Our expert says:
At first, I'm wondering whether this fear of death is usually a part of your panic attacks, or more broad and wide-spread, and separate from the panic attacks.
Panic attacks are sudden outbursts of severe anxiety, as you well know, and often, by their psychological and physical effects, they cause one to fear that one is about to die, soon, or go mad, or both. Maybe this experience has sparked off the broader questions.
But lets also look at the broader points you raise. For instance, whatever you achieve in life remains achieved, whether or not you're there. Maybe you won't individually be remembered for all of them, but that's a matter of celebrity, not of achievement. The house you live in was built by someone, maybe not you, and that house remains, even after the other guy has gone.
Yes, you can't remember anything before your birth ; but that doesn't mean that nothing happened before your birth - just that there's a whole lot of history of which we don't have personal memories. Gosh, I'll bet there's masses of what happened in your own life which you don't remember. Recall exactly what you had for lunch 3 years ago today ? Maybe not, but it doesn't mean you didn't eat lunch. Those are issues of memory and recall, not of what did or didn't happen.
As you've recognized, if one concentrates too much on the fact of death, you fail to enjoy life until then, which is really a gross missed opportunity. You seem to be assuming that life must be meaningless UNLESS it lasts forever. Is that really so ?
No, you wouldn't be committed for such concerns.
But proper treatment is surely an excellent idea. You mention manic depressive - you need to see a good local psychiatrist for a thorough assessment, and a proper diagnosis, then a discussion of treatment options. If there is manic-depressive / bipolar disorder, there are many options which could help ; ditto for depression and panic disorder. In addition to mdes, of course, you should be helped to find a good psychologist to work with you psychotherapeutically, to help unravel the negative traps you have built for yourself, and to find a more positive way to enjoy life again
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