What Is the Treatment for Necrophobia?

Dan Cavallari

Necrophobia is an intense fear focused on death or dead things. A person suffering from necrophobia may avoid any activities that can risk death, as well as any media that portrays death in any way. Treatment for this condition can be complex and will take a significant amount of time to benefit the sufferer. In the end, treatment may not work at all. The first steps usually involve a session of self-analysis in which the sufferer attempts to determine where this fear originated and why it has become so severe.

There are many therapeutic methods to help people deal with fear of death.
There are many therapeutic methods to help people deal with fear of death.

For most sufferers of necrophobia, a visit to a mental health professional is the best course of action. This professional can help the necrophobic come to some sort of understanding about the condition, and the causes of the condition may be determined. An analysis of one's life, habits, attitudes, and experiences will often reveal some of the underlying causes of necrophobia, though for many sufferers, the fear is irrational and a cause may not be found at all. If this is the case, the mental health professional may design a treatment method that does not rely on finding the cause but instead seeks to help the sufferer find ways to cope.

A common mistake people make regarding necrophobia is rationalizing the fear in an attempt to make it subside. Fear in general tends to be a somewhat irrational emotion, so trying to rationalize the condition generally will not help the sufferer. In fact, treatment techniques can vary significantly from person to person, and some treatments may not work at all. One way to begin treatment of necrophobia is to learn as much about it as possible. Learning more about the condition as well as some of the associated causes of the condition can help a sufferer attempt to strategize treatments that will work for him or her.

Beyond education, small doses of exposure to death may help some sufferers. This may not be the best course of action for all necrophobics, but some may benefit from slowly exposing themselves to various topics of death. One might, for example, read an obituary one week, then perhaps drive to a mortuary another week and stand outside. As time progresses and the sufferer becomes more accustomed to topics of death, he or she might try to have a discussion about death, or even watch a television program in which a death occurs. As time goes on, the sufferer may find it increasingly easier to talk about the topic and be exposed to death. It is best to attempt this under the guidance of a professional.

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