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I’m glad I found this site. I’ve been looking everywhere for good advice to solve this issue, but all I’ve found are the usual answers:
“Heaven is good. There’s no reason to be scared.”
“Are you sure you’re not scared of dying?”
I’m 16 and this problem only started fairly recently for me, but I already want it to stop. Just as a quick background, I’ll explain what it’s like for me.
Basically, it occurs without fail at night, and sometimes during the day. While it does not need to be prompted, it can be, and often is prompted by many things. An example of it occurring automatically is the fact that it comes every night. I can be doing something to keep busy, like painting, but as soon as it begins to become evening (even when I’m unaware of this) I start to get the fear. It worsens as night progresses. However, it is sometimes triggered during the day too. I am an artist at heart, and I love music. Both making and listening to music are passions of mine, but ever since this fear, all music has begun to sound… sad to me. I can’t really listen to any songs now because they make me think of the end of the world, and from there, eternity.
The panic attacks are basically a complete feeling of dread. Sometimes I cry silently in bed and pray for help. I haven’t ever gotten to the point of screaming, but from what I’ve found online, they get worse as time goes on.
I’ve tried to… prevent or delay these attacks by distracting myself at night. I watch movies or talk to my boyfriend (who is conveniently long distance meaning he’s awake when I should be asleep) to keep my mind off it, and that works, but as soon as those are gone, the fear comes back. I’ve talked to the youth pastor at my church about this, because it’s affecting my faith (being scared of heaven isn’t too good) and he said it probably has to do with having an analytical mind, which is another pattern I’m noticing as I keep looking for answers. Every now and then I’ll feel a bit better by some time with God or doing research, but it’s always temporary. I don’t think ignoring it is the answer.
A therapist and drugs have been suggested, but I don’t feel comfortable with either of these things, and never have. Telling a stranger about my problems just sounds… awkward. And drugs… I feel too young I guess. If this gets worse, I’ll have to consider those options, but I’d rather be put at rest by finding a solution.
So yeah… I guess that’s my situation. If anyone can help me… I can’t even explain how thankful I’d be. To get some sleep at night, to finally be at peace; I need that. Thank you.
i got over it
I was so afrai of that fear for a very long time! What helped me to get completly out of it was not avoiding it (was not possible anyway) but dealing with it. I read about the principle of “non-locality”! It is an idea of the quantom theory. It means that our reality is beyond space and time! We live in a illusion. BEhind space and time there are no distances.One should not imagine it as an infinite space of nothingness, since two objects are needed for that. From here to the most infinte point beyong space and time the distance does not exist. I also got help from the HIndu-concept of “maya”
Apeirophobia Just Sucks.
I think this phobia comes out of thinking too much, honestly. It’s like the ultimate mental puzzle: what is eternity? When does it end? For years I’ve had pretty awful panic attacks where I start thinking about death, and how when I die things might just stop. All of a sudden, cease to exist, just a blank wall of nothing surrounding me forever and ever. And that’s eternity in a way, right? Even though I probably wouldn’t be feeling it. The idea of just sitting in a void without even existing anymore scares me so much I can barely put it into words. It does make me feel better to know other people (and not just a couple people, but a lot) have the same, or a similar, problem as me. I wish there was a way to know what really will happen when I die: but at the same time, do I seriously want to know? I don’t know if it would be at all comforting if someone told me there is, in fact, nothing but a void after death.
Eternity is such a scary thing. Probably mostly because we can’t understand it. I don’t really believe in heaven or God, but if it was in fact true, I would definitely not be all that pleased about having to live up there in heaven for all of eternity. (I completely understand what you mean about that, Paul.) Whenever I get in a state of mind where I’m thinking about death, when I get awful panic attacks and have to run out of the house in the middle of the night and walk a bunch of times around the block to calm myself down, I try to convince myself that I’ll get reborn after I die. I think that’s the best option for what happens after death, to me. Not living for eternity– not being in a void for eternity– just being reborn, into some other body, and the cycle of life repeating itself. That thought is the only thing that can really calm me down when I’m in a huge panic. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter– just the fact that it COULD be is what calms me down.
I think the best treatment for apeirophobia, or any phobia really, is probably medication or therapy. I’m doing both and lately I’ve been feeling a lot better; no more crazy existential thoughts clinging to my mind, thank goodness. I’d like to keep it that way.
I also have some OCD problems like other people who have commented here. I guess it probably goes with this phobia? Or at least it seems like it. My OCD involves screwing up my face like my alergies are bothering me (even when they aren’t.) Luckily I have it somewhat under control, ha ha. And my apeirophobia is definitely better than it was, which is such a relief.
I hope everyone on here learns to deal with their panic and anxiety and so on. It is possible to rein it in, I know this because I’ve done it myself. Good luck everybody 🙂
Panick attacks since childhood…..
It is good to know I am not alone. I have horrible issues with this phobia. The worst part is the feeling you can not escape or avoid it like spiders or heights or other phobias…. I feel badly for my fellow suffers as I understand how crippling and terrible it can be. I wish peace to us all!!!
|Terrible panick attacks since childhood!!|
I have the same fear… It is awful… because of the feeling that you can not escape it no matter what you do… thank you. It is good to know I am not alone but I feel very bad for those of you who have this phobia because I know FIRST HAND it can be crippling and horrible!!!
it’s very nice to see that other people has experienced the same as me. It’s very hard to explain this phobia to “normal” people, they seem to be okay with the whole idea of “eternity” and “infinity”. To leave a record for future statistics I’m a 23 y.o. male, and these thoughts started in my childhood, when i was around 8 years old, laying in bed at night, what brings peace to my mind is to turn on the TV, or grab my cellphone, just to see colors, or hear sounds, anything to fill my mind with. I’m very glad i’m not alone, it’s funny how i could not find a single case of this phobia over the internet in Spanish (i’m from Mexico), but i have found plenty of cases searching in English. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Surprised to see I’m not alone!
Christianity or religious thinking seems to be the common link with most of these comments and I can’t say my story is any different. Like many of you, I was always told how wonderful, and peaceful eternal life would be. One night when I was around 8 or 9, lying in bed trying to wrap my head around the idea of eternity, the concept truly hit me. I was overwhelmed by the thought of being trapped in a universe/afterlife forever and there being nothing I could do about it. It was like the room was closing in around me. My heart began to race and I involuntarily leapt from my bed and ran to my parent’s room in tears. Trying to explain this fear to my parents wasn’t easy, especially for a nine-year-old. Even now it’s hard to explain why this is so frightening to someone who doesn’t fully grasp the unimaginable enormity of eternity.
I’m now in my thirties, but around the age of sixteen I began to have questions about religion. I would have serious philosophical questions regarding the bible and would usually be given the “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”, or “God works in mysterious ways” type of answer. As I began to see the holes in many of the bible stories and gained more and more science literacy, I let go of religion entirely. This was, for me, the first step to getting over this fear.
I then realized that all of my thoughts and fears were a product of my brain, and that when I died and my brain cells stopped receiving oxygen, those thoughts would no longer be produced or retained. I (my thoughts/memories) would no longer exist. This concept of a definite end was what gave me comfort. Knowing that when I died, after hopefully living a long and exciting life, I would no longer have a functioning brain to allow me to be fearful. I also realized that before I was born I wasn’t capable of being upset or worried about anything, so why should I expect otherwise after I was dead.
I am now able to except the concept of eternity from a scientific standpoint as it relates to the universe. I know that the atoms that make up my body will continue to exist infinitely, yet I have comfort in knowing that I will not be burdened with having to stick around for the ride.
I remember waking up at night sitting alone in the living room, and imagining that i create something that is covering everything. I don’t know how to explain it but i was feeling guilt that i was doing something very wrong.
Other times i wake up and start panicking about something i cant even remember now, but at that point it seems very clear what i had to do but it was impossible to be done. Mathematically?
Usually i start running up and down in the house waiting to finish. those are my big attacks that i don’t get very frequently, but the feeling i get at those attacks is the same one i get randomly when i think about infinity in any form, or thinks that cannot be solved or comprehended.
I get these feelings for many reasons including thinking in microscopic level, sub-atomic, or very large distances(>>>>light years), or even when thinking something that is “alone”, for example if I think about a rock on an asteroid traveling through space light years away from everything (i know… ).
When i get that feeling i look away and think something different because i know where that feeling leads to.
Finally a Classification
i never new this was called apeirophobia. im so glad i have a name for the panic attacks ive had for years. im 30 now. thouth ive had them very rarely they are horrible. usually when im alone with my thoughts eg bedtime. the thought creeps in and i shout oh god no!. don’t do this!(im not religious ) and start violently swinging my head up down and side to side. i some times sit up quickly or jump out of bed. and have to bang my head or grab my head while shouting, then goes away. Whole thing only lasts a minute or two from start to finish but feels longer and horrible.
