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Apeirophobia: Fear of infinity

r/Apeirophobia

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Posted by7 months ago
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Posted by20 hours ago

I've had apeirophobia since I was 7 years old. There were a few traumatizing things that happened to me when I was around this age, like my uncle dying from an accident with his gun. I remember telling my grandma I was afraid of dying, and she tried her best to comfort me. Then, I started thinking deeply about being in heaven and the angels counting the days of forever. It really freaked me out when I had the realization that you can't count all the days of forever. It used to get to me really bad where I would have crippling anxiety, but as I've gotten older there are ways that I have learned to keep a major freak out from happening. The best way I've found is to realize infinity works differently than what we think of time, and tell my mind that I'm experiencing infinity in a way, every day. I also try to think of the things that make me the happiest that I would never want to stop experiencing. It seems like this phobia is caused by me wanting to know everything combined with my feelings of insecurity. I really hope this makes sense since I didn't proofread what I wrote and just rambled.

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Posted by3 days ago

I'd like to preface this by saying that this worked for me personally, and I'm hoping that it'll work for you too! I can't guarantee that this way of approaching your apeirophobia will work 100% for you, but it's worth a shot.

I've had apeirophobia since I was 8 and I can guarantee you that an attack is the worst thing I've ever experienced in my life. These attacks would usually come at night, when I'm about to go to bed and my mind wanders off and falls into a pit I wish I'd never been in. But over the past few years of trying to understand why I feel this way about eternity, I was baffled as to why this isn't the same thing for everyone else. All of the people in my personal life didn't seem to understand me, and that made me feel so alone. It was such a huge relief when I came across this sub Reddit.

I've sort of divided my "journey" of overcoming my apeirophobia onto 2 phases.

Phase 1: understand what the concept of eternity means to the human mind.

I've realised that apeirophobia is a consequence of the human mind attempting to grasp an idea that it just logically cannot comprehend. The main reason why we fear eternity (or why I fear eternity, at least) is because everything that we're experiencing right now is just temporary. Everything, from our consciousness to our feelings, all of these things are temporary. So it wouldn't make any sense to try and impose the finite mind's limits on a concept that can't logically exist within the human brain. Think about it. Everything that we can comprehend are things that can exist in the universe. We can imagine what a blue unicorn would look like despite the fact of it not existing because we've seen qualities that we would expect of a unicorn exist in real life: we know what a horse looks like so there goes the body, we've seen what narwhals look like so there goes the horn on the forehead, I want my unicorn to be as blue as my Nalgene waterbottle so there's that, and if you want we can add wings. All of these things can logically exist in the mind because we've seen these things exist in real life. Eternity, on the other hand, can't logically exist within the universe since the universe itself is finite; the universe had a beginning and it will have an end. The fear comes from the fact that we try and imagine our finite consciousness experiencing an infinity that it doesn't understand. This is how I overcame the crippling fear of external existence because if there was such a thing as eternal existence then it sure wouldn't be with the type of consciousness we have right now. It's sort of like trying to picture a colour that doesn't exist, or imagining a square circle, it's impossible.

Another thing to keep in mind is that fear is a biological imperative that's intended to keep you safe and avoid harm. Two things that our brain is very good at being afraid of are death and what comes after, and this makes perfect sense from a biological standpoint. Now, I like to think of apeirophobia as sort of a reminder to the human mind that it's limited by biology. And I'm not even sure if the word "limited" is appropriate considering that these very same biological instincts are what makes life worth living. That's what the human mind was made for, enjoying existence! So, yay hedonism!?

外围体育投注Phase 2: the obsessive compulsion.

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Posted by5 days ago

Hi all. I was glad to find this group- it’s helpful to connect with others who feel this fear. For me specifically, it’s the fear of dying and existing forever (I do believe in the afterlife). I think part of what’s tough is that this fear is so isolating. I’ve honestly felt like I’m the only one who experiences this fear (which is why it’s nice to find this group)- and I kinda feel like it’s crazy that other people just go about their lives, day-to-day without thinking about it. In fact, I’ve been to therapists in the past, but I’ve never brought this up- I almost worry that I’ll burden someone else with this worry if I talk about it (as if they’ve never considered eternity before!) I just don’t want to bring this awful fear into someone else’s awareness.

I work in a school, so my summers are very free. This creates a breeding ground for my anxiety, since I have a lot of idle time. It’ll be late at night; I’ll be watching Netflix, and all of a sudden I’ll shoot up in bed as the fear washes over me. I have to verbalize to calm myself down, “Stop it, stop it,” or “You’re ok, you’re ok.” I have to stop myself from thinking about it or I’ll keep spiraling further into a panicky state. It’s as if adrenaline shoots through my body when I have these thoughts; I become very alert and anxious.

外围体育投注One thought that helps to calm me down is that I believe there may be some state of being after death, where we neither exist forever nor cease to exist. I have no idea what that would look like, because it seems impossible. But I choose to believe we are very limited by the human brain, and I try to take comfort in the fact that we just aren’t able to comprehend what that next state of being will be like. It helps in that I’m able to tell myself “Don’t worry about it,” and I can acknowledge that I don’t know the answer (and I’m not supposed to). I think acknowledging our inability to wrap our heads around what’s going on in the universe provides some relief. My fear comes, in part, from assuming I have a grasp on what is to come. Realizing that I’m incapable of fully understanding what’s going on gives me some comfort.

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Posted by7 days ago

What about if I say "eternity" isnt real?:)


confused comments are welcomed


blessings

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Posted by9 days ago

外围体育投注it doesn't sound like a phobia to me, sounds more like just a fear than a phobia

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Posted by14 days ago

Fear, pain, sadness, etc. All the emotions we feel when we think about infinity, are biological functions.

They are used to keep us alive (fear of death=more likely to reproduce before death=more life).

外围体育投注So once were gone, there's no logical reason why fear and pain and sadness and the other panicked feelings we get when this thought pops up would stick around.

外围体育投注We're afraid of dying because of how were programmed, and this is simply (one of) the most pure forms of that fear, IMHO.

But when we die, fear is gone as well. While we perceive eternal death as terrifying, that's only because we only know death from the perspective of being alive.

外围体育投注This is just as much to help me as it is to help others because I'm struggling right now, but I wanted to share my thoughts in the hope it might ease some other minds.

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About Community

Apeirophobia is the name of the "fear" of infinity. It has gotten quite a wide range of meanings. In many cases it is that someone is struggling with the idea of an eternal afterlife, infinite universe, or simply eternal unconciousness. In these cases it is quite philosophical, and according to many not a phobia, not a fear, and not irrational. Some describe it as more of a realization. This can lead to dreadful panic attacks. It is often described as being the worst thing imaginable.
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Created Dec 25, 2015