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Obsessive thoughts of death and dying – I Can't Stop Thinking About Death: Why it Happens and When to Seek Help

Obsessive thoughts can be overwhelming or all-consuming because it feels like you cannot escape them.

William Thompson
Monday, August 5, 2019
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  • Externalizing Your Thoughts Externalizing your thoughts can help you view your notions about death in a more objective way.

  • Learn more…. I spent hours watching and reading anything related to the topic, searching for answers.

  • In a way, their thinking about death masks their desire to know if they are actually valued by the people around them.

  • This process usually awakens a lot of fears and barriers.

Ways to Stop Excessive Thoughts About Death or Dying

These themes are the commonly accepted focus of 'pure O' which would mean approximately 77, people may obsesive with the condition, however the actual number of people who affected is hard to gauge as many people with 'pure O' will suffer in silence for many years before seeking treatment. Breath Work and Visualization Breathing exercises are simple, but powerful tools in helping you feel grounded during these intense moments. Part 2 of

  • The list goes on. Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter Subscribe You're all set!

  • Updated: July 5, Either way, you know that sooner or later the time will come for you to die.

  • The sufferer knows these thoughts and compulsions are irrational but despite this knowledge, there will always be a 'what if'. These may be signals of anxiety.

  • Since they affirm that life can be short, they force us to take the reins of our life and to fulfil our own destiny.

When would my parents die? This can be enough dyig trigger death anxiety. I refused to walk past graveyards or funeral homes or churches, so being out of the house was difficult. Lincoln continues to record the highest number of coronavirus infectons in the country Lincoln The rise in cases is being blamed on a Lincoln nightclub. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5a phobia is an anxiety disorder relating to a specific object or situation.

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Thougths some people fear it more than others, there is some degree of fear that is actually healthy. No seeking reassurance. All Rights Reserved. In time, these thoughts that previously had caused so much distress will not only lose their power, but also their hold on the person with OCD. If you do not agree to such placement, do not provide the information.

Cookies make wikiHow better. When you begin to think about death or thoughtz, try to take a moment to journal. This will allow you to be an active participant in this experience that may normally make you feel out of control. You can Call Emergency Services or check yourself into the Emergency Department at your local hospital. Go to source.

Ways to Stop Excessive Thoughts About Death or Dying

Some common themes include: Dying in your sleep A loved one dying in their sleep Thoughts of harming yourself or others Violent deaths of loved ones Accidentally causing a death to a loved one What happens to the ones who rely on you after you've died. No analyzing, researching or questioning these thoughts — just acceptance of them. They may also experience dread or worry about other issues, too.

Cookies make wikiHow better. Do they make you feel uncomfortable? Ask Your Own Question! It's only when the phobia drastically alters the way you live your life that it becomes a serious problem.

Ddying may decrease their overall power. As Serotonin decreases, certain symptoms arrive such as physical fatigue, worry, anxiety, sleeplessness, poor appetite, loss of energy, low motivation, low sex drive, etc. Anxiety can both cause and contribute to a variety of fears. Did you know you can get expert answers for this article? All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. Sometimes, after a death or tragedy thoughts of death may become more prevalent. Regardless of your thoughts, a hyper focus on death can be uncomfortable and you likely wish it to stop.

  • However, older people may fear the dying process or failing health.

  • You may fear death itself, being hurt or in pain, specific situations or circumstances, or losing people you love. The aftermath of these thoughts is the scariest, however, despite the intensity of some of the thoughts.

  • Regardless of your thoughts, a hyper focus on death can be uncomfortable and you likely wish it to stop.

  • When episodes of thanatophobia begin or worsen, you may also experience several emotional symptoms. The difference between healthy people and people who suffer from fear of death OCD is the level of suffering these thoughts cause.

  • If you feel like you may be an immediate threat to yourself or to other people, check yourself into the Emergency Department at your local hospital.

Anxiety can be an overwhelming condition, and when the mind is overwhelmed, it can do some very unusual things. Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter Subscribe You're all set! Ask Your Own Question! Ask Doctor a Question. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 3. Thanatophobia is not always a phobia. However, when we destroy something, we create space; space to live.

