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fear of eternity
I am not sure where this idea came from, and why it consumes me so much and others fail to obsess over it like I do but I am terrified of eternity after death.  I am not afraid of dying, but of eternity afterwards.  Do we remain aware of things?  This notion, even the idea of being in a happy place like heaven forever, terrifies me.  Anything, no matter how good, that continues without end, is my worst fear, and thinking about it literally forms knots in my stomach and intense fear.  I know that the answer to this can not be proven, and most would find relief in the idea of eternity, but it is my worst fear.  Does anyone else share this fear?  What can I do?  
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The best way to cope with this is by placing friends or loved ones  with you in your vision of endlessness/idea of eternity. It is through experiencing this with other humans that makes this bearable.

Because I am a Christian my vision of eternity is not acceptable because of the splendors of Heaven that I expect; because I too see any place as terrifying if Ill be there eternally. What makes eternity not only bearable but now my greatest longing is that Jesus will be there. I know that can sound weird but Jesus is the only one who has ever showed true love and truly showed what humans were made to be like and the faith that I will be enduring eternity with Him is what truly brings me joy.

Never ending, eternal, infinite,
my greatest fears I will admit.
Being with yourself unchanged,
this can bring everyone pain.
But Christ, yes , He is Creator,
everlasting loving sustainer.
The day now is coming soon
where He shall make something new.
No pleasure at all can comfort infinity
Anything becomes torture when described never ending!
With Jesus alone do my fears run and hide
for He is the way, the Truth, The Life.
In Christ alone do I find peace.
His friendship alone satisfies eternity.






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I could have typed the exact thing you posted about 2 years ago. I found my permanent solution but it is literally the only one and it not only removed my fear but transformed it into my greatest joy. C.S. Lewis wrote a book where he explained that when you hunger for something, when you truly long and are starved for something you can have faith that what it is you have an appetite for must exist.
You my friend, have a real appetite to the question of eternity. I too have this appetite. I know your agnostic and probably don't take the bible very seriously but this verse changed my life.Its written in
Ecclesiastes which is a book that is a man without God's perspective on life. He comes to the conclusion that without God life is meaningless and it seems as though you agree with that as well. That with no Designer we therefore have no design and therefore have no purpose. Anyways this verse from that book opened me up to Jesus

:Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

You see man, We are finite beings with the concept of eternity in our hearts! No wonder people are losing there minds. The only thing that can suffice this is a relationship with the Designer. The only way to become related to the Creator is through Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ is God as a man, the image of God, The Son of God He can die in our place. Because His inheritance is the Kingdom of Heaven He can bestow it upon us if He dies. Well He did die and He never once strayed away from righteousness which made His death sinless and because He was crucified on behalf of a Jewish High Priest and Roman  Pontius Pilate His death was officially a sacrifice and a death penalty. He knew this would happen and in fact this was His reason for living a life here on Earth, that we might be saved . Because He was resurrected and still lives He also is in on the inheritance meaning that we not only get to go to heaven on behalf of His great act of Love, we get to spend eternity with Him. The only thing that satisfies my fear of eternity is spending it with the most loving yet powerful being in existence. He loves you man and He died for your sins and He set eternity in your heart that you would come running for a solution which is Him.  I know this is can seem crazy but what is crazy is to ignore it. My greatest hope is that you would call upon Jesus as your savior and see what the bible has to say about Him. I promise you that no other thing will give you peace brother. Jesus is the way The Life and The Truth and if you will call upon Him he will open your eyes, forgive you of any thought you have ever thought or any deed you have ever done because He bore your judgment at the cross and he did it because He loves with a love no one has yet to comprehend...

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Wow. I stumbled upon this in the midst of a panic attack that is keeping me awake tonight. I am very reassured by the fact I am not alone, so I am grateful for this. I have many of the same phobia characteristics others have described, I'm 23 now and have been dealing with this roughly 13 years. I am a Christian, and believe in a beautiful perfect Heaven, but that still doesn't stop fear from clouding my vision. I suppose beyond the basic what-if-I-get-bored scenario, and the trying to wrap my mind around the concept of infinity, the thing I most fear is lack of seasons. Having recently become a mom I'm starting to appreciate a new season in my life, and the fact that as humans we constantly change and adapt. I guess it just terrifies me to think that heaven is a place where 'nothing' happens- we have no trials to overcome, that our heavenly beings are already perfect and unadaptable. That maybe we will sit around and talk about life on Earth forever and hear one another's stories- interesting of course, but what to do once the last story is told? Well, all I can do is actively remind myself of Gods goodness and love. That we will worship Him forever because he is worthy of it. That maybe seasons will exist in Heaven, even if they are different from ours. And all I can do right now is live my life fully.
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I've experienced this fear too - especially as a young boy. I have learned to cope with it, but have never solved it. I strongly suspect though, that the issue has to do with measurement of time and duration as a concept. Our minds measure - that's the way we have learned to negotiate our relationship to everything. But in between (or rather among and of)  our floating thoughts, thoughts that only understand measurement, is our Witness - and the Witness merely is.

