Maybe I am alone in this one, but does anyone ever feel as if their mind is playing tricks upon them? Do thoughts: negative thoughts, bleak thoughts, horrifying thoughts, terrorizing thoughts- ever enter your mind without your permission? Do they cause you to shake and tremble at times- as if the end is all to near? Do these thoughts keep you awake at night, force you to drink and keep you confined to your house on certain days? Do the thoughts prevent you from traveling, loving and experiencing joy? I could go on and on but for the sake of my own anxiety I will stop here. I will stop here because I have pointed out enough symptoms of intrusive or unwanted thoughts of impending doom.
I once knew a devout Buddhist who told me that thoughts of impending doom should be welcome to one. We should be open to them and celebrate them because they give us an understanding of our mortality, which in return allows understanding the impermanence of all phenomena. Train the mind he said- and you will be free. Years later, I have trained the mind with therapy and meditation but to little result. Thoughts of impending doom grab me in the moments that I am least prepared and send me into a mystical flight of fear that I am convinced (in the moment) I will not survive. If I have these thoughts while on a bridge- I will avoid the bridge- if I have these thoughts while in bed I will sleep on the floor. If I have thoughts of impending doom while on a walk, I will try to avoid walking. It seems as if I am becoming more knowledgeable about avoiding my life than I am about living it.
I have had thoughts of impending doom for many years now and I thought that by now I would have the answers about how to control these antagonists or even better- abolish them from the mind. But I am no where closer today than I was five years ago in understanding how to live free of such anxiety provocations. I have learned to accept my fate as a man whose mind plays tricks upon him without any concern for his wellbeing. I have come to see my mind as a mass of tissue that is committed to destroying my bodies tranquility. Just today while I was on a walk in a cemetery I suffered a sudden burst of negative thoughts that sent me to the ground where I tried to gain control of my self. I was convinced that I would die and I muttered a few words of a prayer. The thoughts passed and I returned home to do some research on the web about how to stop the mind from having thoughts of impending doom.
I came upon an essay by Martin Luther King. It was an essay about overcoming fear and it talked about courage as the only way to overcome fear. Martin talked at great length about the courage to face death as if it was upon us now. I thought about this idea of courage as being a possible palliative against the thoughts of impending doom. After all- it takes courage to suffer the fate of a silent fury that has no desire to let you be. It takes courage to stand up to your doomish thoughts and convince yourself during your darkest hour that every thing is okay- maybe. I wonder if when Martin was dying from a bullet wound he felt fear? Or maybe he was courageous in the face of death- and rather than holding on to this thing called life he was able to let go, with courage.
And this friend’s maybe the answer. Let go. Accept your fate with courage and with each thought of impending doom- let it go. Now I have never been able to do this and I would be a hypocrite if I said I could. I can’t and I won’t. Letting go is something I seem incapable of doing because I am a Jewish (Jews have a notably hard time letting go. Why this is I am uncertain). When I feel death to be near my knees rattle and I loose control of utilizing any of the wisdom that I have gained from reading, workshops or therapy. I become terrified; because I do not want to die, and I hold on with the force of a man that is unwilling to let it all go. And I wonder is this my main problem? The root of my chronic thoughts of impending doom? “ It is only in courage that the man/woman who stands rooted in fear can be free,” Martin said. “And freedom is only the ability to walk through your fear.” Maybe I’ll just avoid walking for a while.
83 thoughts on “How To Stop The Mind From Having Thoughts Of Impending Doom.”
here i go again…i could simply relate to you…hehehe…maybe it’s the effect of too much inclination on porn…hahaha…just kidding…
on a serious note again…the thought of dying always scares me a lot ever since…actually my fear is not on the act of dying but on what happens next after i die…sometimes i doubt if there is really a thing called heaven or hell…what if there’s really no such things? what will happen to me? what will happen to my thoughts? what will happen to my feelings? Will they just perish into the void? I don’t have an answer. BUt what gives me the courage to face that fear is by simply believing that there is a divine being that rules or controls everything including my own life. You may call it blind faith or being too idealistic but that’s what keeps me sane…perhaps you can apply it too…by believing unto something or unto somebody who knows us from head to toe…i know it isn’t easy but giving it a try won’t hurt…right? hehehe…
I have this same fear, but I also don’t know how to relate to a divine entity enough to know I am living well or that I deserve some sort of happy afterlife. Or, if a happy afterlife is a gift that has nothing to do with deservedness… how can there be a hell? If I can take an action that secures my salvation then the afterlife is based on what action(s) a person takes. What are these actions? Did I take them? Can I know them? Or maybe there is nothing and it is just a void. Maybe this one life is all one gets, but maybe that’s something to appreciate instead of fear. How can I turn my fear into my motivation to enjoy this miraculous gift as much as possible. To truly live. I think that the idea of an afterlife might be the cause of all fears that can hinder really living.
