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Question
Posted by: AC | 2010/01/23

Dying Early

Dear Cybershrink,

This is a common fear among people I' m sure, but I fear dying early, not passing 40.

To me it' s more than simply a fear, I have Marfan Syndrome, which is a rare disorder, which has many symptoms including a weak heart and heart palpitations - most people aren' t expected to live for very long.

I' m 16, and this is terrifying me.

Should I tie up loose ends, make sure I do everything I want to incase I die? Or should I (like I' ve wanted to do many times) simply end it?

Thank you doc,
AC

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

HI AC,
I know Marfan Syndrome. Many docs believe American President Abraham Lincoln suffered from it, but though he died fairly young, it was by assassination.
Nowadays with proper cardiology asessment and monitoring and treatment, one does not expect someone with Marfan's to necessarily die especilly young, and this is worth discussing with your cardiologist. YOu could well have a rather long and happy life ahead of you.
I understand the theoretical idea of suicide. It may seem to many people an odd response to the fear of dying from illness, to think of killing oneself deliberately, but I suppose you might think of it as ending the suspence of "when" by choosing a definite Now. But it would be an awful waste of what is likely to be many productive and contented years.
Now, as to your more positive and fruitful question, should one tie up loose ends and live AS THOUGH one didn't expect to live for long ? ( Not necessarily "doing everything" as much of everything isn't actually worth doing )- well, many philosophers have suggested that even if we are annoyingly healthy, we should in some senses live every day as though it were our last - not at all in the sense of giving up, and justy lying down waiting for it ( ir could be a really long wait ) but simply taking a positive attitude to enjoying each day in its turn, making the most of all positive opportunities which turn up. That's a good way to live for a week for for 99 years.
But don't be feerful of the risks you feel you face, without a more realistic and objective assessment of them, which a good cardiologist should be able to provide.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/01/23

HI AC,
I know Marfan Syndrome. Many docs believe American President Abraham Lincoln suffered from it, but though he died fairly young, it was by assassination.
Nowadays with proper cardiology asessment and monitoring and treatment, one does not expect someone with Marfan's to necessarily die especilly young, and this is worth discussing with your cardiologist. YOu could well have a rather long and happy life ahead of you.
I understand the theoretical idea of suicide. It may seem to many people an odd response to the fear of dying from illness, to think of killing oneself deliberately, but I suppose you might think of it as ending the suspence of "when" by choosing a definite Now. But it would be an awful waste of what is likely to be many productive and contented years.
Now, as to your more positive and fruitful question, should one tie up loose ends and live AS THOUGH one didn't expect to live for long ? ( Not necessarily "doing everything" as much of everything isn't actually worth doing )- well, many philosophers have suggested that even if we are annoyingly healthy, we should in some senses live every day as though it were our last - not at all in the sense of giving up, and justy lying down waiting for it ( ir could be a really long wait ) but simply taking a positive attitude to enjoying each day in its turn, making the most of all positive opportunities which turn up. That's a good way to live for a week for for 99 years.
But don't be feerful of the risks you feel you face, without a more realistic and objective assessment of them, which a good cardiologist should be able to provide.

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