Death anxiety is anxiety caused by thoughts of one's own death, and is also referred to as thanatophobia (fear of death). Death anxiety differs from necrophobia, which is the fear of others who are dead or dying.
Popular psychotherapist Robert Lang's proposed three different causes of death anxiety: predatory, predator, and existential. In addition to his research, many theorists such as Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, and Ernest Becker have examined death anxiety and its impact on cognitive processing.
Death anxiety has been found to affect people of differing demographic groups as well; such as men versus women, young versus old, etc.
Additionally, there is anxiety caused by death-recent thought-content, which might be classified within a clinical setting by a psychiatrist as morbid and/or abnormal. This classification pre-necessitates a degree of anxiety which is persistent and interferes with everyday functioning. Lower ego integrity, more physical problems and more psychological problems are predictive of higher levels of death anxiety in elderly people perceiving themselves close to death.
Death anxiety can cause a person to become extremely timid or distressed when discussing anything to do with death.
Findings from one systematic review demonstrated that death anxiety features across several mental health conditions.
One meta-analysis of psychological interventions targeting death anxiety showed that death anxiety can be reduced using cognitive behavioral therapy
Templer‚ D. I. (1970). The construction and validation of a death anxiety scale. The Journal of General Psychology‚ 82‚ 165-177
Tavakoli. Mohammad Ali & Ahmadzadeh. Behrooz. Investigation of Validity and Reliability of Templer Death Anxiety Scale. Thought & Behavior in Clinical Psychology. 2011‚ Volume 6‚ Number 21