Really, I didn’t know this was a documented phobia, though I guess a lot of things are. Anyway, I tend to over analyze things and get lost in my own head so I always thought this was just another case of my overthinking. The first memory I have is of sitting in the car, about four years old, during a night time drive. Suddenly the thought just hit me that forever actually means FOREVER, as in it never ends. Ever. I spent the rest of the night silently freaking out, since I’ve never been good at airing my troubles. Besides, I couldn’t even put into words what was wrong.
Like a lot of you, it seems to run in two different directions: I’m scared of dying and being nothing forever, but I’m equally dreading any sort of life after death. Either way, it goes on for eternity. How can someone cope with that knowledge? Thoughts like this mostly come up at night, either while I’m alone in my bed or on a car drive. I’ve taken to bringing my ipod because the music helps to distract me. When I try to think of the universe I start to freak out too, because how is it possible that it never ends? But then if we’re wrong, and it DOES end, what comes next? Thinking about forever doesn’t give me actual panic attacks, just a bone-deep terror that eats away at me for however long it lasts. Sometimes I’ll be in some social situation, laughing and having fun, and some remark will make me start thinking about forever and it’s like everything changes – it all goes dim and muffled and all I can think about is the fact that whatever happens after we die will never, ever end. Ironically enough, be scared of eternity makes me feel lonely even though dying is one thing that we’re all going to experience. I think it does help to know you guys feel the same way, even though I’m sorry you’re suffering. Maybe – okay, maybe the trick is just to accept it, to tell yourself that forever is real and we just have to be all right with that. And I say this, but it just isn’t possible to stop the fear that rises at the thought of eternity. I really don’t see why more people don’t think like this. How can they be okay with knowing they’ll be trapped (and whoever said that, it’s a PERFECT way to describe these feelings) forever? I honestly don’t care if it turns out we’re happy in heaven – I’m not religious, but won’t totally rule that out – or it’s just like falling asleep and never waking up. Either way, it lasts forever and there really isn’t any way to describe how horrifying that concept is.
|almost 40 years ago|
by: MooZee28 of devonshire
This is amazing .Easter weekend 1972 at 17 this is what jolted my life.Thought of eternity. And today almost newyears 2013 i google this and see all others who suffer.I didn’t even know we called this a panic attack.I thought i was self-destructing, broke out in cold sweats,like all of space and exsistance would cave in on me.I had to literally force myself to think other thoughts.Run and do something to keep my mind occupied.It does go away but it does sneak up on you and there i go again.It took a few years but it eventually subsides.I’m not sure if i agree with that it’s a fear of eternity,I believe it’s the lack of understanding it in general and we never will.We are not made to know this .But i see we are all in the same boat.Today i am good with it and am amazed with the power of internet there are so many of us.
Thank you all.
I commented earlier. Last year I believe, I was the 16 year old girl who would break down crying and stuff. I feel SO much better now, and all of your comments have certainly been part of that. I rarely think about it now. I have no doubt, at some point I’ll have a break down again, but it doesn’t feel that bad… It’s like, when you’re there, when you’re crying, like, wanna lay next to mom and dad in their bed crying, it’s all there is and you know that even if you don’t think about it tomorrow, it’s still gonna BE THERE…. even if you ignore it, it’s still THERE. The concept and the fear and the reality of its hopelessness will still be there, but… Oh well, the next day you don’t think about it, and you sort of feel fine again. The only thing that really helped, and OH, I thank you Paul, was. REALLY, Paul, you’ve helped me A LOT!!!! :
“I’m starting to come to my own conclusion that, there’s some things that are human brains aren’t supposed to comprehend, and can not. I believe infinity/eternity is one of them. Can you control the universe? No, but can you choose to not dwell on something incomprehensible and just relax? Yes. It’s gotten to the part where i think it’s just ridiculous to sit around obsessing about it, little me in the vastness of this huge universe is not going to stop anything.If this Universe was truly made by God (as i believe it was)I sure don’t think he would have intended for us to all be anxious obsessing over infinity, as he knew this would have come to pass.Life is meant to be enjoyed
God you are terrifying and a billion trillion infinite times more powerful than me. For me it feels like relief. It is relief to know that God is infinite, (like time is infinite) and yet, I can talk to him. So for me it helps me to know that I need him. to give me peace. Jesus said: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, let not your hearts be troubled nor let them be afraid. Remember the two year old when he goes down for his nap. He cries and doesn’t want to sleep. But when he wakes up, it is all better. I have the attacks very infrequently now. But when they come, I don’t kid myself. I’m human. I don’t understand. But somehow God does. And his greatness is my peace.”
Sorry for repeating so, but it was VERY important to me, and I wanted to stress it. Somehow copying it will make it imprint more clearly in my heart. Thank you all. I hope this fear will never cripple me down to the sad creature tormented by anxiety that Apeirophobia sometimes makes me become.
I wish I was better with words.
I wish what I wrote expressed truly all that I feel.
I DO wish we had a poetic apeirophobic.
Thank you, and remember, somethings are greater than us.
by: My name is Michael
I have had this fear my whole life, I’ve done the jumping out of bed, I’ve done the screaming and punching and banging my head against the wall because once u reach that breach from rationality it is literal hell. I believe also that we are ones who can actually start to understand eternity and that others have this blessed vale over their eyes that we sometimes don’t have. They have the opportunity to be ignorant of these thoughts that our minds can begin to comprehend. I promise you that anyone you talk to who doesn’t experience the absolute worst fear imaginable when they think of this truly doesn’t understand it at all even if they tell you they do. I believe whole heartedly that Jesus died for my sins and I will be in heaven when I die because I have accepted his forgiveness. But it is still very terrifying to think of an actual eternity. Some people talk about it and it just rolls if their tongues like they know what they are saying and I’m like “wait a minute, you have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT YOUR REALLY SAYING”! I too didn’t know anyone else had this and it is a very small comfort, at least to know i am not the only one. Anyways, I am now on 400mg of seroquel (an antipsychotic), 100mg of lamictal (a mood stabilizer), and Xanax. Sorry to say even with all that in my system it won’t fix it. It does help some but I still fear the fear of even thinking about eternity. I also resorted to burning myself with a red hot knife by pressing it against my arms and face. That doesn’t help either. I’m sorry to all and I hope when the ones of us who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior get to heaven that He will pull us aside and say something to fix us!
I’m not alone 🙂
It’s amazing to know I am not alone in this. I thought I was crazy. I am a 30 year old woman. I grew up in a Christian home, I have an amazing family. I have always been a shy, quiet person.
I had other fears and worries when I was young.. But the fear of eternity started when I was about 21 years old. I began to think about eternity and how life really never ended even after you died. I just kept thinking I was “stuck” and there was nothing I could do to escape. It’s a terrible frightening feeling. It caused me to think this life isn’t even real, that it is pointless. It seemed like such a small insignificant moment compared to eternity.
I would have panic attacks in the middle of the night. But I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I’d never had panic attacks before. My mind would begin to try to understand eternity and I would jump up and cover my face and have a terrible sickening feeling. The worst feeling you can feel. Every time I would feel myself sinking into it I would just think “oh no, oh no!!” cause I knew how terrible it is to feel.
I would try to explain it to my husband and friends but they’ve never really understood.
I haven’t had a panic attack in a couple of years because I’ve tried to just stop thinking about eternity. But it was caused me not to want children. I dont want to selfishly bring children into this world, into an eternity!!!!
I have come to the conclusion that I will never understand it. So that had helped. I love God and I pray for peace for my mind. I really believe He is the only one who helped me through it. No one else understood!
My Phobia’s Back.
I’m fifteen. I got so scared when I thought about forever, I’d cry and cry but I thought it was weird of me, so I never told anyone. I hadn’t had a “scare” like that in so long that I forgot about it until last night. The attacks always came at night when I was smaller, and it did yesterday too. You’re alone, it’s dark, and out of nowhere this thought wanders into your head. I try convincing myself it’s okay, because Heaven’s gonna’ be perfect, with the ones I love but it still scares me. I start crying unconsolably, get out of bed and freak out completely. It’s exhausting how terrified I get.
I’ve been Christian my whole life, and I love the thought of eternity, except when these attacks take over me. I lose control of myself. I have to admit it, it feels like a joke, & it’s embarrasing. “I’m scared of forever” Doesn’t that sound stupid? I wish it wasn’t so scary. My mom thinks I need to eat more fruit…I think I need therapy.