Hi Jeffrey, I too suffer from these same feelings! Feelings of impending doom! But I believe it is because of the state of the world today! I am a follower of Jesus and I believe I am actually feeling His pain for His people! There is life after this one! And Jesus is coming back really soon! All the signs are there! He will not let this world that He created continue to destroy itself! All you have to do is ask Him into your heart and forgive you of your sins. That’s all. He will take it from there! Please listen to your heart! There is little time left! And although these fears keep me house bound for weeks, I will continue to use what is available to me to spread His good news which is He died on the cross for our sins went to the grave, defeated death, and rose again and is coming back for us quickly! Love in Christ, Paige
i know for sure,that there is a God because i overdosed on a stimulant when i was a teenager.my jugular veins collapsed and the veins in my arms also i turned pale white and i knew it was the end,every thing turn black.so i gave it a shot..i cried out in my heart ..im not sure if you exist but if you do,i’m calling you now. Then on my last breath i verbily said three words…GOD HELP ME. Instantly to my surprise.The almighty creator filled me with a bright light that also filled the whole room.My next words wre “THERE IS A GOD.I was relieved and laid dow on my bed ,then something strange started to happen .I came out of my body as a white ball of energy ,and i could see my body on the bed perfectly still as if dead.,Also there was a silver chord connecting me the thinking ,seeing,floating ,spirit,to my lifeless body laying on the bed. This was Gods way of answering all your questions and mine. In the bible it says “if the silver chord breaks you give up the ghost==you got to heaven and do not reenter your body.! i have read of similar experiences of people that have died on the operating table and come bucket life.Also years later i acually casted out a demon in the name of Jesus Christ.! THIS IS MY TESTIMONY!
I feel doomed all the time for years of addictions that they will catch up with me I once gave my life to God but feel I’ve backsliden to far bacause some of my teeth are missing do to addictions and I feel like I rebelled on a certain bible verse to where I cant be forgiven that talks about defiling the temple of God so I feel doomed what should I do help please thankyou
God loves you with a passion! He already forgave you 2,000 years ago
on the Cross at Calvary. That means ALL your sins: past, present, and future.
If you’re still breathing, there’s still time to ask for and accept His forgiveness and re-dedicate your life to Him. Forgive yourself too. Salvation is a free gift from God. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and receive or “own” your free gift of Salvation and eternal life. If someone gives you a gift, what do you have to do? You have to accept the gift and receive it into your own hands in order to make it your own. The same applies to God’s free gift of salvation.
God doesn’t force Salvation on anyone. You simply have to ask for it from Him.
“Ask and ye shall receive.” It’s so simple, people sometimes miss it.
You cannot earn heaven. It is a free gift from Jesus Christ to you. You can have the full assurance of your salvation right here and now. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” As for thinking that you’re too far gone and now can’t be forgiven because you feel that you defiled the temple of God, I believe you have a misunderstanding of that particular scripture and have taken it out of the context for which it was meant.
You might want to re-read it in your Bible, and look it up in a few different bible commentaries for better clarity on it’s true meaning. Our thoughts create our feelings, and right now your thoughts and feelings are falsely telling you that you are doomed. This is so far from the truth that I believe you need to check the facts and the context it was given in for yourself. I hope this helps.
Nice article (great looking blog too), thanks for that, made interesting (and fun) reading while I should be working!
Plumb Bathrooms UK
before I had children I never worried about my own demise, now I am convinced it’s imminent and so is everyone else’s I care about…….by the way, you look like a french existentialist, cool photo.
never thought of myself as a French existentialist but i like the sound of it!! Also, I can relate to your sentiment.
tom….what can I say, I am flattered.
There is love in the world. And you are part of it.
After searching “can animals stare at the sun?” on Google (intending to resolve a persistent thought of mine) I came across your blog. And it has put numerous other persistent thoughts at ease now I know that someone else is having trouble coping with this craziness.
What a relief. thanks.
i needed to read this today. thoughts are so powerful, for good and for bad. So is perspective. Easier said than done I know for a fact. Good luck!
Sorry, to lazy to get your email, re orchid room, anything you want, segue on from the previous post and please try to keep it short short so we can get energy happening, rage on,
Plumb bathrooms to French Existentialism in one easy step, your comment section is wild. There’s a quote for this thought but I can’t remember it, we’re all gonna die, once, but dwelling on it means you die over and again in your head, that probably doesn’t help, I second Jo’s thoughts on the photos, love the way you use different ones for different types of writing, rage on,
I must die at least a dozen times a day. The dwelling is habitual and I am about to go onto medication to seek some kind of mental pacification. Lat night I drank until my mind could no longer speak or think- it was so nice…like a quiet and relaxing vacation.
Thank you for your insight…
No, do not do that. Ever
hey im not sure of your name and ive been depressed for a very long time serious depression and fear the only way out for me is to prAY
DIDNT FINISH to pray and believe and to know that as hard as it is whatever it is there is something always therte for you.thats it
thats the true answer
insightful post. i’ve had trouble with anxiety my whole life. it’s overwhelming and exhausting at times. i cherish plopping onto my bed and listening to peaceful music or dancing around or writing afterwards to let it all out. in the end, i’m always happier to have gone through with whatever it was i was afraid of, regardless of the consequences, than to hide from fear or anxiety.