How would me and my loved ones die? Part 1 of Contemplating death can actually be very positive. This paralyzes them vitally in a way that their own inactivity and immobility justifies the fact that they are actively trying to change their life.

Understanding Intrusive Thoughts

If you tend to focus on catastrophic events or exaggerated feelings of responsibility, therapy can help you respond to these thoughts in a healthy and effective way without resorting to compulsive behavior. People who suffer from fear of death OCD think about and reflect on death all day long. Regardless of your thoughts, a hyper focus on death can be uncomfortable and you likely wish it to stop.

A famous psychological model by psychologist Erik Erickson dictates obsesive stages of personal growth in a lifetime. Do You Have a Victim Personality? In general, OCD likes to attack whatever it is we most value: our families, relationships, morals, accomplishments, etc. It's fair to say that most people think of obsessive-compulsive disorder as having something to do with an obsession for cleanliness, neatness, order and perfectionism. Their fears center on things that could result in death, such as contamination or dangerous objects or people. Having some anxiety about death is an entirely normal part of the human condition. Or want to share an experience with other readers?

Since they affirm that life can be short, overweight force us to take the reins of our life and to fulfil our own destiny. Exposures might include those with OCD deliberately subjecting themselves to the thoughts they fear, typically through the use of imaginal exposureswhile response prevention involves not avoiding or trying to escape these fears, but rather embracing the possibility they will occur. Having obsessive thoughts can make you feel isolated and alone, like nobody understands. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Fear of death is an existential fear that has always been present.

Understanding Intrusive Thoughts

Many OCD sufferers face years of trial and error in treatment, a fact that does, on occasion, keep me up at night. This means the first step is to acknowledge that anxiety is a problem for you. Cookie Settings.

To externalize your thoughts about death or dying: Imagine that these thoughts could take on another form outside of yourself. It helps bring forth the reality that death is finite and not to be taken for granted. A famous psychological model by psychologist Erik Erickson dictates eight stages of personal growth in a lifetime. Weather There is a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms in place across Lincolnshire. If your intrusive thoughts about death interrupt your normal functioning, try refocusing your mind. Letting them pass by decreases their overall power and helps you form a new, healthier routine that may reduce the anxiety that accompanies these unpleasant thoughts. Externalizing Your Thoughts Externalizing your thoughts can help you view your notions about death in a more objective way.

If it's a phobia, you'll need to address it like any other phobia - see how your fear of death affects you and try to utilize desensitization techniques so that the fear isn't as powerful. Anxiety can be an overwhelming condition, and when the mind is overwhelmed, it can do some very unusual things. Only a doctor can rule these out, of course, but no matter how often you visit your doctor you may find that it becomes nearly impossible to believe that there isn't something physical causing your anxiety symptoms. Related Articles. People have a tendency to want to avoid instead of face thoughts that feel scary. Thankfully, there is good treatment to help those with OCD learn to live in the present moment and work toward the lives they deserve. Sometimes the fear of death is a symptom of other anxiety disorders, and sometimes it is its own standalone issue.

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While some people fear it more than others, there is some degree of fear that is actually healthy. Working Through Intrusive Death-Related Thoughts It can feel incredibly challenging to begin the process of working through unwanted thoughts about death and dying. You may have heard that all people with OCD are focused on cleaning and organizing. Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Copy link.

See a therapist. Go to source If you feel socially isolated, make feath friends. We use Cookies to give you the best online experience. You can get your thoughts under control and manage your fears effectively. Since the fear of death can become very intense, avoidance can become a common kind of behavior in the person who suffers it.

How to Prevent Depersonalization From Anxiety Anxiety can be an overwhelming condition, and when the mind is overwhelmed, it can do some very unusual things. We help the person to become strong enough to oof them. No, thank you. Use this brief screening measure to help you determine if you might need to see a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment of OCD…. It feels like it may be a heart attack and you feel a sense of doom, as though the world is about to end. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or animal sanctuary, or with children or the elderly. This is not the only factor that influences my self-harmbut is most certainly one of them.

This process usually awakens a lot of fears and barriers. Please try again. It is overseen by the same international advisory board of distinguished academic faculty and mental health professionals — with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe — that delivers CounsellingResource. This is a common misconception, though. Sometimes, after a death or tragedy thoughts of death may become more prevalent.