I can’t beleive this. Almost 10 years later and I’m finally finding the name for what I must have. This fear has consumed me alive for as long as I can remember. I clearly remember laying in bed at night, alone in the dark, and my thoughts would become the better of me. I had learned in church that we would all live forever in heaven. Forever….god the thought started to scare me. I would think about it then quickly jump out of bed and hit myself in the face and run into my parents room screaming and crying. I’d try to tell them what scared me. “forever” I’d say. “I thought about forever”. Through the years I try to not think about it. But every once and a while as I lay alone at night the thought will creep up, and just like my child self I will leap out of bed and hit myself in the face to stop the thoughts abruptly. Then maybe cry a little or attempt to focus on something else. I’ve had many a panic attack over this. I just….I never knew this was a real thing or that anyone else has it! I’m amazed…just truly amazed. Now I know there are people out there who know how I feel! I truly beleive this is the worst phobia to have. It consumes the soul and hurts. It scares me more than anything in the world. I too wish I could overcome this…but I just can’t. No matter what. It will consume me till the day I die. I hate this. So very much. But at least I know what to call this thing. Apeirophobia
|Hope This Puts You At Peace|
I’ve been having a lot of anxiety for quite some time now, and the latest thing it has ‘latched’ itself onto is that I will suffer as I do now but eternally. Hence my fear of eternity. There are two things that bring me peace:
1) We don’t remember anything prior to this life so why should we remember anything after it.
2) Fear is based in thoughts and thoughts are created by the brain, in death the brain will die, break down and go back to the earth like everything else, no more thoughts, no more fear.
My partner uses the statement ‘We will be recycled’. I think it’s better to assume that we are a part of one life, but not all of it. As the cells in our bodies live and die the structure those cells make up (us) does not. (Until later) I think the same applies for us and the Source, we are a small part of a much larger thing, but we will live and die just like the cells. What would be the point of reproduction otherwise.
|It’s a terrible feeling.|
by: C. Rich
This has been a problem for me for a while now. One night,years ago, me and my brother were discussing things, the universe, time, etc, and it suddenly hit me: time doesn’t stop, and the never-ending is real. Later that day, while dwelling on it for hours, I had a full blown panic attack. I crumpled in the kitchen floor, rocked back and forth like a mental patient. My mother had to come home from work to console me. I was screaming and in tears. Months after that I felt a strange disconnect and horrible fear. Absolutely horrible. I never wanted to die before, never felt fear like that. I actually contemplated suicide for an instant. The feeling was like a great blackness shaking me to the core. About a month later I was finally able to stuff the pain and fear down again. . . . I was 21 at the time.
Anyway, I’ve really been having trouble with it again lately. I dwell on it. Eternity seems inescapable, even if death is the end of me, it doesn’t seem so. When I think of being dead with no end that scares me the most. No end is unfathomable, terrifying. Crazy.
I guess some would say it’s actually the fear of death, and not the fear of eternity. I don’t know about that. I’d say it’s a mixture of both. I feel trapped, lost, and wondering. It is a perpetual fear I can’t control. The only things that help me is reading about science and philosophers. Einstein for instance had no fear of time. He knew it as a constant thing, an illusion, a “now.” So really, there is no beginning middle or end. That’s a good thought to me, because it makes me think that when I’m dead, it;s almost like I never existed, hence, I no longer feel trapped as much. Trapped is a good word to describe the feeling. Also, in eternity, with now boundaries, you can’t really gauge your life in days or months or years, so it’s kind of like you were never here.That helps sometimes too.
I do think there is a God, however, but don’t think he is a personal one. But again, what do I know.
Wow, Paul, thanks you so much. This helps me a lot. It is the perfect answer to this problem. I’ve been to a psychiatrist lately about this, along the lines of another post about Celexa. And I would agree it is an OCD symptom, and that trying to de-sensitize yourself by thinking about it all the time doesn’t work. God bless.
This is Paul the one who originally wrote that
post, I am utterly surprised to see how many comments that this post got! Thank you for your support and sharing your stories.
I’m starting to come to my own conclusion that, there’s some things that are human brains aren’t supposed to comprehend, and can not. I believe infinity/eternity is one of them.
what it comes down to is, you can choose to be happy, you can choose to live your life, you need to learn how to block those thoughts out. There are some anxieties that we can look back and laugh on, but i believe some anxieties need just to not be thought about period. think about it, is it worth living, to just be anxious all the time? Stop feeling like you need to control it, let it be.
Now when i get this anxiety, i have to tell myself, Paul, what are you doing? What good are you doing to yourself making yourself anxious?
Can you control the universe? No, but can you choose to not dwell on something incomprehensible and just relax? Yes. It’s gotten to the part where i think it’s just ridiculous to sit around obsessing about it, little me in the vastness of this huge universe is not going to stop anything.
Really i think a major factor behind all of the
anxiety is OCD, you feel as though you have to control the fear by repeating it over and over to again, almost to make yourself immune to it, but it doesn’t work. Stop hurting yourself, that’s the only thing it will do, stop feeling like you need to control it.
I’m not saying i’m completely free of the Anxiety
now, but i’m learning for once how to cope with it and am getting a more control over my life. Try to detach yourself from the anxiety， think of it as mearly a chemical process that happens in the brain and you can make it temporary not all the time.
I think the mistake i made before was, forcing myself to think about it in hopes of trying to desensitize myself from it, but it didn’t work, and i don’t think it will.
If this Universe was truly made by God (as i believe it was)I sure don’t think he would have intended for us to all be anxious obsessing over infinity, as he knew this would have come to pass.
Stop worrying about what’s in the future, and live in what we have now, for the future won’t exist until it’s present, therefor the only things that exists is what’s going on now presently.
Life is meant to be enjoyed, some of us with anxiety have perfectly fine lives, with loving families, but anxiety can steal all that enjoy away just in a heart beat, but don’t let it do that.
Wishing you all the best of luck,
I started experiencing a fear of infinity as a child. Panic attacks have always occured during my sleep. Apeirophobia filters into my dreams and thoughts. I wake up short of breath and terrified. Contemplating something that’s endless seems impossible.
At 50 years old this is the first time i’ve discovered that others suffer from it. Hopefully we can all improve our understanding together.
|Thank You All|
Like many of you, I have had this fear since I was old enough to comprehend abstract concepts like infinity, maybe five years old. I remember sitting around the dinner table with my dad and brother. My dad posed the question, where does the universe end? I would answer with one thing or the other, e.g. “the solar system”, or “the galaxy”, etc. With each of my answers, my dad would ask the question, but what about after THAT? It was a harmless enough conversation but I remember it to this day, the anecdote characterizes my fear perfectly.
I try to remind myself to enjoy the moment. To appreciate what I have. To love other and have empathy. I can name several reasons why at this particular point in my life the fear seems to have come back particularly strong. I think I and others on this page have OCD tendencies, a need to be in control, to have an explanation for everything. Another thing my dad likes to say, a mantra if you will, is “it is what is is”. That is the ultimate truth. There’s nothing we can do about it but accept.There have been periods in my life where the apeirophobia did not rear its ugly head for some time. Now for some reason it is particularly acute.
I also was not raised with an especially religious background, though I grew up in the bible belt. I had been thinking that maybe turning to religion would help me. I know that scientific thinking has not. Because science can explain physics, but not necessarily metaphysics.
I knew that other must have this fear, but I am glad to have found this page where it is so well articulated. I thought it would provoke an anxiety attack for me to read others describing the same fear, but actually it has helped. The best suggestion I can offer others is that we only feel this phobia at certain times, especially when you’re lying in bed, alone maybe, and it is dark and quiet and no distractions. Your mind wanders… and it wanders to those eternal questions. Then it divides by zero. The mind’s calculator returns the final error –> anxiety. But other times I have been happy and without anxiety.
We are only human. That is a double-edged sword, because while we have faults, we have the ability to think about such things. My chihuahua is happy so long as he is fed and warm — he is an animal too, but unable to comprehend such unpleasant ideas. He is conscious, but only of immediate sensations and feelings, not useless anxieties.
The best thing I can say is this anxiety is a moment, a feeling, like other feelings. We are unable to ultimately comprehend time or eternity. We can choose whether to feel bad thoughts, or to feel only good thoughts. This may seem like distracting oneself from The Truth, but I would like to think that truth is happiness and feeling right with the world, rather than struggling futilely against the inevitable. May God bless us all and have mercy on each of us.
|Eternity=Opportunity for discovery|
Thinking about “forever” and consequently having to stop myself from going into a panic attack was something I thought I struggled with alone. Honestly at times it was debilitating and frightening. However, one day after talking with a friend about the dynamics of living (relationships, discovery in multiple respects) my fears subsided. I concluded that if we love all the wonderful experiences that life can offer, we surely will enjoy eternity if it is made in the image of life. It is impossible to meet every living human being ( a way we experience personal growth through exchange), and receive ALL that life can teach us and stimulate us with in a lifetime. That constant quest for growth and discovery through interaction with the world around us will hopefully be reason enough to find peace with the idea of eternity if it holds the same joy of living.