Recently I had this bad episode of “thoughts of impending doom.” I’ve never experienced that feeling before in my life – it just happened, all of a sudden I was depressed and I lost my appetite. The feeling swelled up in my gut and it was crippling. I didn’t want to do anything or be around anyone.
It happened soon after I had a severe sinus infection, and it’s possible that it was linked somehow. It has subsided now, but sometimes I feel like it’s creeping back. It’s the most terrible feeling (despair) and I never want to experience it ever again.
I suggest going to a doctor for a full checkup/blood work. There might a physical reason to why you get those thoughts. If not – at least you can rest easy knowing you are healthy. The next step is to confide in someone they way you feel and possibly see a psychiatrist. You might be suffering from depression (chemical imbalance in the brain) and you have no control over that. They can provide treatment – request herbal remedies before going on any drugs.
thank you for this insightful comment. Yes, these chronic thoughts are the definition of despair. It is as if they are being injected into our minds- rendering us helpless.
I’m 45 years old and about 5 years ago I had a nervous breakdown. I had severe anxiety, depression, impending doom, etc. I didn’t get out of bed for 3 months. I was too scared to leave my house for over a year. Couldn’t even walk to the mail box. It was as bad as I’ve ever heard of. It took 4 years for me to recover. I had been a successful buisnessman and excelled at most everything I did. I was intense. The breakdown was the best thing that ever happened to me. It knocked me on my back so that I could see the sky. I’m better now than I’ve ever been. I’m not attached to any of the things I used to think were so important, not even my own life. Once I realized I was not the center of the universe, I was slowly able to let go of everything. As I let go, my mind slowly healed. Letting go was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It took years, but I made it. Good luck.
Thanks Freddie… I needed to hear this 🙂
How did you get to this point? Did you go and see a psychiatrist? Therapist or what? You’re my hero! I want to learn to let go and see myself and life as not being the centre of the Universe.
Thank you for this Freddie. Yes, letting go- thank you for the reminder.
This is pretty cool. I am working on it every single day, letting go that is. I guess when you don’t get knocked on your back it takes a little longer! This kind reminder should help speed up the process so please keep them coming. Take care and I hope to here from you soon.
Thanks Kerry. This is a hard path to tread and I am glad that I could be of some service. Please remain in touch.
I recommend reading “Many Lives, Many Masters” by Brian L. Weiss, MD. just a suggestion.
Thanks for this recommendation. I picked up the book and am half way into it.
I am having trouble believing it…but I am keeping an open mind.
I like how the author simply tells without trying to convince you of anything. He is sharing the experience, not preaching…
lemme know when you are finished reading if you’d like to discuss…
and thanks for taking my advice, I appreciate it.
I wouldn’t say these thoughts in any way control my life, and i only get them now and again, a lot they have come as dejavu, in which i am convinced something tragic happens lol. I was concerned my thinking about something bad happening may be willing it on further, like i was in actual fact willing it to happen, against my will. As confusing as that sounds lol, but i have come to the simple conclusion, that despite the amount of thoughts ive had, i am not dead, therefore it seems the thoughts are simply an over-evaluation of the dangers of something which probably could happen, but rarely will. Personally, i realise the chances are, none of these fates will ever happen, so i take these thoughts with a pinch of salt, when weighing up the idea of something bad happening, with the rarity of that occurence, makes it a lot easier to let the thought pass. 🙂
Sounds like you have gained some real insight. Thank you for sharing.
I like that Matt. Thank you
I practice letting go or as they say in my world Surrender to what IS. It helps, its not something I ALWAYS remember to do. But when I do it is calming, soothing and I can think straight.
Death doesnt scare me as much as being an invalid or incapacitated or becoming a vegetable. I dont mind the dying, since there are worse things than that. Guess that is Relative Acceptance.
As for thoughts of impending doom…I look to logic – Most things outside of my own behaviour to the events are out of my control, so the only thing I can do is go with the flow with the best behaviour I can muster. At least, at the end of the event, I can look back and see how far I have come from what I was. I believe in the fact that none of the things that happens in our life is a coincidence, they happen because of how we thought, intended and acted. So if we make a conscious decision to think Positive, things around us will be compelled to work towards that Intention. Its a ripple effect.
I have read and re-read this comment. Beautiful teachings. Thank you.
For about a week now I have been having absurd fears of drowning/or being buried alive. I cant sleep because I am afraid I will wake up in a coffin…my doctor told me this is an anxiety attack called “fear of impending doom”. I’m convinced it came from taking Risperidol…I want my life back 😦
I am sorry to hear you are going through this. I know it is REALLY hard. I also know even though it may not seem like it now- that you will be okay. Once you develop some none medicated tools to deal with a vivid and anxious mind things get easier. Thank you for sharing your experience with me.