But you experience an of this without dying and after some time, the fear starts to fade away leaving you feeling drainedand you're left wondering whether something is wrong with your health. As a result, the psychological mechanism switches to the common default — the universal fear of dying and death. Training varies by the type of technique that they use. This fear is highly related to hypochondria. Anxiety and Numbness - A Typical Reaction Anxiety can cause hundreds of different physical responses, and unfortunately many of these responses can increase anxiety. However, some people who have this form of OCD also have physical compulsions, and this is what I want to portray to you today.

These other anxiety disorders include:. I have found that when I have these thoughts, causing pain to myself slows deth thoughts and can free me from them. Terms of Use Privacy Policy. However, when we destroy something, we create space; space to live. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. For those with obsessive-compulsive disorder, however, obsessing about death can be torturous.

Death might be the biggest mystery of all, but maybe it really is as simple as what Alan Watts once said. But denial is the ultimate disservice. This is totally normal, but also feeds into their power cycle.

  • Death anxiety is real, and it can control how you live your life. Many mental health disorders may involve the symptom of intrusive death or dying related thoughts.

  • They can think about death for hours. There are antecedents that can be the detonating factor like for example accidents or sudden deaths in the family.

  • Doctors do not classify thanatophobia as a distinct condition, but it can be classified as a specific phobia.

  • Think about the things you want to accomplish or experience in your lifetime.

It centers around feelings obsessive thoughts of death and dying fear and worry regarding the future. Externalizing Your Thoughts Externalizing your thoughts can help thoughtts view your notions about death in a more objective way. Exposures might include those with OCD deliberately subjecting themselves to the thoughts they fear, typically through the use of imaginal exposureswhile response prevention involves not avoiding or trying to escape these fears, but rather embracing the possibility they will occur. All rights reserved.

  • Share on Pinterest Talking therapies may help when managing thanatophobia. I realize the questions I have, for the most part, are unanswerable.

  • There are also lesser fears of death that aren't necessarily a problem but may develop other problems.

  • Recurring thoughts about death can evoke fear, worry, insecurity, or hopelessness. Read this next.

  • Not all psychologists or other mental health professionals are knowledgeable about these techniques, though.

For example, when we leave a job we can think that this will cause us to become broke. When individuals experience excessive death or dying related dearh, often times, they have a general underlying theme. And while a fear of contamination is an issue for some OCD sufferers, simply 'being tidy' or 'a neat freak' is a world away from the actual realities of living with the condition. Doctors do not classify thanatophobia as a distinct condition, but it can be classified as a specific phobia.

These other anxiety disorders include:. Did you know you can get expert answers for this article? If it's a symptom, then you don't want to target the fear of death itself. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers.

Obsessive thoughts of death and dying more official name of the phobia where anr fears dying is Thanatophobia. Ask the Psychologist provides direct access to qualified clinical psychologists ready to answer your questions. Understanding your core triggers and learning how to manage your stress in healthy ways may help you decrease or resolve excessive thoughts about death and dying. I have found that when I have these thoughts, causing pain to myself slows the thoughts and can free me from them.

As the name suggests, thanatophobia is a phobia. Therapists and social workers are trained to provide crisis care and help you de-escalate your thoughts and feelings in the moment, and help you cope with similar feelings in the future. Do something you enjoy for 15 minutes or more, such as taking a walk, listening to music, reading, or playing a game. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Moderate drinking may be safe for people with cardiovascular disease. Preference for sons could lead to 4.

Do they make you feel uncomfortable? How is thanatophobia diagnosed? According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5a phobia is an obsewsive disorder relating to a specific object or situation. Fortunately though, this is starting to change with celebrities such as Lena Dunham and Rita Ora coming forward and speaking openly about their own struggles. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. These kinds of events obligate us to some degree to reflect on our role in the world.

Sometimes, after a death or tragedy thoughts of death may become more prevalent. See a therapist. You can ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist or other mental health professional who uses relaxation techniques to help patients. Having obsessive thoughts can make you feel isolated and alone, like nobody understands. Externalizing your thoughts can help you view your notions about death in a more objective way.