In order to measure time, we have to divide our experience into two parts - the one experiencing and the one measuring that experience. In that divided state, we feel this intense fear of endless time ie time stretching out along a ruler. But in a unified state - like a cat hunting - we are undivided, not measuring and therefore truly "Timeless."

I believe, though I don't know, that what we experience after death has nothing to do with time, transcends time altogether, and therefore has nothing to do with eternity, which is endless time. The fear we are feeling now is something only the living are concerned with - because Time is an issue for those with flesh, not for those who have gone beyond. Much love to all of you - I truly know this fear.  
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Maybe I can help some of you.  I'm a believer of Jesus and according to the Word of God eternity can either be a place of joy and peace or of torment.  Yes we will have our memories according to Luke 16:19-31. Remember fear is the works of the devil, it's evil and God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7.)  Any kind of fear can paralyze us if we let it over take us.  Even as a believer I have had fear but I have to remember what the Word says and to be absent from this body is to be ever present with the Lord.  Just think of eternity as the life you have dreamed of.  Best wishes to you all.
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I've read your post and admit that, you described my exact feelings when I think about eternity (luckily I do it rarely). I have come up with two quite comforting thoughts on that matter, that I hope, you and everyone else will find helpful. they are quite ridiculous, but then the fear is too. first one is, a spiritual one, and is about us, humans being 'inside time' ,our perspective can't really understand 'Timelesness'. We can't grasp eternity, that's the domain of timeless God. Second one is scientific. Scientists say that there are nine 'strings' in the universe. first three lenght, widht, hight and the fourth one time. then there is five more left and who knows what else is in there. What if you take away the fourth one? I can't imagine anything out of time. I hope I helped
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I am fearing eternity right at this very moment.  It takes over my mind and life.  What sparked it was seeing a programme about a ghost and a seance in which people were trying to get in touch with the dead.  It triggered something in me and I can think of nothing else. I am quite complex, I have complex thoughts and I wouldn't want this to continue eternally.  I have to force myself not to believe in an after life otherwise I cannot function properly.
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I, too thought I was alone.  I am 52 and have felt this way since I was elementary school aged 7 or 8 as well.  This thought will go as far as to make me go back and question my belief in God.  Was it all written just to give us peace to live knowing there is no hope because we die anyway?  But then I can cry out in fear, go to my knees and ask God to restore His peace in my soul and it happens.  Finding out today that I am not alone helps though.  It helps because part of the anxiety is wondering why no one else cares about this very important fact of life.  What could I be overlooking that everyone else has found that makes this 'living forever', 'living never again' thought OK? As most of your elder, I will bring forth this thought...We are not smart enough to think past the concept of time.  Time controls everything in existence that WE understand.  God is timeless and endless.  I too, have been confused about the cosmos - after all, what is at the edge of the sky...shouldn't there be one?  How can it not end?  Well, God has a mind that can wrap around the concept of timelessness.  Just as my dog cannot take measurements and build a barn, I cannot build a universe.  Faith is a concept that becomes more difficult the older you get.  I think that's why we were told to 'come as little children'.  Faith would have us to know that God is good.  He presents a moral, good, constructive way to live in His Word.  It would seem logical then that He does good things.  Our faith would then be in Him to be doing a good thing with us, whatever He chooses that to be...IF we give Him the  respect to be grateful for what He gave us in Jesus.  That seems like blind faith.  But if you cannot explain and re-construct what HE does or has done, then faith is what you have left.  I cannot look at the intricacies of this earth and believe it was happenstance.  He's there.  And He knows what He's doing.  To create a being who can have these questions only to leave the being no recourse but a dead end would be cruel and a waste of His time.  So, regardless of the "quality and content" of our existence after we die, I believe it will be an existence in which we will be content.  To agree to be content with what He has chosen for us now is to 'Accept what we cannot change' and make us all the wiser.
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it is useless to be afraid to question your beliefs. If so, what is that belief based on? truth or dogma? That is very much what we have learnt isn't it, to not ask questions, to accept everything or else. Being controlled by fear and unable to examine things is, if you think about it, one of the reasons why we suffer so much, because we are afraid to look and learn about things. Take for example anxiety. What is going on when anxiety arises. Our usual response to anxiety and everything we don't like is to push it away in aversion or follow after it, both of which makes it stronger. But when you look at anxiety not trying to control anything, what do you see?There are many things going on. First there is the thought, then the feeling of fear we associate with the content of the thought, then obsessive thinking, followed by the feeling of anxiety, followed by more thoughts and fear. It is a cycle, a habit. When you look at the mind and observe what is happening you see the same thing over and over again different thoughts may arise but the process is the same. We have many of these neurotic habits. It is through understanding them that we can let go of them. It is important to know that there is no deity that can help you with your fears and suffering, if they could none of us would be here. It is up to you to help yourself.
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I've struggled with this problem since preschool. It used to consume my every thought and destroy my emotional and mental stability for months at a time. I've managed to block the thought as an adult but it sometimes creeps its way into my conscience - like last night. It's not an irrational fear - it's a realization of a truth. I am a Christian - I believe church doctrine. Heaven and hell are real, and so is God's grace. Christ didn't sacrifice himself so we could simply cease to exist after death (which sounds way more appealing in my eyes). The apostles and Christ himself made clear in saying He gave everything so we may live forever. I feel horrible for not trusting God that this heaven thing was worth Christ's suffering and death. Yet those of us panicking about eternity are in a way making clear that we believe - we accept the truth of the Gospel. That in itself is trusting God. So why can't we take this trust to the next level? I don't know. I don't have a solution. For right now, I will do whatever it takes to not think about it.