I looked up “thoughts of impending doom” today in a coffee shop (where I am now) bc I started thinking last night about how a friend/therapist of mind says that fear of a shortened life or feeling like death is close are symptoms of PTSD. A little about me – I’m a therapist, Masters degree in counseling psychology, and have struggled with anxiety symptoms for most of my life. One thing i am grateful for is that they have become more and more manageable and less dominant in my life. There is a long story about why I think this is. Ask me if you are interested – i’ll share my journey.
I want to respond though to the “thoughts of impending doom.”
I was holding my cat last night, we were having a special moment, she lies on my chest, I pet her, she touches my cheek with her paw (claws retracted), and i said outloud to her “I love being with you. You make me so happy.” I obviously love my cat, but this was an extraordinary moment where we locked eyes and I felt this mutual dependence, deep love, and i saw something human in her. Just as this moment occurred, I had an intrusive thought about losing her. It was like a pairing between deep feelings of love and intimacy and fear of loss/even certainty of loss/death. I felt like my love would result in punishment/loss/death. I’m not talking about the idea of “the more we love, the more we have to lose.” I’m talking about an experience where it felt like I could literally “love someone to death,” love causes death.
So, i’m wondering if anyone experiences “impending doom” paired with efforts or strivings toward love, intimacy, closeness? I can identify traumas in my life in the past where these two things would have been paired, particularly in early childhood. im wondering if our experiences counteract our strivings toward “a better life” or “a more connected life.” Please, your thoughts?
Thanks for leaving this comment. You raise some really vital points. I am curious about how you have dealt with your anxiety if you would like to share.
When I read your comment this quote by Stephen Levine came into my mind: “love is the absence of all things but love.” when you write about the ability to love so much that you can kill something with your love for me does not sound like love. I know well the fine line between fear and love and I find that fear often gets in the way of me fully loving. Because of all of my trauma with parents and my life long struggle with awful anxiety I wonder if I am even capable of being filled with only love. I work on it everyday. To dissolve the fear that exists when I love. The more strongly I love often the more fear I struggle through. For you it may manifest as the fear of actually killing the object of your love for me the fear causes me to pull away and constrict. There is so much I could say here but I don’t want to run the risk of misunderstanding the beautiful point you are making here. Yes being able to fully love does mean killing that part of ourselves that has struggled so long with fear and anxiety. Maybe this is what intense love really has the potential to kill.
Hi, I just want to reply to your post, Mel. It was interesting to read your story. My anxiety is totally linked with love like it was the other side of the coin. I associated love in my past with death and danger as my mother was overprotective and used the word ‘death’ quite often when she wanted to make me do something (eg. take your pills when I say so, do you want to get sicker and die, is that what you want?)
So you can imagine that I barely have relationships and I usually run away from falling in love because of the connections I made in my mind. However, I am totally in love with someone at the moment but, the anxiety I grew up with keeps relating my feelings of love with the ‘impending doom’, danger and death, so I stay away. But the conflict of wanting this person and the fear of approaching him brought my anxiety into full blown.
Of course, what we think is never EVER the reality. Our fantasies are just there to protect us from living a normal life.
Sometimes I wonder, why do we ever bother to think if all we think sometimes is just negative? Oh, and I also have fear of feelings and the heart (the physical and metaphorical heart, too) which explains why i shun away from real relationships.
Therapy helps but it doesn’t change you if you don’t make any effort for it.
Anxiety is in our thoughts because we let it, because we have, at a subliminal level, emotional problems left unresolved. So, I suggest to dig them up by talking about your feelings, your past and then, if you discover the problem, try to make a plan to see how you can change this. Really try to observe your anxiety episodes like you were seating in chair, in the cinema hall. What caused the episode? what kind of thoughts you had before the panic came? what did you associate this panic with? where were you when you had the panic? don’t let the thoughts flow, catch them in action and prosecute them. I know that this is against the buddhist way of living, I, too practice acceptance but i think is more important to understand yourself. The thoughts you have are there FOR A REASON. They came up to the surface because you have buried them once or because you have buried something with your subconscious that you don’t want to confront. might be something painful, frightening or unpleasant. But you have to dig up! Understand the real reasons of your anxiety. Write down in a diary the thought that came and brought the panic. why do you think it came? what connections can you make
with something that happened to you lately?
I think this is the only way to bring peace in our lives. However, the process is long and we have to be active and try hard if we want to get rid of the anxiety for good. I am still
anxious but don’t have panic attacks anymore but i’m in my way to get rid of it entirely.
And IT IS POSSIBLE, people. Don’t listen to anyone who says that you only have to
accept it and COPE with it. That’s a terrible thing to say because anxiety disorders are NOT normal and you shouldn’t resign living with them. There are solutions but unfortunately, there is no general cure. Every person has to find their own way to the cure. so , DON’T GIVE UP. Everything is possible if you really make an effort! Good luck
I am so intrigued with your theory. It is the only thing I’ve read that rings true for me. Could you share more of your story?
