Necrophobia is the illogical fear of death, the remains of the dead as well as anything that can be associated with the end of life (cemetery, tombstones, coffins etc.).
The condition may be present in individuals, as well as cultural groups, living on in their beliefs and traditions.
If triggered, a patient suffering from the disorder, may experience shaking, heavy breathing, a rapidly beating heart, nausea, dizziness and a sometimes even terror.
The phobia mostly develops after a personal encounter with death in the childhood (i.e.: seeing a loved one die, or attending a funeral) and can get triggered by objects, associated to the memory.
Some people even get “necrophobia” from seeing overly graphic content.
Origin of the term
The term was first coined in the 1820’s and is comprised of the Greek words nekros, meaning corpse and –phobia, meaning fear.
To some extent, “necrophobia” had been a part of humanity for all of history, as death seems to be one of the only constant themes, that are on our minds all the time.
A fear of death was just as much part of the human experience 5000 years ago, as it is today.
Spread of the term
“Necrophobia” is related to the condition thanatophobia, which is a fear of one’s own death, while the former is a fear of the whole concept of passing away.
Today, medications and therapy may be utilized to help patients overcome these overwhelming, primal fears.