Thank you for writing this.. I feel like we’re the same person because I use to fear the world ending & stuff. But now I have anxiety whenever I’m stressed or worried, which is most of the time. It’s gotten worst and I use to feel like I was crazy but now I know I’m not alone and others suffer from it too. I wish it could just go away! I really don’t wanna seek help but It may be the only possibility because this anxiety is affecting my health :/
I’ve had this same fear for as long as I can remember. It’s not curable as far as I know, but for me it was treatable. If a phobia is particularly difficult to deal with during a time of transition then it may be anxiety disorder. In my case I have OCD-triggered anxiety disorder. I get a thought (fear of eternity) that I cannot let go of and keeps repeating in my mind and then I get a panic attack. I went on medication for a number of years, which I’m off of now, but I’ve heard that therapy can be helpful as well.
|So Glad I Found This!|
I am so glad that other people suffer with this! I thought I was totally alone and crazy, good to know I am not alone!
I cannot believe so many others suffer from this! It also surprises me that so many other Christians like myself suffer from this. This only started for me probably within the past year, off and on I would be laying in bed then begin to think about dying, then all of a sudden I would be gripped by this unexplainable, terrifying fear of living forever. So many persons take comfort in the thought of being forever in Heaven but it absolutely terrifies me and I try so hard not to think about it. I felt so strange and alone in this, even though others are suffering it’s still a relief to know I’m not the only one. The “attacks” had stopped for a while but I’ve had two in the past month and worry about them coming back since one occurred for the first time around people. We were just watching a movie when the actors began discussing death, i started to panic about living forever, it’s horrible because it feels like I need to find a solution at that instant for if I don’t i’ll be in a state of fear and panic forever and never regain control. (luckily that “attack” was short and noone noticed). I know the attack will end eventually but when it happens it feels like it never will. It actually causes me physical pain in my stomach not only when the “attacks” happen but I also get abdominal discomfort just thinking about the attack, like right now writing this. I don’t know if it will ever stop, i just try to avoid all thoughts of death and forever,which is especially difficult right before i got to sleep since i can’t always make sure i’m insanely tired so i fall asleep right away. how does anyone else cope with this?
As everyone has said I can’t believe that this has a name and others suffer from it. I was maybe 4 and my dad sat me and my brothers down and told us that the end of the world was coming and wanted us to prepare for it. My brothers were older and were able to brush it off. It was the Christian belief back in the day that the end of world would come with russians jumping out of airplanes, so many that the sky would become dark, they would burn all bibles, and hold a gun to each family members head and ask if they belived in Jesus. If they denounced the name of Christ they would have a barcode type deal tatooed on their head and would be sent to hell for enternity to suffer. If they believed in Christ they would be shot in the head. My dad told us that we needed to be prepared to watch
our dad, mom, and siblings be shot. That is where it started. My mom used to take my dad to work in the mornings and leave me and my brothers there to sleep. I woke up and could not find my brothers, I thought the end of the world had come and I was left. There are so many things that come with this fear. I too grown up in a very strict Christian family and was taught about eternity. Eveyone else in church seemed to be so excited about this, I was terrified. As someone posted before they were not happy to see that other people suffer from this. I never thought in my wildess dreams that there was a name for this. I always seen myself as a super human type that thought so deep into things, that others could not, but couldn’t do anything with these so called powers because of extreme anxiety. I am an addict as a consequence of this. I have not told anyone close to me why I have extreme panic attacks. I feel like I’m not real, that nothing is real. I don’t want to share this fear with them because I don’t want them to freak out, this would only solidify my fear. I have to have someone stable. I am a 30 year old female with 4 kids and otherwise great life. My husband does not know or understand, he will tell that I have nothing to be afraid of our life is great. I know that but its not expainable to someone who has not expirienced what we do. (I apologize for things that are misspelled or don’t make sense, I am currently drunk) I self medicate. I recently started doing cocaine to avoid the feeling of feeling tired and going to bed. We all know that is when it strikes. To go to sleep I have just pass out, otherwise I wake up to or can’t sleep because I jump up and freak out. Im afraid of a circle, because there is no begining and no end, and the symbol on the new testiment bible. I am so scared that I will induce a panic attack on someone else because of what I wrote.
I was like this when I was young before my teens and my solution was getting away from religion, since I was very religios, never had problems until recently. I studied my sciences and started to see the theories made much sense. Science is able to explaine everything, even tunnel vision during death (lack of oxygen for a while). Science makes sense and it took me out of religion and stoped believing in life after death. But recently I just imagined many universes, since I believe our universe has an ending where the las galaxy is, and it kinda came back hahaha. but since its not a theory yet I guess I do not seem to believe in it. So my suggestion is to move from religion and head to science. It is what helped me. Our universe is not infinite.
I have not had this fear from my earliest memories, but rather within the past 2 years, although I do remember feeling terrified of eternity once many years ago. As a Christian, I always believed that I would have eternal life, but one night 2 years ago, the actual thought of never ending life terrorized me!!! It seemed that I was in a time suspension as I thought of it and that reality was not the actual real experience, just the terror I was feeling. I was able to push the thoughts back at times, but no one I tried talking to understood me. It seems to happen more during the Fall season?!?! This site was so reassuring! I never knew other people felt this way. I do believe that God will control it and that we can not even begin to understand what comes next…but I want to not feel terrified! It is like we have no control, once conception occurs, you are locked in for good or bad. All humanity is in the same boat, so surely there will be a good outcome. I need to not consider it, pray, and trust.
Thanks for sharing!!! Just reading your comments has made me feel so much better!
Where do I even start? First off Its an amazing feeling when you know there are others who feel exactly the same way you do. I’m a 21 year old male, I’m a college student, physically fit, have big goals, and have everything to be happy for. This fear has followed me to as back as I can remember. The fear of eternity would not only manifest itself for me through thinking about life after death but with anything and everything that is infinite! When I was 10 years old I would literally have panic attacks thinking about things that spin forever, example: Electrons in atoms, Black holes, even ceiling fans would bother me! As I got older it would just get worse and worse, things like the number pie, the infinite amount of galaxies that exist, and even thinking that every second of life is just another sliver in eternity. It’s gotten in the way of me enjoying my life so much, and I feel like it’s just the hardest fear itself exists in every moment of time in our lives. If there’s anything that helps me suppress this fear it’s thinking that in this life we experience linear movement, and that after death time won’t exist so we won’t be able to notice it. Much love to you guys!
Fellow Apeirophobic here. a few years ago I actually googled this phobia in hopes of finding a solution, a way out of these “irrational” fears. Needless to say, I found decent insight but never quite found a remedy. Since I was a child, probably no older than 5, I remember laying in bed and asking my brother about what happens after death, who created god, who created that new creator, etc, which led to more dumb questions that I just could not get over, all fueled with the anxiety of not knowing.
The fear came back every so often in my life, up until about four years ago, during my freshman year in college. I had maybe half hour before class started and I remember just running around the house, freaking out about my old phobia for the first time in a few years. I even freaked out in classes; instances in math, when the teacher would use infinity in the equations, or in music lit class, when we’d discuss composers and my mind would wander away about the concept of time.
I recently got rid of the phobia, but that may probably be because I got rid of everything else in my life practically that my fear now is being productive in anything in life.
Thank you all
So scared to be alone
to be insane
even though that’s not reasonable
I’m just a scared 16-year old girl trying to process something. Sometimes I break down crying, in public places. I did, during my summer job, I had to go run to the bathroom. Sometimes it’s better. Sometimes I find peace. I pray. And it will be better. It’s just I’ve never had a real phobia before. Sometimes it drains my quality of life. I think a lot of people— don’t they think of these things? Please know I support you
|A Less Serious Case|
I also have this fear as one of my earliest memories. I am fortunate in that never came to dominate my life as it did with some of you – it would haunt me for a brief period of time and then I would be able to put it out of my mind. Nowadays I am usually able to trust in God that somehow eternal life will be bearable, but it still frightens me sometimes. Although I do not wish the fear on anyone else, it does give me some comfort to know I am not alone.
|Time is also an entity like us|
Moreoever when we rise higher in intellect plane we’ll realize time is created by higher evolved beings. These evolved beings are like us, only more evolved in intelligence. If they can create such an illusion, why cant we get rid of fear of this illusion.