This is existentialism.
…that it is.
But may be refuted as absurdism from the viewing glass of the author.
I realize that I’m a little late on this discussion but I’m glad I found it. As I read this, I am trying to sleep, there’s a storm outside, and I’m in my new house for the first night. All I can think about are trees falling through the roof onto me amd my 8 month old son. Most of my city has been without electricity for a few days and that makes me think about the demise of society and whether or not I’m ready to be self sufficient and ward off looters and possibly zombies. Pretty ridiculous huh? But this is how my mind works. I’ve always had issues with anxiety but ever since a traumatic experience last year, I now feel impending doom. And the screwed up part is….2 weeks before the traumatic experience, I couldn’t shake the feeling of the floor falling out from under me wherever I was. So is this so ridiculous? I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin for two weeks, then it happened…my life was rearranged. It made me stronger and I made it through like a rockstar but it was nuts. Anyway, I dont know how to take it, or deal with it, or shut it out, or whatever the hell I’m supposed to do with this feeling. Am I extra sensitive to my environment, or just paranoid?
Thanks for sharing your story Jessi. I don’t think you are paranoid- you are just extra sensitive to the fact that you are mortal and living in a chaotic universe where we are subject to anything happening at any minute. Some people tune it out and go into denial others are hyper aware. Some people are a bit of both. The fact of the matter is that it sounds like your mind, your thoughts are running wild and often you get carried away by your thought process. I have a feeling that you probably are the kind of person who is immersed in her thoughts at all times sometimes forgetting that your feet are on the earth, you are breathing and at this moment everything is ok. What you wrote reminded me of a Zen saying “the mind makes a terrible master but a great servant.” I am sorry to hear about what you are experiencing- must be difficult. Now you probably have PTSD to deal with. The truth is that we all do in some way, shape. form. Human life involves a great deal of suffering and pain. There is no way out from this. The key is to ride the waves of suffering rather than getting sucked under. When you are suffering/in a state of terror just recognize it, observe it, let it be there but also trust that this too shall pass. Check out the books by Peter Levine.
The fact that you’re a Jew made me laugh. ^_^ Upon our search of how to stop impending doom, my friend and I came across your enlightening story. Perhaps now is a good time to point out…impending doom is real…and it attacks in depression places such as the cemetery. In the future I think you should consider going to a park or gym because they contain live people whereas the ones in the cemetery are dead. Obviously they aren’t going to be all that much fun or helpful! Good luck
Thank you for the tip Hahkunah-matater (what a great name!).
Hi again. I know I’m late here but I want to leave a comment about the thoughts of impending doom. If the thoughts of impending doom are related to the fear of dying, I was thinking that maybe we should somehow confront the fear of dying. (when you’re afraid of something, you should confront it, right?) For example, going to cemeteries, to a funeral or even looking at a dead body. It might be that, when we confront this, we ca finally realize that this fear is normal and death is normal (it happens to everybody) and we can probably move on with our lives and rid ourselves of the anxiety. What are your thoughts on this? Did anybody try this? (from those who experience panic)
Also, the fear of death that causes panic might also have been developed in us long time ago, in our past, so we need to check it and deal with it.
Hello Mara- thanks for your post. Yes without a doubt there is a genetic component to anxiety/panic disorders. As I get to know my extended family better I am amazed by how many of them have endured similar struggles as I have. Basically what we are dealing with is a thought disease- the mind for whatever reason spirals out of control and focuses on worst case situation. Our thoughts become very negative and scary. The key for me has been to learn how to climb outside of these thoughts, to not stop the thoughts (which is almost impossible) but to get far enough away from them that I have some room within which to take a breath and get grounded. As you know too much thinking creates chaos and complexity. Whatever ways you can find to get beyond your thoughts, your intellectual mind (for me it has been meditation, focusing on my breath, spending time just being, cultivating gratitude and opening myself up to having more fun in my life and take things one day at a time).
As far as exposing yourself to death I would highly recommend staying away from it. I had that same idea a decade ago and decided to go work at a mortuary where I was the guy who drove the van and picked up dead bodies. Needless to say that this did not help to demolish my fear but only increased it. The experience was very traumatic and a lot of my thoughts of impending doom I believe to be one of the side effects of PTSD that I suffered as a result of that job. So yes, stay engaged with the world of the living- you will have an eternity to explore the world of the dead.
i dont like when people are having fun. they are not being good people when they are having fun. people say i am cute but i feel ackward around the opposite sex and i dont know how to act or what to say. i want to make the world different, and better. if peopole could just stop and think about what they are doing they would see that they are not doing what is best for their future and the future of the next generations. if it is my job to do something about it we are in trouble. it is very difficult to change society. it is an overwhelming task that i have put on myself. i cannot complete that task. A lot of times i tell myself that i would die to save another person. I just want people to think of me as a good person.
does this sound like impending doom? Is impending doom common among christians?