Imagining eternity as slumber makes it more manageable. You know how when you wake up from a long nap and can't figure out how long it has been since you fell asleep? That we can all use a reference, I suppose.  
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Hi all,

I had this problem as well. When I was younger it was a paralyzing fear. It went away for a few years but came back when my grandfather passed away last week. What I have come to realize is that:

1) The fact that we fear eternity means that we have in some way accepted the afterlife and life as a gift (which I say is good news! Even if you don't have full faith, part of you believes it enough to fear it)
2)Time is a man made thing, an explanation. We can scientifically calculate time going by, but it also stands still (reading on space and time, educating myself on the science of eternity and time helped). Can you feel time going by? I certainly can't.
3)The fact that I fear it means that I have something so wonderful in my life that I can't imagine losing it (also a blessing!)
4) Our brains are part of this world, and therefore try to reason with the logic of this world. Our hearts and souls are from a different world, so they are in constant battle when we try to put logic to something that is not of this world.
5)If God created us (I believe so, but I am not here to push what I believe just share what has helped me) I am sure he knows how to make us happy in the afterlife.


I also have found that this fear is not common in my inner circle but finding you all has assured me I am not alone. I also have a spouse who is so certain that we will be together in the afterlife, and hearing it from someone you love helps. The fact that we are so aware of our existence is both a blessing and a curse. They say ignorance is bliss, how it would be great if we were. However, once we have thought about it and come to the conclusion in our own terms it will be much more powerful than blindly following the belief of others.  

Eternity means beyond the existence of time. If time does not exist how can we be afraid of it?  

Just because we know how something works (science etc) doesn't make it any less magical. Bless you all and I love you. Honestly, everyone should be happy, light your inner light :)
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You may not see this, but thank you so much for your post. I've only had this anxiety for several months, and everything you said makes a lot of sense and relieves that anxiety. I feel like my mind is truly my biggest monster, and i want to be able to at least control myself (my thoughts) before this fear gets out of hand, or continues for years. I guess it was so bored of my life, it decided to create a distraction, to make me feel an emotion, or just to have something to think about. I don't even know. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I appreciate your logical insight and facts.
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You may not see this, but thank you so much for your post. I've only had this anxiety for several months, and everything you said makes a lot of sense and relieves that anxiety. I feel like my mind is truly my biggest monster, and i want to be able to at least control myself (my thoughts) before this fear gets out of hand, or continues for years. I guess it was so bored of my life, it decided to create a distraction, to make me feel an emotion, or just to have something to think about. I don't even know. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I appreciate your logical insight and facts.
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I did also have some of these kind of anxiety. I don't know whether my idea sounds good or not but the situation is whatever will come in future will be past just as anything now happens. So, apart from the story of history eternity is nothing but piece of inert information. At any time you can think it is just now ( say like present moment, it does not matter whether you are sitting, sleeping or you are no longer in the world, hw you are becomes the same). So there is no much point of persisting with it though one can make rough ideas more clear.
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I did also have some of these kind of anxiety. I don't know whether my idea sounds good or not but the situation is whatever will come in future will be past just as anything now happens. So, apart from the story of history eternity is nothing but piece of inert information. At any time you can think it is just now ( say like present moment, it does not matter whether you are sitting, sleeping or you are no longer in the world, hw you are becomes the same). So there is no much point of persisting with it though one can make rough ideas more clear.
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s my rply to lyn...
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why is god a man? how can i believe in this concept when gender is a human construction .. makes no sense. Life is meaningless and when we die we die. That is what haunts me. why are we here. it is a nightmare ... a scream and we will not escape. oh my god, here comes the anxiety
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For the longest time, I thought I was alone in having this fear. It's what woke me up in the middle of the night as a child, it's the whole reason I stopped going to church so I could avoid thinking about it. In fact, I've had to train myself to control my own thoughts to put up a "wall" once I've thought about it a little too much to avoid sinking into hyperventilation and panic. It still seeps in there once in a while though, and I'm back to that crippling thought of nothingness... Just blackness going on and on and on. And now this is where I leave you, as I have to build my wall now. Good luck to all :)
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To me the thought of eternal life has no impact. In my head I see it as common sense that we simply seize to exist. Anyway, the thought of eternity still make me somewhat depressed. In eternity there is no God. In eternity nothing matters. Then I start thinking about myself, Earth then the Universe all objectively. We're so small. We don't matter. There's no meaning to life is as correct as the opposite. Depends on your mindset I guess. The meaning of life is what we want it to be.
But as I'm conscious about these thoughts, I simply see no meaning to our existence and one day the earth along with humanity will no longer be. Everything is meaningless is the thought I'm left with, and I feel like an empty shell looking objectively.
-Then I get carried away and think: IF we one day were to reach a new level of intellectuality and then truly were able to manage the thought process that it takes to understand the word infinite and we all knew the questions that we're asking now. A time where God wasn't needed. Would we be like empty shells looking at everything objectively? It's hard to look at things subjectively when nothing matters, when you're actually nothing. Enlightenment can be a curse I believe..
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I understand with complete totality what your going through. i remember the first time i concieved and realized the horror of eternity-even in a heaven- just as you have thought of it. i was nine. eating a sandwich. at night. it changed my life. made the universe a much more dreadful place. after fifteen years of dealing with it, i learned ways to move past it. look- the good news is this. Once your dead, your dead. i promise you. this universe is a relativly safe place. nothing exists that isnt nessesary. that is why there is no afterlife. becuase there is no reason-no natural, logical need for one. so rest easy. dont worry. the people who invented the idea of an afterlife, and those that desperatly want it, dont understand what you an i do. they are thinking from a simpler means. so take this fear as a tribute to your intelligence. and rest easy. enjoy your life. its all you got. and thats why it has any value at all..if we lived forever, then life would be worthless. pointless. It would be Hell.
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Feebey: Your answer to it may help someone, but for me and many others like me, the tought of there being nothing for an eternity is an even worse tought than the tought of eternal existence. I have struggled With this for 15 years, and just recently I found out that exposing yourself for it actually helps. I have intentionally tried to expose myself for the toughts in the situations where I struggle most With them ( like when im going to sleep). I do not get so much anxiety when i dont hide from the toughts, but instead welcome them. I still think the Whole concept of eternity is...impossible or mind-fuc**ng though.  I REALLY RECOMMEND THIS GUY ON YOUTUBE: Ralph Turchiano  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pla70rn_xVc    

