The Fear of Hell Explained
Does the thought of hell or its possible existence leave you in a state of panic or weariness? Do you get all sweaty and fidgety thinking about it? Well, you are not alone.
Many people, especially those who are religiously inclined, have a morbid fear of going to hell phobia. And why won’t they? It is touted to be the suffering capital of the great beyond. No level of suffering or pain on earth can compare to the kind that is said to be in hell. No wonder you experience a great deal of anxiety at the thought of the place.
The fear of hell, also called stygiophobia or hadephobia, is not unconnected to the fear of death that exists in most humans. If the thought of hell keeps you awake all through the night, and distracted during the day, it is safe to say you are suffering from stygiophobia.
Treatment is possible though. There are testimonies abound of people who have successfully overcome this phobia, including some of the most religious people. The first step is to learn what your phobia is and what triggered its existence in you.
What is the Fear of Hell?
Ancient Greek mythology, the bible, Quran and many other religious documents all speak of a place called hell. A place where the souls of those who did not live according to certain religious tenets are sent to be tortured for all of eternity.
It is used as a cautionary tool to uphold morality and keep followers obedient to a god. Its counterpart, heaven, is known as a place of abundant goodness and rest, a reward for those who do live according to the dictates of their religion. Scientifically speaking, there is no irrefutable evidence of the existence of this place called hell.
Following the logic of its existence also, the only people who could prove or disprove its reality are the dead. It is, therefore, a very peculiar type of phobia. Even though its victims understand no one has ever really been there, they still can’t seem to shake off this morbid fear they feel about hell.
What this means is that the basis of your fear is purely on the knowledge you have assimilated from the different religious sources that speak of hell. You have then built up an unhealthy fear of a place whose existence you are not even entirely sure of. Your fear is very understandable though.
Beyond even religious texts, a quick online search of “hell” would lead to the most graphic descriptions of a torture chamber that is as mentally haunting as it is physically grueling. Manned by a devil and his league of demons whose only job is to cause pain and haunt your soul for all of eternity.
Honestly, what’s not to fear?
Symptoms of Hadephobia
As you already know, the mind is a phenomenal entity that can translate even the most baseless scenarios into physical symptoms and ailments. Most phobias are both psychologically and physically threatening to your well-being and Hadephobia is no exception.
● Anxiety disorder
● Extreme theism
● Panic attacks
● High blood pressure
● Loss of appetite
● Difficulty breathing
● Bad dreams
● Constant guilt
● Fear of death
● Fear of the dark
How to Overcome the Fear of Hell
Thankfully, all hope is not lost. Those with stygiophobia can overcome their fear of hell phobia and go on to live a very healthy, fulfilling life free of all that anxiety and restlessness.
The following are some of the ways you can help yourself get over the fear of going to hell anxiety disorder.
1. Seek Out Survivors – Many people have overcome stygiophobia. Seek them out. Contact them, or join their online survivors’ community. This will save you from feeling lonely in your pain and learn what other victims did or are doing.
2. Limit Exposure – If the only thing you get from religious texts or a certain religious environment is fear-mongering and panic-inducing messages, it is best to limit your exposure to such things either to an extent or completely.
3. Talk to a Counselor – You can speak to an experienced counselor who would help you understand that you do not have to live in perpetual fear of hell.
4. Help yourself – Practice breathing exercises and meditation. Seek out the truth for yourself by studying and asking questions instead of just going by whatever you were told. Develop an innate sense of morality stemming from your personal and social values. You shouldn’t need the threat of hell to make you do the right thing.
Getting Professional Help for Your Fear of Hell
Beyond self-help, you would need the experience and expertise of a psychotherapist or any other mental health specialist. This would enable you access to evidence-based and proven procedures, administered by professionals. You should definitely seek out professional help. Experts study and prep for cases such as yours, give them a chance to help you feel better.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This procedure is popularly used on those with an anxiety disorder or irrational phobic tendencies. The process ensures that the patient grasps the nature of their phobia from its roots. Broken down into smaller easily digestible units, CBT helps the patient by identifying patterns of thinking that fuel their anxiety and providing them with alternative, healthy routes to mindfulness and mental health.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
This is another procedure used by experts to treat mental disorders, anxiety, and depression. Benefits of this treatment include emotional regulation, mindfulness, cognitive reorientation, stress, and anxiety management.
Speak to people within and outside your cycle about what you are suffering from. Seeing a problem through someone else’s eyes can help provide some perspective on what is real or imagined danger.
You Can Work Through the Fear of Hell
It is important to remember that you are not helpless or powerless in the face of your condition. Just like other survivors, you are very capable of doing the mental and physical work it will take to make yourself feel better and set you up for a more rewarding life. The above tips along with prescribed therapy procedures by a professional are the best way to go from being a victim to a stygiophobia survivor.