You have made some decent points there. I checked on
the net to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.
ha! fear of impending doom, boy did I do! though I agree with what your Buddhism friend told, plus “just let go”, since you’re a Jewish you believe in heaven and hell as afterlife, no? were you ask me what to fear about death, it’s actually not the death itself, but what awaits beyond it. Will I win a salvation, or am I too much a bad girl and will jump to hell in lightening speed? Hence if we prepared our afterlife from the beginning, closer to God and charity and behave good to people all that jazz — we don’t have to worry so much anymore, believing that the Divine Creator rewards greatly our efforts in this world after we died.
Just my 2 cents from the eyes of a religious passerby ^___^. Not meaning to be preachy, really.
Thanks for your thoughts Ariadne. Yes I grew up Jewish and am Jewish but I am not religous and the only thing I believe in is the present moment. Right now. Breathing. Being alive. As far as I am concerned everything else is magical thinking, speculation and I am not willing to believe anything that I can not see, touch, smell, taste and hear. Maybe there is an afterlife, maybe not- I don’t worry about this. I just try and live this moment fully, ethically and keep my self free from too much “believing.” So when I have thoughts of impending doom the difficult thing is in dealing with the discomfort that it brings to my present moment experience. It feels scarry, as if the ground can be pulled out from under my feet at any second. But I have learned to breathe, sit with the discomfort and just trust that like all things the thoughts and feelings will pass.
I wish you well on your journey, wherever that may lead you.
Impending doom, that’s my fear in almost every situation. Adversity, or any time I hear “we need to talk” it comes back to a feeling of terror of “oh my God, I’ve destroyed everything”. If people that I care about have problems, I can put emotions aside for a while but eventually it all comes back to my fault and the thoughts of running or doing harm to myself.
It’s cliche but I frequently feel less than human, and the spiral will hit and drag me into this place that I have so much trouble getting out of. Today I drank to stop the fear, it worked a little but not much. I have a “safety net” in that if it all goes to hell I can go home to have a roof over my head, but I swore ears ago that I’d never ever do that. I always said I’d be dead or homeless before it happened. Pride plain and simple, but it’s because if I do go, I will take my own life. It’s not an if, it’s fact at this point.
I just have so much fear of everything, so much time spent worrying about nothing and when something does come up, it’s crippling.
It all comes bak to, if it’s not the norm, then everything will be destroyed.
Hi quietseeker. Hang in there. I feel exactly as you do. Let me know if you need someone to email you everyday just to “talk to you” so you can have a soundboard. Who else can help each other but us ‘crazy’ folks, right?
Hello fellow quiet seeker. I can see why you may want to seek quiet from the tempest of your own mind. Sounds intense in there and I am sorry to hear that you live through this. I could say many things but I wont pontificate unless you want in which case I am happy to email with you. I will say that I wrote this post several years ago. All though I do still have this sticky feeling of impending doom at times it has gotten much less. My life has lead me to a place that I could of never, ever imagined when I wrote this post- and in many ways things have worked out for me better than I could have ever imagined.
Sometimes I think about that guy who wrote this post several years ago. I know he could of never imagined his life turning out the way it has. I know he probably did not even think he would still be living. But I am still here and I have reached a point in my life were I am very, very grateful for how things have turned out. It is surreal. Even though I do still have really unpleasant thoughts/feelings of impending doom (which seem to be imbeded in my brain and are probably the result of a traumatic childhood) I am able to let the feelings and thoughts move through me rather than getting all tangled up in them. Sure I still will have a few beers to quiet my sometimes cruel mind, but I need to do this a lot less than I did a few years ago.
Even though I can not go back and tell myself at the time of writing this post that things in my life would actually work out ok, that I would get to live the life I thought so far out of my reach; I can tell you to hang on, to breathe, to try and think positively about things when you can, to let the fear and terror pass through you and know that you will be ok. All you got to do is keep moving forward, let go, enjoy as much as possible and keep doing what you feel (and trust) is in your best interest. Keep seeking the quiet spaces.
I always have this feeling of doom, not of me dying (well, sometimes) but mostly of me losing my job, my family living on the streets, etc. I have always been depressed and I thought before that it was because I work in a stressful environment (corporate) and my job was causing it. But I recently got promoted and I somehow regained confidence and am doing quite well. However, I suddenly woke up one day and there was that feeling of despair again and I don’t know what to do about it. Something is wrong with me as I always find something to worry about. No one knows about this but me. I am unable to share it with anyone at all as I feel no one will understand me. It’s hard living your life and pretending you are happy everyday. I have become so good at it that I turn into a different person when I am with my family. When I am alone, that’s when the loneliness and ugly thoughts come in. Reading this post and the comments definitely help. Thank you.