|my experience with this|
Hey guys, im 17, and I’ve suffered from this phobia since elementary school, and only have panic attacks every couple of months and only at night. However, I have trouble sleeping every night and make myself think of something else so i wont start freaking out. I honestly didn’t think anyone had felt the depth of pain that I had until i discovered this website. I’m a born again Christian and am absolutely in love with Jesus Christ, and I know He desires for me to be at peace with this, but it is incredibly hard. Whats helped me the most is realizing that God is outside of space and time; and how lame would it be if we could understand the depth of who He is and what is to come for us. Also, please know that God loves you sooooo much, and His love is more powerful than any feeling,and that Heaven will be amazing because we will be with God.There is no fear in Heaven because fear is a lie. Also,this fear is irrational, and everything your thinking is coming from a connection within YOUR MIND! and as these connections become more frequent, and common, we find ourselves believing them without question. Remember fear is not from God, but the enemy.Draw near to God, trust in Him, for He is faithful
-I will be praying for all of you 🙂
|im not the only one|
Im polish, so my english wont be so fluent, so i have to appologise for this fact,
I suffer the same apeirophopia, today was the first time when I decited to look for some information in internet. Since ever I thought that I was the only one who suffer this feeling, but obviously I am not. Since I remember, when I was maybe 4 or 5, I started to fell the fear, later maybe for few years I didnt have it, it came back about 8 years ago and it is still with me. It happens always in the evening or night. When it comes I just panic, I have to jump, scream, sing, I need someone’s company to avoid it. This is killing me. I used to go to many especialist, but none of them helped me. There is no pill nothing for cure this. Many times I just wanted to kill myself just to not feel this. When I was a child I was thinking that it will end when I will grow up, but it never end. I’ve got the same symptoms as you’vo got, and I know excacly what you feel, I descoverd today that there is plenty od people who have it, I I found aut that ”this” thing has a name. Thank you for you posts, I hope will help me !! I would like to keep in touch with you if anyone is intrested in some talk about this, please text me on my e-mail eni.r at interia.pl, I will appreciate this !!!!!
Good luck !!!
I fear an eternity of nothingness, but I also fear never-ending existence. I think it’s the never-ending bit of either option which scares me – I don’t know why, but I now know I’m not alone.
|Solution to this problem|
I had several severe attacks of these thoughts. I felt like my rational mind finally led me to believe that eternity is real and it must exist and then comes the inescapable hell.
But THEN i thought…what has modern physics taught us about time? Time is flexible, time can slow down. As you approach the speed of light time slows. This concept is beyond my comprehension. How can time slow? What is time? I consider myself very intelligent but I don’t believe me or any human truly understands how time can change speed. So our fear of eternity is based on the idea that time trudges along constantly. Our peon brains are attempting to process a concept without all the facts.
No matter how smart you think you are, you cannot comprehend what is outside of this reality we know. It is beyond our mental capabilities and imagination. The thought of eternity is our brain attempting to solve the mystery of the afterlife but it is completely wrong. Take comfort in our incompetence as humans. Repeat to yourself and develop a deep understanding…we cannot comprehend what time is.
|How I get through|
This is the first time I have heard this fear having a name and it is comforting to know that you also have suffered the same conditions. One person said it would take a poet to describe how we feel and I agree. For me it starts very slowly, and I can tell the thought of eternity is creeping into my mind and I try to hold it off and then all of a sudden my brain starts dividing by zero and my brain calculator says “error” except I can’t shut it off.
Eternity goes on and on and on and on. The biggest issue I face is that I can’t understand the end of it. I’m okay with life starting, ironically, but it’s difficult for it to go on an on and on and on. Part of this, I think, is that everything in life has an ending. People die and leave this world. You go on a trip, it doesn’t last forever and you come back. You start you day at work and it ends. You go to school, and it ends. Eternity doesn’t end.
Only when you experience the terror of it for yourself can you really understand it. At times it is completely debilitating.
But here is what is helping me. First, there is nothing anyone can say or do to make any of us say “oh, okay, now I understand eternity, how silly of me, everything is fine now.” No, that will not happen. We will never find that answer down here. But for me, I come to God and tell him that I am scared of eternity. I’m terrified. Even though he told me to ‘fear not’, I still am. I can not understand eternity and my inability to understand it causes the fear. I can’t wrap my head around it leaves me worried. He also said do not worry.
Here is the strange paradox that has helped me and I pass it on to you for whatever it is worth.
Having Apeirophobia is actually a blessing. What? Yes. Because it forces me to drop down to my knees and say “God you are terrifying and a billion trillion infinite times more powerful than me.”
How does this help?
For me it feels like relief. It is relief to know that God is infinite, (like time is infinite) and yet, I can talk to him.
Remember when Job complained when he suffered so much? How did God answer? He did not tell him why he was suffering, he just showed Job his greatness.
So for me it helps me to know that I need him. to give me peace. Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, let not your hearts be troubled nor let them be afraid.”
Remember the two year old when he goes down for his nap. He cries and doesn’t want to sleep. But when he wakes up, it is all better.
That’s how it will be for me because of my faith in Christ. Truly, I actually need Him. He gets me through this.
I have the attacks very infrequently now. But when they come, I don’t kid myself. I’m human. I don’t understand. But somehow God does. And his greatness is my peace.
|Reply to Joesph Eternal|
Read about your experiences. And really recollect mine exactly the same way you have described.
But believe me God is out there. Believe me any anamolies you have would turn out to be GIFT for you when you realize the presence of GOD. Actually this disease is given to people who actually can handle concepts like Eternity. Otherwise it would have never been given to you at the first place.
And do believe me I had Exactly the same symptoms starting from age 6 and today I am 33 and have got myself cured of it with help of Friends and Family.
I’d advice you to stay away from Aloneness. That is what got us into this. And if we got us into it and donot not why it is such a trap that makes us feel so helpless, shouldn’t we look Up to Almighty (whether we believe in Him or not)?
Because In the end there comes a day for every Apeirophobic when he actually realizes why it is happening all that is happening.
Believe me Apeirophobics are the worst sufferers of the present time. And remember “We are given this disease because we are the Ones who can handle it. All that is missing is maybe a little trust which is due to the time that we born in”. Believe me there is nothing that “Never Ending”. And one of the ways to resolve it is by “trying to understand the logic behind all these things”.
God Bless All!!!
|I thought i was the only one, too|
Yeah, this is the worst phobia. It’s not something you can’t avoid. the fact that time moves endlessly isn’t something you can avoid like spiders or heights. I thought i was the only one, because in church they’d talk about how wonderful eternity in heaven will be. And i’d always think “wouldn’t that get boring?” it can’t understand how some people aren’t afraid of eternity. It makes me feel so much better that other people have this. It’s just so freaky, that we’re stuck here in eternity, whether we like it or not and there is NOTHING we can do. However far into eternity we get, there will still be eternity ahead of us. I freak out like crazy when it hits me. However, eternal blackness sounds worse. But if we dont exist after we die, at least we wont be scared of eternity. It comes and goes with me, i’ve had it for over 10 years, but there have been months or years i can think about eternity and it wont scare me then BOOM! it comes back. maybe when we die, we won’t be afraid of eternity. i hope so. the only thing that scares me more than being stuck in eternity is spending eternity being scared of eternity.
|How can we all stay in touch???|
by: Joseph the Eternal
I have posted before, and now would like to stay in contact with anyone that would like to get in touch.
I feel like I am the worst in the bunch. Like no one could possible feel as bad as I do. Like no one panics the way I do. It is not that I can’t relate to you, it is that this sickness kills me. I wish there was an easy way to escape this.
Somehow we can stay in touch. Since I know how this phobia eats you up inside, I wish I could be the one to help/heal everyone, but I can’t. Maybe we can just talk. hijodetodatu , at h o t m a i l
|Have I given UP ?|
by: Joseph the Eternal
I’ve had apeirophobia since I can remember. I remember having it at the age of 8 for sure. Not sure how it happened. I don’t remember what it was like the first time I thought about it. I do remember various times getting out of bed at night and just running or falling on the ground and crying. I would feel like my world was falling apart and somehow only I could feel this way. I’m not happy to know that others feel this way, because it is a living hell. I’m sorry for you, if you have apeirophobia. I’m sorry because I know how you feel, and I know how this can destroy you. It can make all happiness of the day worthless. It can overcome any success you can have, and literally break you at night. That is when I think about it most, at night. When I think too much. When I lay down, when I’m supposed to rest from the day, but instead I’m tortured by the thought of endlessness. Where will I be during this eternity. This never ending thought. It never ends, ever. I can’t take eternity. I don’t want to. I don’t know if I have given up. I am 32 years of age now. I have started using drugs again. When I use drugs I am able to forget those thought…for a few days even. I started using drugs when I was about 10yrs. Now I feel I take momentary comfort in them again. Maybe I gave up. I don’t know.
|Marisa- I know the feeling|
Jump out of bed and not knowing where you are going. That is exactly what I have done so many times.
|Mostly at night|
I agree with the people who say it happens mostly when they’re alone in bed. Thats when i usually think about it as well. It sucks so much.
|30+ yrs and counting…|
I’ve fought this phobia for 30+ years–since I was 4 years old or younger. The anxiety and fear is one of my earliest and strongest memories. Curiously, though I can not describe it with words the phenomenon is primarily visual, as if I mentally dive through universes in seconds.