He has apeirophobia and talks about it in an intellectual way. He has so far posted 3 videos about it.
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I had this fear ever since I was around 8. It triggered when I had a nightmare and couldn't sleep so I stayed in the living room at 2 in the morning.  The main thing I think of is if our souls live forever, will it one day cease to exist? The fear diminished until October my Junior year in High School.  I am going to graduate soon and this fear keeps on getting worse.  I am having it right now as I type this.  I just want this fear to go away so I can live a normal life and go to college.  Does anyone know how to stop it?
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Why would you all be scared of eternity in heaven? of all things i would be scared of eternity in hell. The thing that bothers me is not wanting to leave this earth yet i guess where i lived here for 51 + years and another thing that bothers me is my kids aren't saved yet, i can't bare the thought of them in hell but i know if they're left in the tribulation that they'll have a chance to get saved cause they know all about it, i've been taking them to church since they were born. Does anybody have this problem like me?
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It was so wonderful to come across this thread! I think it helps us all to feel more normal, if such a thing exists, when we can be real about what scares us and others can relate!
I am a biblical counsellor and have dealt with this fear. Just wanted to make two practical suggestions.
1. I re-iterate what others have said. This fear has more to do with your past than the future. Take time to figure out when from a younger teen or earlier you felt trapped in a situation and that it will never end. The fear of forever and the emotion from the past event have become entangled and you have to separate the two.
2. Secondly as a biblical counsellor the most helpful thing to remove fear of eternity is John 17:3 Jesus is praying and says, ' now this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God'. Eternity has more to do with a relationship and less to do with a place. My encouragement is figure out how to develop a relationship with God. Let me know if I can help in this area.
All the best!!
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Hello!  I would love to talk to you. I am struggling very badly with this. PleAse email me
***@****
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Same as a lot of people on this thread, it was a really good feeling finding this thread. About 4 days ago, I was in bed thinking about weird paradoxes. At first, the things I thought about had nothing to do with time, but then I came across this thought. "What is it like to be dead for eternity?". When I thought about that I was absolutely terrified. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Just realizing that you might be dead forever and never wake up, is just horrifying. Scientifically speaking, you won't notice the time go by because you are not alive but I still can't stop thinking about these different paradoxes that are related to time. It's also this weird thing that is really hard to stop thinking about. I would like to believe that you reincarnate as a new living being after every time you die, but even the thought that you will do the same thing over and over again for so many years is scary. No matter what comes after life you realize that it is going to last forever. I do stop thinking about it so negatively when I realize that you could have been dead for billions of years or had different lives before you started this life, but it is still a really scary thought. I think about this for an hour or two, forget about it and then a day later I start thinking about this again and I just can't get this off my mind.  
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The greatest cure to the fear of eternity is to seek after the one who is eternity, God Almighty. I believe him to be the God of the bible and for good reason I trust every word he says. I struggled with the fear of eternity for a long time but I can find peace in God through Jesus Christ.. If you don't know him, I invite you to . Message me with any questions.
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oh! I'd like to share what helps me EVERY time I begin to panic over eternity:  www.nderf.org
This gives me hope...
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Hi everyone, I'm 31 and have had this same fear since I was 8 endless panic attacks and eventually it lead to depression. After a really bad bout of depression I decided I could never go to that place again. My mother died last month and I feel the thoughts flooding back in! But I am determined to stay strong as my fear started due to be selected from her, now see is actually gone. Anyways let me give you some things that have helped and still do. This will be for people who do not have fauth

1.time stops for u when u die, time is relative to u as an individual and just a perception of our minds so technically there is no "enternity" once you die.