I know well the state of being you describe Barbara. It is truly terrible- especially when you have to pretend like all is well. Doing psychotherapy with the right therapist has really helped me. Also you may want to look into this website: http://www.tricycle.com/ It has helped me to deal with a mind and thoughts that often scare me.
I have always had this doom feeling. Like out of nowhere, regardless of the place, they enter your mind and stop you in your tracks. Even those rare times when you feel really happy. And you can’t do anything but fake your actions, which proves the hardest so you just sit back and hope no one notices. But when you are alone, you try your hardest to distract yourself from it. Which in my case, reading books and listening to music. But it’s not simply reading and listening. I’m like an addict waiting for his next fix. I can’t not read book. I have to get out of my head. But I know it’s not possible because they’re not only controlling my waking life, they’re also in my dreams.
I’m so afraid. I have a sense of time running out and I see my son in this world without me and it crushes my heart and I can’t breathe. He’s 14yrs old and a sweet gentle soul. I know my death would change him and I can’t accept that. I’ve written him a letter, or at least I’ve started a letter, where I attempt to comfort him after I’m gone. I need to know he will be ok and it gives me some comfort to think that letter may give him comfort when he really needs it. We’re so close and I know that I could not live in this world without him; but he needs to be able to live in this world without me. Everyday I get sudden thoughts about this day being my last and not seeing him again and the terror in my heart is physical and yes, I’ve had to take anti-anxiety meds to stop my heart racing and passing out. Please tell me what would give you the greatest comfort in the event of your mom’s death? I know if I could just know he will go on and have a beautiful life I’d be less afraid of dying. I’m atheist by the way, so I know we will never see each other again.
Hello, I found this site searching about impending doom because I have the same problem, except with my mother. Late at night I will sometimes get a rush of negative energy feeling like I could lose my mother at any moment, and have even found myself crying alone in bed imagining what I would do without her. As a teenager I rely on her more than anyone else, she is the only person I can go to about anything, and after losing my father at the age of 4, she is the only parent I have left. It doesn’t help that she had me at 40, either. I’m also an atheist by the way. As for your question.. If I had lost my mother, and needed comfort, a letter would be a great start. Talk about the great times he will have in life, and the great life you have already lived knowing that he was your son. Tell him not to mourn your death, but to celebrate the life you had. Most importantly tell him how much you care. You could even go as far as to make a video for him, and arrange it to be shown in your will. I know your post was a few days ago, but I hope you do end up seeing this.
I’m 21 and I’m already getting all these thoughts. I’ve dealt with anxiety since I was a mere age of 13 after watching an awfully scary film which sent me into a 2 weeks long illness and depressive cycle. Since then I have had minor occurrences up until now where it has finally broken through my walls and I’m now fixated on death and I’m so exhausted. Everything leads to me being frightened of everything: life, my future, my end and my love ones. Thoughts race at 100 miles a minute and I have continuously clashing thoughts where I could deal with it and be fine for a while, rationalise if you will and then suddenly it all comes flooding back like some bipolar state of being. I’m convinced I’m not very well and although I can control some things I do believe I suffer depression even though my parents seem to think otherwise, I wish they were right. University and Education in general has subconsciously brought me into this mindset of “everything is going too quickly” and that “everything needs to slow down”. I have the kind of personality one might call the type 2 personality mixed with number 4 – that means I am someone who looks out for others but also needs reassurance herself…(Who helps the hero) I suffer from neglecting my problems and thoughts…avoiding them as you say and not confronting them. I feel really stupid and that I’m wasting my life thinking all these things when life has barely begun for me, could it really be the world we live in doing this? I’m so frightened of losing my mind or the will to carry on but at the same time fear and need survival. I’m really scared that counselling only seems to do so little and I eventually ware off the CBT treatment. I just want to be ok and its hard to keep faith in courage and I find its even harder as I’m an Atheist/Agnostic. I get this sensation that I’ve ruined my life and from here on out, that I’m doomed and will never experience the things I want to in life. I’ve constantly had these things said to me ” you weren’t like this before” or “Why would you be like this, you’ve never had a traumatic experience, you have a perfect life, what’s the problem” and it is those things that make me feel unworthy. Hopeless and a lost cause. I just want to be happy, see my friends and family happy and smiling and I never want to lose that. I feel I’m going to lose those close to me and I shake even now thinking there is nothing I can do. I wish I could have my life back, I want to feel strong again and feel courage that i can then pass on to my children in the future when I have them. Perhaps it is because i need a partner or someone who can be here to hold me just for a moment..to let things slip away and rationalise…sometimes I wish sleep could be the healer but it isn’t.
Please, if anyone could help give me some advice it would be very well received. I will be visiting my GP later this week to resorting to some ind of medication whilst having counselling.
Hey Amy…..you still out there?
I came across this post today when I did a search for, “How to cope with fear of impending doom”. This is a phrase I learned a few years ago when I was searching for what was going on in my head. Your words didn’t quiet the demons but it did sooth my mind…at least for tonight. I always seem to find myself with this crippling fear after someone I know passes on. Particularly if they are young(er) than what is considered “normal”.
