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Types::Death anxiety (psychology)

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Types Robert Langs distinguishes three types of death anxiety:<ref name=escp>http://www.escp.org/death_anxiety.html; Langs, R. (2004). "Death anxiety and the emotion-processing mind," Psychoanalytic Psychology, vol. 21, no.1, 31-53; Langs, R. (2004) Fundamentals of Adaptive Psychotherapy and Counseling. London: Palgrave-Macmillan</ref>

Predatory death anxiety

Predatory death anxiety arises from the fear of being harmed.<ref>Langs, R. Three Forms of Death Anxiety. Retrieved from http://www.escp.org/death_anxiety.html; Langs, R. (2004). "Death anxiety and the emotion-processing mind," Psychoanalytic Psychology, vol. 21, no.1, 31-53; Langs, R. (2004) Fundamentals of Adaptive Psychotherapy and Counseling. London: Palgrave-Macmillan</ref> It is the most basic and oldest<ref>Castano.Leidner.Bonacossa.Nikkah.Perrulli.Spencer.Humphrey."Ideology, Fear of Death and Death Anxiety "Political Psychology.2011.p615</ref> form of death anxiety, with its origins stemming from the first unicellular organisms’ set of adaptive resources. Unicellular organisms have receptors that have evolved to react to external dangers and they also have self-protective, responsive mechanisms made to guarantee survival in the face of chemical and physical forms of attack or danger.<ref>Castano.Leidner.Bonacossa.Nikkah.Perrulli.Spencer.Humphrey."Ideology, Fear of Death and Death Anxiety "Political Psychology.2011.p616</ref> In humans, this form of death anxiety is evoked by a variety of danger situations that put the recipient at risk or threatens their survival.<ref name="Castano 2011. p617">Castano.Leidner.Bonacossa.Nikkah.Perrulli.Spencer.Humphrey."Ideology, Fear of Death and Death Anxiety "Political Psychology.2011.p617</ref> These traumas may be psychological and/or physical.<ref name="Castano 2011. p617"/> Predatory death anxieties mobilize an individual’s adaptive resources and lead to fight or flight, active efforts to combat the danger or attempts to escape the threatening situation.<ref name="Castano 2011. p617"/>

Predation or predator death anxiety

Predation or predator death anxiety is a form of death anxiety that arises from an individual physically and/or mentally harming another. This form of death anxiety is often accompanied by unconscious guilt.<ref name=langs>Langs, R. (1997). Death Anxiety and Clinical Practice. London: Karnac Books; Langs, R. (2004). "Death anxiety and the emotion-processing mind," Psychoanalytic Psychology, vol. 21, no.1, 31-53; Langs, R. (2004) Fundamentals of Adaptive Psychotherapy and Counseling. London: Palgrave-Macmillan</ref> This guilt, in turn, motivates and encourages a variety of self made decisions and actions by the perpetrator of harm to others.<ref>McDonald.Hilgendorf. Death imagery and death anxiety. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 1996. p88</ref>

Existential death anxiety

Existential death anxiety is the basic knowledge and awareness that natural life must end. It is said that existential death anxiety directly correlates to language; that is, language has created the basis for this type of death anxiety through communicative and behavioral changes.<ref name="langs"/> Existential death anxiety is known to be the most powerful form.<ref>Sterling. "Identity and Death Anxiety"Central Michigan University.1985.p10</ref> There is an awareness of the distinction between self and others, a full sense of personal identity, and the ability to anticipate the future.<ref name="Sterling. 1985. p11">Sterling. "Identity and Death Anxiety"Central Michigan University.1985.p11</ref> Humans defend against this type of death anxiety through denial, which is effected through a wide range of mental mechanisms and physical actions many of which also go unrecognized.<ref name="Sterling. 1985. p11"/> While limited use of denial tends to be adaptive, its use is usually excessive and proves to be costly emotionally.<ref name="Sterling. 1985. p11"/>

Awareness of human mortality arose through some 150,000 years ago.<ref name="Simin 1996. p13">Simin."War, death anxiety, death depression and religion" California School of Professional Psychology.1996.p13</ref> In that extremely short span of evolutionary time, humans have fashioned but a single basic mechanism with which they deal with the existential death anxieties this awareness has evoked—denial in its many forms.<ref name="Simin 1996. p13"/> Thus denial is basic to such diverse actions as breaking rules and violating frames and boundaries, manic celebrations, violence directed against others, attempts to gain extraordinary wealth and/or power—and more.<ref name="Simin 1996. p14">Simin."War, death anxiety, death depression and religion" California School of Professional Psychology.1996.p14</ref> These pursuits often are activated by a death-related trauma and while they may lead to constructive actions, more often than not, they lead to actions that are, in the short and long run, damaging to self and others.<ref name="Simin 1996. p14"/>


Death anxiety (psychology) sections
Intro  Types   Theories  Children   Relationship between adult attachment and death anxiety    Sexes   Age    Measuring death anxiety   See also  References  External links  

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