2. If we think about "nothing" we shouldn't be scared as nothing is not a type of something it's nothing, hard one for our minds to comprehend.

3. These intrusive thought s are completely irrational but our egos treat them as fact. It's usually tied to something else, separation anxiety, loss etc etc so try tour understand that your mind has probably disassociated this thought of death/eternity with something a lot more complex as a small child and now it's your go to framework when you feel down etc.

Finally, understanding do that these attacks, thought processes become habitual over the years , what I find very helpful is when ever u have the intrusive thought break the pattern, jump up, walk around , start a conversation what ever it takes,  I think u find that in time u will do this automatically and will help massively and u won't peak and freak out!

I sincerely hope this helps some of you as it has me! I could rant on forever, excuse the irony but, good luck everyone
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I have this problem bro.
I wake up at night and feel like nobody can save me.
The thought is horrible. I've had it forever. I have dreams of falling in a hole for eternity. I'm only 14 and this eternity thing *****.

I'm a christian.
I know I'm going to heaven. There is proof that God exists nick.
Who made this universe? We didn't come from apes.

I believe that when I go to heaven this fear will be gone. The fear of eternity is just from Satan. Satan wants you to dwell in fear. God loves us.
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I have this problem bro.
I wake up at night and feel like nobody can save me.
The thought is horrible. I've had it forever. I have dreams of falling in a hole for eternity. I'm only 14 and this eternity thing *****.

I'm a christian.
Not Catholic. If you think God isn't real it might be Catholalasism.
The Catholic church revolves around works like you haft to do something to work your way to heaven.

This is not right. God loves you no matter what.
In the bible it says your sins will be washed away (In Heaven).
This means the scary thought of eternity will be gone.

I hope God is your savior. He it mine. -Peace
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It's nice to know that I'm not the only one...as many people have stated as well.  I too have had the fear since I was young, and now I'm 30 and over the last few days it's the worst it's ever been.  It's like my brain can "understand the capacity of eternity" for a second and then I have a full blown panic attack.  

I have been on Wellbutrin for 4 months or so and my anxiety about eternity was so much better until recently.  Coincidentally I don't feel the Wellbutrin has been as effective recently.  I am on a pretty high dose, so I'm not sure if anyone can recommend something that worked better for them? Maybe an anxiety med in combination w/  the Wellbutrin?

-Megan
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Objectively? We actually are meaningful objectively. Think about all the special things about us and life that nothing else has. We're special lol. I don't need to explain; you just need to think :)
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Everyone this has bothered me through out my life I am now close to 50.  I am not as bad about it.  I was told to remember we live in a world where time was given to us.  In heaven there is no time so we will not be aware of how long we are existing in heaven therefore it will not bother us.  God promises us a place of no pain, no bad things, a place we will be joyful and praising God.  If there is no time in heaven then eternity cannot bother us.
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The concept of nothing really bothers me. Why am I here and living this life. My consciousness hasn't been here for billions? or years and it won't be until the universe folds back up and re-creates itself?

If nothing were a thing -- isn't it then something? What does something is created for the first time where does it come from? If nothing becomes something then that something had to form in nothing or that nothing was never nothing.

Even if the Universe has been expanding and collapsing "forever" doesn't it have to have a beginning -- or is time something only creatures like us create because we exist in three dimensions and live in four.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

It makes me just want to scream. The infinite thought loop that always gets stuck on a question that cannot be answered bothers me so much. It is a very unique feeling that is indescribable.
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Sometimes I get these bad thoughts and feelings and the neighborhood dogs start barking. That scares the hell out of me. Classic music helps to calm me down.
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I am 31, I have had this all of my life,

Tried all the help pills and potions illicit and mainstream to no avail

You can't fix reality.

It is what it is.

I haven't slept properly in years this happens to me a lot and majority of the time I wake up screaming in bed.
They had me on a high dose of seriquil which dumbed it down, but everything else as well!
going to try get some help out of the public system
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Hi, I am 27.

I have the same symptom as you.

And I will screaming in bed four month once.

But I screaming with my whole power. So it's a little embarrassed I need to tell my roommates, I have this condition. And I was blamed for I screamed in the mid-night.

I found this only happened after 30 mins I felt asleep.

If I was lucky, my girl-friend will huge me when I scream, let me not feel along, and the fear will be less.

I found that will happened when the life won't go well or I drink coffee or something.

And now, I cannot focus on work or something, I guess it's my conscious want to let me not fall into the feeling again.

It's also the sad thing is, even psychologist cannot help me about this.

I see the best( famous ) doctor in my country, and he even didn't want me to discuss about this.

Anyway, I only can let my life better.
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Hi, I am 27.

I have the same symptom as you.

And I will screaming in bed four month once.

But I screaming with my whole power. So it's a little embarrassed I need to tell my roommates, I have this condition. And I was blamed for I screamed in the mid-night.

I found this only happened after 30 mins I felt asleep.

If I was lucky, my girl-friend will huge me when I scream, let me not feel along, and the fear will be less.

I found that will happened when the life won't go well or I drink coffee or something.