I have dealt with depression and anxiety most of my life and there are times when I deal with it better than others. Right now I don’t seem to be dealing with it very well. I hate walking through life feeling like an open wound. I so appreciate you having written this and shared it (even several years on). I have found some comfort in it and can hopefully let my mind rest for a night. Thank you.
Thank you for your comment. I am glad that what I wrote was able to be of some help to you. When I am feeling fear or impending doom I like to remind myself “so this is how it is right now.” I know that everything is impermanent, even this ominous feeling and it too shall pass. I just need to be present and accept what is. The rest is history as “they” say.
It sounds like you are having symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (“pure o” type). This disorder is maintained through avoidance of feared thoughts and situations and using mental rituals (such as praying) to cancel out the bad thoughts. Exposure and Response Prevention is the primary evidence-based treatment for confronting these thoughts and moving toward accepting uncertainty. Medications such as fluvoxamine can help as well. Good luck with everything!
It’s funny that Stef is telling you what to do 🙂
….but that is good feedback- learning to be comfortable with discomfort, at peace in uncertainty. This is key to dealing with a world that loves to tell you what to do and gets pissed/hurt when you don’t do it.
I truly appreciate your post absurdistry. I feel that I face similar feelings of impending doom. I’m only 18, these feelings seem to have been triggered by some weed that I smoked. It is truly a horrible feeling, a feeling of complete despair, terror, and insanity. I have a history of depression and anxiety in my family so I was hoping that the gene had skipped over me, but it seems to have not. These feelings of doom and despair have lingered for months now (since the day i smoked) and the only thing that can ease them is klonopin. I have tried relaxation techniques, which seem to help a bit, but not to the extent that i would hope. Prior to this onslaught of negative thought I felt so normal and content with life. Ever since however, i feel as if i have lost the ignorance to existence that kept me feeling normal and content. I feel that this ignorance to life and existence is vital in remaining sane and keeping from thinking to deeply.
Thanks Matt. You might want to watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE3gxX5CiW0&t=864
I just got around to watching this video. I found it very insightful, I find that many of our psychotic feelings are a result of hyperactive environmental responses. The challenge, however, is limiting these responses and finding a way to control ones reactions. Thanks again!
Hi Matt, this is exactly what happened to me at 18. I remember the feeling of not being able to “unlearn” all these horrors I now “knew”, going back to being ignorant. I’m 31 now, and although I still get waves of this absurdity, I have found that it only happens when I am using mind altering chemicals. Nothing has ever been as bad as that first time after I smoked marajuana. Look after yourself, enjoy being healthy, treat your mind and body well. Give it time, speak to doctors & psychologists, and it will ease up. It might take a couple of years but you’ll get there 🙂
Thanks so much Lesley, i really do feel like you’ve pinpointed my issue. They say time heals all wounds so i’m hoping i have enough time to heal this one. Best of luck to you, Lesley.
2 week ago to evacuate the mine, I suddenly felt I was going to die out soon, I’m pulled in two hours, guess what, there was no hook after 10 pm every day, yet that problem is going yet.I just want to know what the problem was for it.Please give me answer for this fear of impending death.
Reference the book “when panic attacks” by David Burns . Greatest book ever written on anxiety. People with 50 years of anxiety have been cured by this book
The way to deal with this is to simply think like this:
– Death doesn’t matter because all this time in history you have not existed, and it is no big deal that you cease to exist in the long future ahead.
– It is not about the destination (Death), it is about the journey along the way to it. Do good things in your life, experience wealth and prosperity, do not let dark thoughts cloud your mind, donate to charity, realize the lucky position you are in compared to so many other people.
– Death comes first to those who fears it most.
Points that were made:
1) When I say death doesn’t matter I mean it is not the thing you should be most focused on about, I am in no way suggesting you to suicide.
2) Don’t fear death as all journey must come to an end. Do good in your life.
3) I don’t mean be reckless and get yourself killed, I mean don’t let it impede on your life.
Being positive is hard, but rewarding.
Being negative is easy, but destructive.
Now go out there and seize the day, I believe in you all.
I agree with everything you say except the bias towards positivity. This idea that you should do good things is just a belief system. You could choose to do bad things and it would be just as well. No need to conform to a positive belief system. A negative belief system is just as valid and well. Or maybe a person can have a bit of both. But I agree with and appreciate your comments on death.
Glad I found this blog. You’re awesome. I hate the feeling of dread. I want to be happy and just live in the moment. This is no way to exist. Lots of horrible things have happened in the past few years. Very little positive. I wonder about the genetic component as well. It’s now believed possible to have trauma stored in our DNA. Although I was not raised Jewish I am from a Jewish family. Your post and comment replies are very helpful. Hope you are still blogging because I’m following.
Thanks Karen! I am now blogging obscurely at toiletruminations.com Hope to see you there:)