For me, the anxiety attacks usually come at night, and have, in the past few years, driven me near to suicide. In those instances I’m sorry to say that the suicidal impulse has been automatic and nearly irresistible, as I separate from my rational mind. Thankfully these severe attacks are infrequent, and I have a spouse whom I rely on to bring me out of it.
I “gauge” my attacks on a scale of 1 – 10, where 1 is sensing the fear, but dodging an attack, 5 is running around the house out of control, banging my head against things, and 10 is, well, I’ll let you figure that out.
A few tools I’ve picked up over the years from therapists (who are, unfortunately, usually useless with this one; I mean, it’s easy to convince someone that a spider, or crowds, or flying won’t hurt them, but how do you convince someone that they don’t have to persist, and make that sound like a good thing?):
* Relaxation habits: don’t let stress be a regular part of your life, and use deep breathing and meditation daily
* Quick fixes: counter the symptoms of an anxiety attack through immediate deep breathing and mediation. Since it takes a while to get there, don’t be afraid to do 100 jumping jacks when the attack starts–this changes your breathing and blood flow, and puts the adrenaline to use.
* Re-direct thoughts: another avoidance tactic, but it works well for me. My spouse asks me about my day, asks me about tomorrow, asks me all sorts of very specific questions.
I’m not fooling myself; none of these resolve the issue. It helps to recognize that this is /probably/ something wrong in the brain (though as a previous poster said, how can any conscious being live with this dichotomy?), and that 99.9% of the rest of one’s time can be normal. I think it also helps to have some semi-satisfactory idea of what happens after death. I am not very religious, and indeed, what most would call a sceptic, but I choose to believe in God and the persistence of souls. I like to think that time is a mortal phenomenon, one that will not haunt me after a life lived well. If anyone can “solve” this problem, it would be a god.
This phobia is a OCD derivative. Medication is very effective for those phobias where one dwells/ruminates over something that which has it’s roots in reality but the extent of contemplation is excessive. I’m not a drug rep…..I take it and it works.
|Apeirophobia Panic Attack|
I always thought I was alone on this one but sometimes I will be lying in bed and the thought of infinity just pops into my head. Its like no matter what I do I can’t stop it. I feel so out of control and start to panic. Sometimes I even find myself jumping out of bed not even knowing where im going. I found that the worse time for me is late at night when im alone in bed.
I completely agree with you. Every rational creature should fear infinity. The simple fact that we were able to even begin to imagine a concept so terrible as infinity gives me the chills.
Before I became an atheist, I was a Christian, and the first time I was saved, I cried. Everyone one thought it was “the Holy Spirit,” but really it was the fact that I was being forced to choose between two Hells. Do people not understand what eternity means? There is nothing more self-destroying, more logic-annulling, more absolutely inescapable, meaningless, bottomless, and unceasingly terrifying as the realization that a concept such as infinity could even exist as an idea.
I really think we are the sane ones. It’s just that it’s a hard and terrible realization to come to.
Actually I had written something long back to try to describe this fear. I know exactly what that thought of eternal non existence feels. Unfortunately its so intense that words can only describe a finite part of it.
Here is it:
“When I was a child, never ending property of time came to my mind. Such a horrifying thought it was, and I was shy to ask anyone around. It made me sick. Will I never end? Does that mean I have to be here or somewhere forever? Philosophical learning and possibilities of heaven and enlightenment were not enough to console me. What after that? I would always fear. Will I never end? I wouldn?t believe those who said death would end you. I wasn?t proud of this fact; I was completely horrified with this thought. I could understand to some extent that my body would be buried so that would end it, but not end it all. The way I feel, my consciousness, has not much to do with my body, if body is killed what would happen to me? Will I feel helpless all the time waiting for it to be over and just watch the eternal sequence of events without being able to do anything (only thing one could want is to get out of it) as they go forward in never ending time? Will I never end?”
And some time back I tried to describe it again:
“Now when I am grown up, I have read many philosophies; I have mastered the language (except the grammar and vocabulary of it). I participate in ?n? level deep debates on subtle issues of life (with myself). I have almost understood the subtleties of space-time and the different philosophies around it and even kind of realized that all school of thoughts lead to more or less the same conclusion and am almost fully convinced with reasons and logic that never ending time couldn?t possibly dominate the supreme consciousness. But when I look back (look forward) I kind of recall that sick feeling that would scare me beyond death and eternity. How different is it from life (or rather eternal) imprisonment? Will I never end?”
|I’m exactly the same.|
I’ve had Apeirophobia since I was very young, around 7 or 8, I just thought about it one day and I could never get it out of my head and I would cry myself to sleep at nights I thought about it. I still occasionally think about it (I’m now 17, a senior in high school.) I actually didn’t know the term until tonight when I was looking at www.phobialist.com and saw it. I too over analyze everything and deeply think on things which stops me from doing a lot of things in my life. I am Christian so I believe in an after life and I think about how I will eventually become bored with eternity and can’t stand the thought of it. It freaks the hell out of me. Apeirophobia is my worst phobia of all of my phobias. The only way I can stop thinking about this is when I keep myself busy, am excited about something, or have something else on my mind at nights. I watch movies at night every single night while falling asleep because I fear if I let the silence creep onto me I will start thinking about it and I just can’t take it, I’m starting to tear up just thinking about it so I think I should go. Time to watch another movie.
|I know exactly how you feel|
I have the same exact problem, I just had a panic attack, I don’t know how to deal with this fear, I’ve never known what it was called, why it happens or how to fix it or that anyone else had it, please email me sweetpicklesproductions at yahoo.com
I’m 16 now. I too have loved to give deep thought of many things, and all things. But, the idea of infinity is killing me as well. That at one point, everything capable to be experienced, and I would become used to everything. At one point I began to think about if there was more to God. Maybe a creator of God. But, there would also have to be a creator to the creator of God. And again, I go crazy with the thought that the long line of creators would end in infinity. I try not to think about it. But, what might help contain it is the though that you can’t get bored with things that simple. Even though time is a perception. You’ll end up thinking: “Hey, I haven’t done that in a while. I’ll have it.”. But, you might end up thinking that you’ll be saying that for infinity as well. But, to calm me down, I just think that we’ve been “programed” to think this, and that God has his way for us, a cure maybe? Even so, I think that reality the way we know it may be completely different in the after life. But even so, I calm myself further down as to think, we don’t really know. And to worry about it now is not really a smart idea, and that it is best to think about it before you die. Eventually, our death will come, and the truth will be given. But, until then, I just go along with it. When the time comes, I’ll deal with it.
|Follow up to my early post|
I noticed we all say it started when we were young. Think about this…. Does anyone else that suffers with apeirophobia believe or even feel that this …fear… existed within us perhaps before we were conscious enough have even experienced fear? Perhaps during infancy or maybe even while within the womb? Maybe even older than that? Think about this…
I feel that reason none of us can really explain in words the experiences we have is maybe because there is no words to explain it. Perhaps the fear is somehow metaphysical in origin and exist outside of human consciousness.
Or maybe some how on some level our sub-consciousness which is part of and exist within our bodies which is part of the earth that is part of the universe and always has been in one form or another is reacting because it senses the particles that make up our physical body’s connection to the infinite universe. And if our body’s particles such as carbon etc has existed for an eternity/infinity in some form or another along with the rest of the universe then who’s to say that some how human consciousness hasn’t existed on some metaphysical level right along with the rest of the universe in some form or another. Maybe just maybe we are more adept to sensing this infinite circle of existence the universe exist in. Or maybe I am just over thinking all of this and we just suffer from being held to much or to little as kids. Whos to say?
shawnzulma aat gmail.com
Yea, I know what you mean about describing the fear, it is nearly impossible! I spend all my time trying to avoid the thoughts and prevent myself going into panic mode! I think the worse thing is knowing we have NO control over life death or eternity. Just writing about it and I am starting to shake! There is no way out in my eyes we just have to accept and carry on! 🙁
|not all hope is lost|
i’ve had this phobia since i was a kid.
but i just read a comment on another website about this, and it has made me ‘overcome’ it. i dont know how long it’ll last though.
