas about oneself as conflict and problematic, the theme of the meaning of life will come to the fore - as we have seen, no less deep and painful than the theme of death.

Thus, the experience of the fear of death helps us to understand those values, the way of life, which is truly ours. Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:

“The fact that soon my body will be sharpened by worms, I can bear; but the fact that the professors will do the same with my philosophy makes me shudder."

It has long been feared death, at the same time it also aroused great interest. Man cannot live forever. Death is a necessary biological condition for the change of individuals, without which the human race will turn into a huge, inert monolith.

Each person asks himself a question about the meaning of his own existence, and about the meaning of life in general. At a certain stage in life, he understands the inevitability of his own death as the end of life and begins to develop his own attitude to life and death, relying on the personal and spiritual experience of mankind. However, the attitude towards life and death in the spiritual experience of mankind has constantly changed in connection with the changes taking place in the world. The problem of life and death is a problem of a person living in certain historical conditions, solving specific problems of his time, a person thinking, feeling and understanding the world, realizing his place in this world.

Man's mind, of course, understands that he will someday die, but at the same time "... wants not to know." He runs away from the thought of his own death. Society develops a certain stereotype of human behavior. Talking about death is indecent. There is a desire to hide death from children. There is a tendency to isolate death within the walls of hospitals and morgues, to place the resting places of the dead away from cities. In addition to sanitary standards, considerations play a role to distance the living from their deceased loved ones.



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