Why do I feel like I’m dying? (+7 Coping strategies)

In this blogpost, we will be explaining why you might feel like you are dying. We will also be describing a few things that you can do to cope with this feeling. Feelings of dying or thinking about death are more common than you think and affect at least 10 percent of the population.

Why do I feel like I’m dying?

You might feel like you are dying because of the reasons below,

Anxiety or depression

If you have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, these mental illnesses can make you feel like you are dying or make you have an increased fear of death. Mental illnesses can dip your mood states and make you feel gloomy over an extended period of time.

During this time, you are bound to feel negative about life itself and may even feel like you are dying. You may also have an increase in fear of death and may constantly think about death throughout the day.

Witness a death in person

Certain events can also trigger you to feel like you are dying. For instance, if you have witnessed a death in person, this can give you an anxiety of death and make you feel that you are dying. This can be even more persistent if you also experienced the same dangerous situation.

Experiencing the death of a loved one

Losing a loved one can also make you feel that you are dying or can make you constantly think about death. Losing loved ones like siblings or even romantic partners can deeply hurt the person who has survived, and can make them fear death even more.

In some cases, feelings of dying triggered off by the loss of a loved one actually becomes a maladaptive coping mechanism. This is especially true if the person was extremely close to the other person and felt that they were a part of them.

Global pandemics

Global pandemics can also lead you to feel like you are dying. The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to have feelings of anxiety about death and also making them feel that they are actually dying.

This is mainly due to the large number of deaths reported by the media on a daily basis and even witnessing the death of many loved ones. In this case, even mild symptoms of flu can make you feel like you are dying.

Being diagnosed with a debilitating condition

If you have been recently diagnosed with a debilitating condition such as cancer, this can also cause you to feel that you are dying. Even if the symptoms of the illness have not manifested severely yet, the very diagnosis can also lead to preoccupations with death and fear of it.

Feeling unfulfilled in life

Another reason why you may feel like you are dying is because you might think that your life is unfulfilled. If you suddenly feel like your life does not have any meaning anymore or that you have not left a lasting impression, this can lead you to fear death even more.

This feeling is experienced often when people reach a certain age, like middle-age, where they may feel like they have not accomplished anything in their life and have very little time to make any positive changes.

Reaching a certain age

Reaching a certain age can also lead you to feel like you are dying. However, this age is not always old age. According to many research studies, it has been found that anxiety of death and fear of death generally is highest during 20s for both men and women.

At the same time, it has also been found that most women have another increase in death anxiety or feelings of dying in their 50s for a variety of reasons. Mid-life crises can also set off anxiety among people.

Having Thanatophobia

While feelings of dying or experiencing death anxiety may come and go depending on the situation or the age, in many cases it lasts as a proper condition called Thanatophobia. This is considered a subtype of anxiety disorders or may simply show up in other anxieties.

The various symptoms of Thanatophobia are:

  • Constantly thinking that you are dying or having feelings of dying
  • Doing a lot of research online or through reading about death and symptoms of dying
  • Googling symptoms over and over again
  • Experiencing a lot of anxiety
  • Finding it difficult to complete tasks on time due to the preoccupation with death
  • Having panic attacks
  • Showing a lot of perspiration
  • Fainting spells or dizziness

What to do when I feel like I’m dying?

If you feel like you’re dying or have an excessive fear of dying, the fear can sometimes be so crippling that you might find it hard to do daily things. However, there are several simple coping strategies that you can use to make yourself feel better. Some of these are:

Try breathing exercises

If you feel like you’re dying and are finding it hard to cope, the first thing that you need to do is to bring your mind to a grounded state. The easiest way to do so is to try breathing exercises. If you are finding it hard, you can even use breathing devices to bring down your anxiety levels.

Get out of the house

You can also distract yourself by simply getting out of the house. The more you sit at home and fester on your thoughts, the stronger your feelings of dying will become. When you get out and see yourself being active, these feelings will go away.

Talk to trusted friends

If you have some friends whom you trust, you can also talk to them. Friends and loved ones are one of the best gifts of life and talking to them and interacting with them can definitely make you feel more alive.

Join a support group

If you do not have close friends or want someone who can empathize better with you, you can even join a support group. Support groups can be found online or even physically and can ply you with knowledge about this anxiety and coping strategies to conquer it.

Create something everyday

One great thing to do to stop feeling like you are dying is to indulge in art or something creative every day. When you create something from scratch with your own two hands, you are guaranteed to feel fulfilled by the end. The activity can be as simple as cooking a small dish.

Set goals for yourself and achieve them

If you feel that your life has no meaning and you find yourself unfulfilled, you can even counter this feeling by setting goals. It is always not too late to achieve anything. Simply pick a goal, plan the steps for it and start taking action.

Start volunteering at an organization

The best way to get over the feeling that you are dying is to make the best use of your day. A great way to do so is to volunteer your time at any shelter. If you are an animal person, you can volunteer at an animal shelter, if you are a person-person, any other organization will do.

In helping others live their best lives, you will find that you are not only distracted from the feelings of dying, but that you find more meaning in your daily life. People who regularly volunteer have also been found to have better self-esteem and overall mental health.


In this blogpost, we have explained why you might feel like you are dying. We have also described a few things that you can do to cope with this feeling.

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