And now, I cannot focus on work or something, I guess it's my conscious want to let me not fall into the feeling again.

It's also the sad thing is, even psychologist cannot help me about this.

I see the best( famous ) doctor in my country, and he even didn't want me to discuss about this.

Anyway, I only can let my life better.
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I find myself in the same situation. I've been having these thoughts as a kid but now it's become worse. I find myself crying and screaming in the shower wondering why me, why was I chosen to go through this thing we call life. The fear of living eternity after death is what gives me anxiety. It feels good to know you're not going through this alone. When i find myself having these thoughts i like to Google fear of eternity and see how many other people are going through the same thing as me.
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I'm 15 years old and I've been having these thoughts for several years and there are times wher I just can't sleep because the thought of eternity terrifies me but it is helpful to know that I'm  not the only one who's going through this
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I am very happy I'm not the only one with this fear. Finally brave enough to look it up, and I'm not alone.

I'm a 16 year old guy in my Junior year of high school. I have the same fear. In fact, I've had it almost my entire life up until now.
I remember being a kid, crying on the floor because I was afraid of it. I was told by my mom that He has a plan, and that everything will be okay.
Time has passed, and its a rare occurrence, but some of the scariest. I will cry myself to sleep some nights. I'll writhe around, because its a physical pain. It makes me sick to my stomach. (In the restroom typing this in fact, just in case. Pity on me.)
I've always thought this was terrible of me. Especially since I've only one fear worse than eternal life.
And that is an official end to life.
Both scare me to death. I get sick. I get lost.
I have a girlfriend now who helps tremendously. I know I'm only almost 17, but just thinking of her is very calming. Only thing is, every time she mentions something about later in life, such as possible marriage or kids, I get scared again. I've been very Christian, don't want a divorce, and I get into his whole process of thinking I'm going to be with her forever, and then the thought comes back in.
I don't know. I just don't know.
This whole thing scares me. Life scares me. Time scares me.
I know there's no definite answer, but I don't know where to turn. Is there anything to calm this fear? Anything to stop me from worrying?
Probably not. OCD, anxiety, depression. I've already gone through it all. I just want some answer.
Thank you for reading. I just need to get my thoughts out.
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Very random question, but does anyone with this fear also spell the word "dilemna" <---- like that (with an "n")??
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Hey Lyn.  I think part of the reason that eternity becomes a target for fearful thinking is because we understand so little of it.  But that doesn&#39;t mean there is little to be understood of it.  In the beginning was God.  Filled with life, love, peace, joy, energy.  Before everything else was him, and He created everything in creation to produce for himself a bride, a companion, an intimate relationship.  The reason that our fears can never be realized in heaven is because the Lord is so much more real and alive and powerful and knowing, and so intently and consuming is his love for you that you could never possibly grow tired in his presence. He is life, and life is what we are searching for.  We search for it in our understanding of the physical world, but that is trying to satiate our need for life with knowledge.  We need streams of living water, not just human understanding.  These streams of living water flow from God, into you, and through you eternally and it is eternally satisfying because it is the thing you were designed for, designed to most enjoy.
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So nice to know I'm not the only one!  I only have these panic attacks since recently, I'm 37 years old and before this never frightened me.  In fact I was always fascinated about the universe and the afterlife and then suddenly this thought about eternity popped up in my mind and it really terrified me and now I'm caught in thought loops many times.    I know i should not think about it, but it just happens, especially when I read something scientific, or religious about eternity.  I sometimes feel my life is ruined and can't enjoyit anymore, my interests have gone.  Really awful and can't think of anything worse.   I know this too is just a thought and at times I can snap out of it and enjoy life again.  I know it's a condition and there must be a way out.  Walking in nature and physical exercise sometimes helps to get me out of the mind and be more in the body, in the now.  Sometimes I"m happy and wonder how I could ever had these panic attacks, they are just gone.  It could well be it has to do with self confidence and trust, as this was always an issue with me.  Maybe we must just accept we can't know everything and let go.  Embrace ourselves with love whenever this happens...  Thank you for these posts, it's comforting to know I'm not alone.
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This honestly made me feel so much better knowing im not the only one im 16 and about a month ago i had my first anxiety attack and now i get these thoughts every so often about things that make my stomach hurt and make me feel crazy. I used to love nature and the universe and now when i think about it i get sick.. I wish it would go away and sometimes ill be fine and then boom it comes back. I wish it was all over honestly
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WOW.  I can not believe it!!! I am literally in shock.  I am not joking when I thought I was the only one who had a fear of eternity.  I decided to do a Google search and found out there is a term to describe this fear called Apeirophobia.  I read an article from The Atlantic called &quot;Apeirophobia: The Fear of Eternity.&quot;  Historically I have been too scared to tell anyone about this fear.  I was too embarrassed and feared I would be mocked.  I did tell a friend once and he laughed and couldn&#39;t believe I was scared of such a wonderful concept.  I have OCD and it makes sense that this phobia would be related to my OCD.  The panic attacks when I think about eternity usually come when I am in bed about to fall asleep at night or when I suddenly wake up at night.  The idea really really freaks me out and males me nauseous.  I am definitely comforted to discover I am not the only one. I don&#39;t feel so weird and eccentric now. However I don&#39;t fear the infinity of space of the universe.  It actually continually fascinates me. It is an eternal afterlife that horrifies me.  What happens when we have learned everything there is to know?  Are we going to experience eternal boredom?  Maybe our mortal minds just can&#39;t grasp the concept of eternity and maybe we will be comforted when we leave this mortal life into another dimension and have a clear understanding.  Right now we are governed by time. But in the afterlife we may be omnipresent and thus past, present, and future will be at once.
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Wow, I'm so happy that I found this topic on this forum.
I'm literally crying.
I'm 26 years old now but I've feared from eternity ever since I was 8 and I understood the concept of dying and afterlife.
The whole thing terrified me. I use to have panic attacks where I was screaming and running towards the door, trying to run away from it but couldn't.
As the years went by, there were times when there weren't attacks at all, it was when my life were busy.
But in recent times, I started having those panic attacks again.
Small things can trigger it, if it's talking about aliens and the universe or talking about death and heaven.
Even hearing those words can make me panic and make my heart beat fast.
I'm very scared to tell about this to anyone because I don't want to freak out other people as well.
I'm keeping it to myself and this is the most terrifying part.
My boyfriend sometimes hug me and hold me and the feeling is going away, but I want it gone forever, I want to live life without thinking about the concept of death, eternity and the infinite universe.
Does anyone has a suggestion what should I do with it?
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Talk to family get a support group around you. I've had these fears since I was about 12-13 years old and I was able to repress it but it finally came back worse than before and I knew it was the time to finally talk to my parents, girlfriend, and friends about how I was feeling. Although I cannot say I'm 100% it's easier now that it's out in the open. I can now work towards finding solutions such as on this message board, my church, and clinical professionals. The worst thing is to go through it alone. I wish you all the best, and if you ever need any support I'm always free to chat.
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Hello are you free to talk about this subject anytime soon?
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People fear Eternity, but we won't spend it alone. If you believe in a everlasting afterlife then remember your love ones will be there as well. Also remember humans live and die on a timeline created by man, the human brain can not actually conceive the idea of a timeline that never ends. Don't be obsessed with Time, because time doesn't actually exist.
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Like most of you here, I have suffered from this for pretty much all of my life and have never really talked about it to anyone.