“I’m not really a Christian myself, but isn’t the idea that you’re happy in heaven? As in, existence there isn’t a burden but a continual blessing?”
im not religious at all, but this cheered me up somehow. can you imagine being happy 24/7? i know it may sound stupid and naive, but hey, you never know. i think the reason why we (me anyway, i dont know abt you) are so afraid of eternity is that we’ve been through so much hardships in life that it scares us to think that there will never be a way out. but what makes you think life after death (assuming there is one) will be just like life now, where we get bored so easily by routine?
the thing about humans is that we change constantly. there will never come a time when there is nothing else to change, so you can be sure that you will never come to a point when you’re permanently bored. you cant just predict the future like that.
just imagine that you are happy. imagine you just got an A+ on a test, imagine your dream boy/girlfriend just asked you out, imagine you just got a pay rise. imagine feeling this all the time. and if/when you get ‘bored’ of this feeling, just know that since change is the only constant, somehow, this feeling will twist into another greater kind of happiness, and tada! you’re no longer bored.
of course, this is a completely hypothetical situation. i dont really care if anyone claims that this is total rubbish, because no one can disprove it.
so what if theres a possibility that you’re going to be miserable throughout your existence (dead or alive) and there’s NO WAY OUT? there’s also a possibility that you’re going to be happy forever.
i dont know if this will work for all of you apeirophobia-victims out there, but it worked for me so i hope this helps for you.
I never really thought about it at first, but a few years ago i really did some deep analyzing about living forever, and i haven’t been able to get over my apeirophobia since.. i mean, it’s like, i can’t describe it with words, but have you ever just described something with pictures and colors? Like, whenever i think of living forever, i couldn’t describe it with words, the only way i can explain it is like this gray-ish whirlpool and it keeps sucking you back in, no matter how hard you try to live your life. And… it’s just this strange feeling… can anyone relate to these? (Apeirophobia and the fact that i can describe stuff, but there is no words to explain it, so it’s just like this mix of colors and emotion in my head….?..)
|As the 13th Century mystic Rumi said…|
“What strange beings we are, that sitting in Hell at the bottom of the dark, we are afraid of our own immortality!” Gialal al-Din Rumi ( 1207-1273)
Hi my name is im 23 and i suffer from Apeirophobia, i never knew it was that tho untill i read these post. I must admit knowing that other people feel the same way i do makes me feel a bit better, i couldnt ever explain what it was that made me this way till now. I also have the fear of infinite anything weather it be death or bliss. It freaks me out. My mother suffers from panic attacks and i was diagnosed also but i always noticed me and hers were not the same she had the feeling she couldnt breath or she was gunna die, mine was jus the feeling of being stuck wit having to deal wit infinite – ness no matter what happens. I have been hospitilized and put on adavan for my axiety, but it still doesnt change much. I wish there was some way i could curve these thoughts, they effect my sleep my school and my everyday life. I hate it.
I would like to talk to anyone who left comments on Apeirophobia. I’am 25 years old, and I have had this fear since I was 7! I thought I got rid of it, but it came back again after a close friend died in 2007. After that I started to go back to the same feelings I had when I was 7! I dont want to tell my whole story, but If anyone reads this and also has Apeirophobia, please please please get in touch with me on facebook or email me. If we get intouch on facebook, please keep this topic quiet and lets chat in private. Search me on facebook under Jan-Juan De Klerk. You can mail me on jjdk1985 at gmail.com I have always thought that I’m the only person thinking about this, but thank goodness I’m not crazy.
|I have the phobia but different…|
I have a Fear of Infinity too. Ever since I was young. In fact the fear seems older than my memories. It’s usually is worst when I awake just after falling asleep. I will wake up and actually fear the amount of space between me and any other object in the room and/or the house, planet..etc The idea of that races in my head and wont stop. I’m in the Army and one time that affected me in an army class out of the blue. I was taken to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack. It was my first full blown panic attack.
Every since then, I cant stand heights or the thought of having space under my feet. Like being in an airplane and knowing there is nothing under the bottom of the plane until the ground. Or in more extreme cases, I will freak out to think I am on a big floating ball (Earth) and there is nothing underneath it but forever. So my feet, then Earth then nothing. That is not a cool feeling. Also, I panic when things repeat. Either sound or images or events. My worst fear regarding this would be walking lets say through a door just to find myself back on the same side of the door that I started on and repeat the whole process of walking though it again and again and again and I am powerless to stop it. Thinking of the infinitely small or large can cripple me. Remember that seen at the end of Men In Black when it zooms out from the planet and keeping going? When I see that I think of the infinite vastness around us and my mental hell begins. I dont even try to think of these things. The feeling with the thought erupts out of nowhere then there I am , walking around the house trying to compensate for my racing mind and trying not to loose sanity. Sometimes video games like Command & Conquer will help. I am not even sure what my mind repeats over and over but it is horrific. Worst than any movie. I can’t imagine Hell being much worst. Thank god for Klonopin. Not an answer but at least your not alone. It really would take a poet to describe our symptoms.
|a personal answer|
The support that is shared on this site is truly amazing-you all need to be commended for having the courage to talk about this fear and the impact it has had on your lives. When I first experienced this fear, it quickly took over my life. I understand what you mean when you say that it is beyond terrifying, and it completely eviscerating. When I contemplated suicide, I had an experience that changed my life and caused me to really examine my conceptions of eternity and how I formed these thoughts of endlessness. In my experience, I realized that I had created these thoughts, based on what we as people with limited understanding know about time. I began to realize that eternity may not actually be endless time as I had thought. My experience taught me that perhaps eternity is the oneness of all things, in that all time-past, present, and future-are one moment. I read seemingly countless near death experiences, and I noticed a common theme in most of them-people described time as one moment, not an endless progression of time. When I think of durational eternity, or time going on forever, I still have had panic attacks. When I realize that eternity may something entirely different, especially thinking of all time as one moment, I am intrigued. I like to think that there is a gift of wisdom somewhere in these experiences- this was the answer that helped me-I hope you can also find an answer that helps you. Wow, I’ve never shared this with anyone other than my spouse, who has also had the same fear. Thank you for listening.
Hi there, I tried to find you on messenger, but no luck! Shame I would have liked to chat! I can so easily relate to what you are saying, I too start to panic badly when I think of exsisting for ever but also when I realise I will not! Most nights I have panic attacks and find it so difficult to shut my eyes and go to sleep! A lot of the time the thoughts just seem to be there and I am getting so tired. I cannot remember life without these thoughts. The only consolation I have found is knowing I am not alone, thank god for the internet!I know there is no solution to this painful phobia, I just wish I could cope better with it and be able to sleep at night!!
I have had this fear since I was 8. However only recently diagnosed myself as Apeirophobic. When I think about infinity too much, specifically Infinite death, whether that be infinite nothing or infinite afterlife I have a panic attacks so after the years of being told by counsellors and what not that I have panic attacks (Its every hard to explain this fear to people that don’t have it)I realise now that I have Apeirophobia and I don’t believe the sensation and fear that ovelwhelms me to be a “oanic attack”. its more and overwhelming unimaginable fear that is more powerful and terrifying than anything else ever could be. It is so terrifying that during the few seconds they last all I want to do is kill myself to get away because I know that even when I’m not having a “panic attack” I’m still going to be in existence for eternity. I hope this makes sense. I always had trouble explaining this before in therapy. Recently I realised that even though in finity is ahead of us it is also behind us. Before we where born there was an infinite amount of time. Even before the universe was there. The blackness was so if its already happened it couldn’t be that bad. That eases the fear a little bit.
Hello, I have read all of your comments and my prayers go out to you all. First off, i would just like to say that I am a christian woman. Now it’s alright if some of you don’t agree with my faith but just know that God believes in you and loves you and maybe you would be open enough to try to ponder on the things im about to write. In the Bible it says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind!” 2 Timothy 1:7 Thank you God! Fear is a snare. A trap. It can paralyze and discourage us, intimidating us into feeling inferior. Fear operates like a magnifying glass, making small objects and circumstances seem giant. The next time you feel afraid, consider it God’s warning light to respond with faith. Fear and faith cannot exist simultaneously. Too many people suffer from the “what if..” syndrome. They struggle to make decisions because of the constant worry “what if” This is exactly how the devil wants you to think. You see, if Satan can line the interior of your soul with fear, it becomes an impenetrable coating that rips your focus off God or even blame, hate and/or reject God. The devil’s ultimate goal is to destroy God’s creation and children, us. God does not want you to live in fear. There are a lot of things that we cannot comprehend, eternity is indeed one of them. But that’s ok to not completely understand or grasp. We were not meant to. Faith in Jesus christ and the promises of His word will cause fear to flee. Instead of feeling terrorized, paralized, and hyponotized by your fears, faith galvanizes our character with courage. Why not commit one or more of the following verses to memory. In Psalms 34:4 it says, ” I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” Psalms 56:3 “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You”
Yeah i too fall victim of Apeirophobia I am 14 and remember my first grade, we were watching The magic school bus and freaked out and called home to be picked up, but no one ever understood what i would explain to them and my parents believed that I was doing this for attention, which made things worse. From about 9-12 i hadn’t had my “attacks” and i was perfectly fine, but again lately I’ve been having them, and never told anybody, until a few weeks ago i balled my eyes out and showed my mom a web site and just said you never believed me, and she felt bad for me. Lately I havent been going to church much because of a house renovation, and lack of church made me feel like ” what if there is no god or heaven? what if i will forever and always have this fear? whay if nothing happens when we die and were just trapped? but recently ive been reading these articles and its comforting to read the comments and know im not the only one, and reading bible verses about heaven and eternity makes me feel better, and i agree human contact is a good way to escape, also is loud music, and turning on the tv to watch something funny, because its nice to have a good laugh. It feels good to get this out because ive never really been able to get this out before like this!!!
