Mass Propagation – Death Stress

Debi Evans

It is not uncommon for a person, at some point in their life, to wonder or worry about death.

… However, there is a small percentage of the population who su er with death anxiety, known as thanatophobia.

If a fear is so prevalent and it affects your daily life, then it becomes appropriate to call it a phobia. Very few young children need to think about death: they are too busy exploring, learning and growing. However, I am shocked and saddened to discover that many young children under the age of seven are very aware and scared, of both their own death and that of their nearest and dearest relatives.

Once a fear is embedded into the psyche, it often remains and becomes pervasive. Remember the slogan ‘Don’t Kill Granny”? Trawling the internet offerings of peer-reviewed papers, I am struggling to find reference to death anxiety in young children. What has been a taboo subject appears to have almost infected and attacked the purest of innocence that only a young child can experience.

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