I was raised Catholic (although I've never really had true faith, and consider myself agnostic) and the concept of eternity just absolutely terrified me. Every time I tried to contemplate it I would feel physically sick and paralysed. Then I'd try to stop thinking about it, but the Pandora's Box had been opened and the thoughts would return every time I was alone. I knew I could never talk to anyone about this - how could I inflict upon them the most terrifying set of thoughts that I could imagine? How wonderful it would be for me to go back to ignorance - I could never take that away from somebody else!

Throughout my teens I'd tire myself out before bedtime so I'd fall asleep as quickly as possible, or fall asleep with the radio on, because the thoughts were worst just before bed while my mind wanders. More recently I've completed a couple of degrees in Psychology to see if I could find any insight there (although I decided not to actually see a psychologist personally, again because I'm scared of 'infecting' someone else with this way of thinking) and found their approach lacking - CBT is all well and good for people who have unrealistic perceptions about the real world, but what we suffer with is something completely different. So I stayed in a fearful state, and it's had a real impact on my life, particularly when it comes to seeking close relationships (I avoid them as much as possible).

I'm 25 now, and up until recently I'd coped with this by just trying to keep myself so busy with other things that I don't think about it. As some of you will know, that can work quite well for a time - as long as you can avoid thinking about it, you'll be fine. However, it's not really a solution. I was triggered by something or other recently and had another similar panic attack, so this time I decided that I'd try to confront it head on. I'm not sure yet if that's the best approach, and I don't think I'm fully 'cured' by any stretch of the imagination. That said, I do feel much more comfortable about it now, and I can think about eternity without feeling terror - maybe it's my first step to a genuinely happy life.

In the next post I'll share the way of thinking that helped me to become less afraid - hopefully it'll work for some of you too.
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I want to try to convince you that this fear is completely irrational, because it's literally not possible. Let's think about the most common ideas about what happens after death from the different philosophical paradigms:

ATHEISM - Non-existence. This might be upsetting to some people for different reasons, but it's not an outcome in which you can suffer, because there is no 'you'. There will no longer be a consciousness where any upsetting thoughts can enter.

CHRISTIANITY (AND OTHER MONOTHEISTIC RELIGIONS) - I think the reason most of us developed this fear is because we tried to imagine ourselves in a heaven which was exactly the same as our current lives, but it's impossible for us to die. Time just goes on and on and on and on, ad infinitum.  Indeed, I think many Christians, Muslims and Jews still believe exactly this idea. The problem is, everyone else seems to see this as paradise, whereas we cannot see it as anything other than terrifying. No matter how beautiful the conditions, wouldn't we eventually grow tired of this eternal life, and go mad when we realise there is no escape?