Well I look at what god said in the bible and he says that we will be happy and will be serving him. A great episode of the twilight zone from the 60’s has to do with this. A mafioso goes to “heaven”. He gets everything he wants then he gets bored. Talks to this dude that has been hanging with him who he thought was Jesus. He said I want to go to hell, anything is better than heaven. The guy he is talking to then says what made you think you were in heaven? Then he gives out an evil laugh. Basically I think God will make us happy. He created everything including himself. I’m sure he will be able to have your spirit happy. Another thing to remember as I do whenever I get stuck in the “infinity trance” as I like to call it, which is not very often anymore but happened a lot between fourth and sixth grade. We have limited intelligence. We maybe the most intelligent life form we know of, but we have our limitations infinity is one of them. Don’t fear it just know that God has taken care of it and that no matter what you will be happy. God bless you! 😀
|Reply to same here!|
It really is incredible, you have so many thoughts like myself! I too started thinking about infinity at a very young age, even had a breakdown at the age of 13 due to not sleeping!(Nights have always been the worse for me). I so agree with you, why doesn’t everyone have these thoughts? My husband tells me it is because not everyone thinks the same and he would prefer to focus his energy on the here and now and not worry about something he has no power over! I have also had recent thoughts about the sun dying out and the nothingness that will be left, I get a lot of feelings of unreality too. All this I manage to control more or less during the day and get on with my life as normal; it is easy during the day to think of other things and occupy yourself. It is usually at night when I get my panics, and quite often when I am just drifting off to sleep. They will come from nowhere. I have got used to them over the years but it still doesnt make the thoughts any easier. I have been told by proffesionals that the only way to stop the panic is to learn more about the thing that scares me so badly! I cannot do this, it even scares me to think about reading or watching tv about the world, space and its creation or end! So what is the answer? I really do not think there is one. We think this way because we do, but it certainly helps to know I am not alone!
I don’t know if I am suffering from the same phobia, but reading your post was the closest thing I could find to what I am suffering from.I have a severe fear of LIFE. waking up, having to work and earn money. people, maintaining anhything, from a vehicle, to keeping the fridge stocked, my appearance, keeping up with relationships. i am about to give up on it all because i have this obsession that once something is done, it should stay that way. isnt that crazy?i am deteriorating, and extremely isolated. i dont live in reality anymore, i dont understand what people are talking about, or why they talk, or why they feel. I have not had a real feeling in a long time. I am hopeless and hate myself and see that the only way out of this is death. I am trapped in my head and its a nightmare. I have a 3 year old and feel extreme pressure to provide a good healthy life but my fear is taking over so i rely on family to raise my 3 year old. i want out
|Reply on apeirophobia|
Wow, so it took suicidal thoughts to recover from these terrible thoughts! Have the attacks of panic completely gone? Quite amazing if so, I have suffered like you, from a very young age and would love to know your secret on ridding oneself from such terror!
I’ve had this exact same phobia for 20 years. I remember very vividly the first time the panic struck me. I was around 8 years old. I was watching TV with my two sisters when I started to contemplate the advent of God: who created God? who created the person who created God? who created THAT person? ad infinitum. I panicked and asked my sisters to pray with me so God would comfort me.
Back then I also used to panic about the idea of an infinite universe. I used to wake my older sister at night because human company always seemed to help me push the thoughts out of my mind. At the same time I used to be afraid of telling other people my fears because I’d think ‘What if they’ve never thought about it before?’ What if I introduce the thoughts into their minds and they start suffering just like me?!’
That was decades ago, and now the only thought that still makes me panic is the idea of existing forever. It usually hits me at night as I lie in bed. The thought will creep into my consciousness, and I’ll try pushing it away. But sometimes the thought catches me off guard, like when I’m asleep and I wake up suddenly and for no apparent reason. This is when I go into panic mode. I’ll start muttering and chanting to myself; I’ll pace my apartment, turn on the TV, and sometimes I’ll wake my husband – anything to fill my mind with something else. I’ve found that human interaction helps.
What I fear is the inescapability of eternity. Words fail me here because it’s hard to explain and I’m afraid to think too hard on it because it’s so scary. Sometimes I’m comforted by the belief that I can choose to cease to exist whenever I want. Others take comfort in the thought of living forever; I take comfort in the idea that I won’t have to.
I’m amazed that more people don’t suffer from this fear. I shudder to think that we few who DO experience apeirophobia suffer because we see deeper into eternity than others. Rather, I hope it?s simply that we each possess an unlucky combination of mental habits that, added up, don?t sit well with the notion of eternity/infinity.
Regardless, it?s certainly nice to know I?m not the only one. As I said, human company helps.
|A personal answer|
I don’t know how long it has been since you posted this, but it’s both refreshing and ironic to hear that you are not alone. I too have suffered from apierophobia-but I don’t any longer. It started when I was roughly 6 years old. I lay in bed thinking of endlessness when panic seized me. It did not leave me for many years. The story is similar to the others that I heard-racing thoughts, thoughts of endlessness, panic, and having no joy in life because of this fear. It took over my life, and I decided to commit suicide. I considered it my only hope to escape this fear. As I planned and contemplated ending my life, I had what many would consider a moment of clarity-I consider it a profound religious experience. I am hesitant about describing the event that happened in my life in detail due to still being very hesitant about the reaction of others, but I want to share this with you. In my experience, it was revealed to me that these thoughts-fear of endlessness and eternity-are created by us within ourselves. I realized that it was me creating these thoughts and images based on a very limited understanding of things. Now I tend to believe in something entirely different regarding eternity, which does not involve endlessness. It has been a very hard road full of self-doubt, but now my life is so much happier. I truly hope the same for you.
I’m also glad to find that I’m not the only one. It seems like there is nothing that can be felt other than paralyzing fear in the consideration of eternity, even if imagined as heavenly bliss. I agree strongly with the previous post which stated that the way to overcome this is to curb your desire to know and be at peace with the question
Have you sought a professional about your phobias? Honestly, you sound more schizophranic then anything else.
I hope you get the help you need. Good luc
|I have this phobia|
Man is not posible live whit this phobia…. X_X
It not have solution…. (?)
please add me to msn…
j a m e s _ a t @ h o t . . .
Hi there, I just read your piece and was astounded that you are so like me! I have had a fear of eternity etc for over 30 years. There are times, like right now, when I cant sleep because of the panic attacks I have worrying about life, the universe etc, anything can trigger it off. This time was because my son came home from school and said his science teacher had told him that one day the sun will be no more and the universe will exsist no longer, I am even having difficulties writing this I am so anxious! I do not see an answer to this kind of phobia, I guess we just have to live with it but it is so frightening though I guess I am slightly reassured to know I am not alone in my worries.
|Same here, sadly.|
I thought I was the only one with this problem. Everything about how you described eternity is exactly how I feel about the subject…
Sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever be cured of this. I think about it constantly, it’s really fuck things up for me. Nothing is fun anymore.
This all happened because of a stupid book I picked up at the Library.
Yeah, I have the same thing happen to me. Sometimes for a few weeks at a time, sometimes for months. Noting else to complain about in life, but this sometimes covers up all happiness and experience. The problem is just having to learn to let go of the need to know and just be OK with the question. That simple act is what helps keep us close to God. You’ll be OK.
I never knew there was a word for this. My earliest memory is lying in bed thinking about infinity. I was five or six. I had just been taught in church that after I die I’ll live forever in heaven. Forever, and ever, and ever…. It was the most horrible thing my young mind had ever attempted to comprehend. It made me tremble, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, like a broken record – no end. I remember jumping out of my bunkbed and going into my parent’s bedroom in the middle of the night, crying. I woke up my dad and told him I couldn’t stop thinking about eternal life. He tried to comfort me and told me to go back to bed, stare at the ceiling, and think about God, and God would send me peaceful thoughts. I’m 34 now, and I still shudder when I think about infinity, but I’ve conditioned myself to avoid the thought most of the time. It’s probably one of the obstacles preventing me from being able to develop any faith in God or religion or any spirituality – that and my deep cynicism. I appreciate what you wrote, you sound like a good dude.
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