Logically, this fear of ours cannot be 'heaven', simply because an omnipotent God would not create a 'heaven' where we could suffer. This suffering simply cannot exist in heaven, else it wouldn't be heaven. Does that mean all of a sudden I'm comfortable with the idea of eternal life? No, not really - it still terrifies me. But here's where faith in God is important. Understanding heaven is clearly beyond human comprehension. Christian theologians talk about heaven as a non-physical realm, outside the boundaries of time and space. Some refer to it as a state of mind, rather than a place. Can I comprehend a state of being in which time doesn't even exist? No, it's impossible. I just have to have faith that God would not allow me to suffer in heaven.

Sometimes that feels like a cop out, but I don't think it is. I try to think about the different levels of consciousness between an ant and a human. Can the ant even come close to comprehending the human level of consciousness? Of course not. When we are blessed with union with God, we similarly reach a much higher level of consciousness that is essentially unknowable to us now.

EASTERN RELIGIONS - In religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, they have the concept of samsara, the birth-death cycle of reincarnation. When we die, the soul leaves one body and we are born again in a different body (human, animal, or even plant, depending on the religion). Where we end up depends on the quality of our actions in the previous life - karma.

I used to think this was completely crazy, but recently it's started to make a bit more sense to me. From pre-birth, our souls (or atman) found their way into our bodies, yet we have absolutely no conception of where they might have been before, or where they can go after. Who's to say I've not experienced thousands of different full lives before, and will experience thousands more after? Do I worry about all the lives I've had before, and start to get tired with life? No, because for 'me', my life started when I was born and it's impossible for me to understand myself before that. East-west philosopher Alan Watts gave some good lectures on this, if you're interested.

I'm a long way from being an expert on these religions, but if I'm not mistaken the 'ultimate' destiny of the soul differs between the different religions. In Buddhism it eventually reaches a state of perfect ego-less bliss and peace followed by final cessation (nirvana), and in Hinduism the atman just rejoins the ultimate higher consciousness, Brahman, and we experience a sense of complete and eternal oneness with all existence (moksha). Like with how I view the Christian conception of heaven, what this is actually like from a phenomenological perspective is literally impossible to comprehend. What's important is, once again, suffering is literally impossible in these states.

FINAL THOUGHTS - I don't want to change anyone's conceptions of religion if that's something that gives you comfort, what I wanted to drum home was that this thing that we fear more than anything else (an eternal existence that causes us eternal suffering, even in heaven) is impossible. In no religion or philosophy does it say that this is what will happen after you die. Yes, it's still terrifying to imagine it, but it will never happen to us.

To finish off, I like to think of the parable of the poisoned arrow from Buddhism. A monk is troubled by Buddha's refusal to answer any metaphysical questions (e.g. what happens after death, whether the universe is infinite). Buddha likens the situation to a man who has been shot in a sneak with a poisoned arrow, and demands to know everything about the nature of the attack - who it was who shot him, what town he came from, what the bow looked like, what the bowstring was made of, what the shaft of the bow was made of, where the feathers on the shaft came from, and so on. The man says "I won't have this poisoned arrow removed until I know all those details" - and so he dies with all of those things remaining unknown to him.

So, as much as you can, live life in the moment. Free yourself from the pointless suffering of worrying about something which is logically impossible. It won't be easy to re-train your mind, but I believe in you.
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No, I don't share that fear, but I have other demons I'm battling, even with God life can be very sorrowful. It's much better with Him than without Him though.Yes, we are still aware whether in heaven or hell, but if you put your trust in Jesus, your fears will turn to hope. I don't know if you believe in God, that's your choice to believe or not, I hold no judgment in the matter. I just want to help the only way I know how. If you believe in Jesus and even if you don't, cry out to Him asking for the belief. Romans 5:1 Look this verse up if you have a bible. Your issue should be not with eternity but with peace in God. I hope this helps. God bless you.
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I wasn't paying attention and thought this was a recent post. Well, I tried.
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This is a pretty old post, folks, but I always think throwing Jesus or any other religion at people on this forum is not a good idea.  People who suffer mental illness and were raised with the notion of a God or an afterlife (and don't let Buddhists fool you, they do believe in an afterlife -- samsara is something to overcome by becoming enlightened, in which case you end the endless cycle of rebirth and become an enlightened being.  Sounds a lot like heaven, does it not?  I like the Eastern religions because they have practical solutions for everyday life, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, etc.  Much more useful than the Abrahamic religions, which only offer peace if you do this or that and this or that is usually pretty ridiculous -- and I say that as someone who does follow an Abrahamic religion.) already are probably afraid they did something to offend God and that's why they're sick.  There is a lot of judgment in religions, a lot of right and wrong, and it's just better for those with mental illness to see it as an illness and deal with it that way than getting into such a judgmental way of looking at life.  If religion gives you peace, great; if it causes you to attack others and how they live, not so great; but with any illness, we need to look at it with objectivity so we can get better now and not in the afterlife.
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And as for eternity, that's probably one of the reasons people invented religion.  We all think ours is the best and only true one, but there are a lot of people out there and a lot of people over the centuries and they all believe in many different religions and they're all just as intelligent as we are.  Sticking to our tribes can be a great salve, but we also have to think beyond our beliefs if we ever want to learn anything.  Thinking about eternity is scary, but if you don't have an anxiety problem, it's also the font of great philosophy and creativity.
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