Am Obsessive thoughts of death and dying living my life the way I should, or want? I stopped going to my lectures and I stopped going dyingg work. I spent hours watching and reading anything related to the topic, searching for answers. Did you know you can get expert answers for this article? These kinds of events obligate us to some degree to reflect on our role in the world. Usually, they investigate the subject a lot, by looking up articles and information on the internet. This type of treatment focuses on creating practical solutions to problems.

This form of Thouhgts, although not commonly talked about, is far more common than you may first think. People who suffer from fear of death OCD think about and reflect obsessive thoughts of death and dying death all day long. If your thoughts of death cause you to follow up the thought with a behavior in order to alleviate the discomfort, consider talking to a licensed mental health therapist. Join a support group. Recently I have had a lot of thoughts about dying. If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If it's a phobia, you'll need to address it like any other phobia - see how your fear of death affects you and try to utilize desensitization techniques so that the fear isn't as powerful.

This will allow you to be an active participant in daeth experience that may normally make you feel out of control. There was a problem with the address entered. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. Create an account. Every time I pick up a knife to cook, I cannot help but think about that knife falling out of my hand and into my chest. She brings over a decade of experience specializing in the treatment of trauma and grief, pre and post-partum and parenting challenges, anxiety and stress management, self-care, and social, emotional, and learning difficulties for adults, teenagers, and children.

They want answers to these questions and might analyze and research them — again for hours and hours. Think about the things you want to accomplish or experience in your lifetime. Cookie Settings.

It's only when the phobia drastically alters the way you live your life that it becomes a serious problem. Ask yourself if your thoughts are a response to the death of someone you pbsessive or a result of a tragedy, such as a natural disaster. Live a healthy obsessive thoughts of death and dying, engage socially, eat nutritious foods, exercise, and put your attention on the things that are within your control and that decrease your overall stress. Co-authored by:. Understanding Intrusive Thoughts A large aspect of intrusive thoughts is the concept that not wanting to think about something or avoiding it actually makes the neural connections stronger as you think more and more about it. Revalue the thoughts. After all, the pains and sensations are all real, and many people cannot help but fear that they indicate something very serious and that if left untreated, you may die.

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What happens to them after they die? But denial is the ultimate disservice. What to know about anticipatory anxiety. Write down:. See a therapist.

  • For some people, intense grief after the death of a loved one can lead to depression or make underlying depression worse. Letting them pass by decreases their overall power and helps you form a new, healthier routine that may reduce the anxiety that accompanies these unpleasant thoughts.

  • Volunteering is a great way to help your community and meet new people that share similar interests as you. By continuing you accept the use of Cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

  • Set things straight so that you relieve yourself of guilt and can feel complete in your life.

  • The brain has a few other default tormenting thoughts such as the universal fears of contamination or uncurable illness. Ironically, those caught in the vicious cycle of obsessions and compulsions related to death and dying are robbed of living their lives to the fullest.

You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare thoughtw before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment. Volunteer at death and local animal shelter or animal sanctuary, or with children or the elderly. If so, reflect on what meaning this has to you: do you fear that a similar situation may happen to you or to your family? Monitor how your thoughts influence behavior. I would have between six or seven panic attacks a day. Comments are moderated and we do not allow harassment or advertising.

Did you know you can get expert answers for this article? Did this article help you? In short — our lives. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Make meaning of death. Related Coverage.

Fact Checked

Whether you are dykng thoughts about your own death, a loved one's death, or more specific thoughts like dying in your sleep, these notions can be externalized. Many OCD sufferers face years of trial and error in treatment, a fact that does, on occasion, keep me up at night. Go to source. This may decrease their overall power.

Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow. Learn more obsessive thoughts of death and dying OCD treatment options. Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. I tried a deep ddeath technique that worked — at first…. This is not the only factor that influences my self-harmbut is most certainly one of them. Do something you enjoy for 15 minutes or more, such as taking a walk, listening to music, reading, or playing a game. Some people also buy CDs and DVDs on progressive muscle relaxation and allow the audio to guide them through the process.

Stress tends to increase obsessive thoughts, so obsessive thoughts of death and dying your self-care may significantly help in reducing these unpleasant thoughts, as well as any anxiety about having these thoughts in the future. Can excessive apologizing be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder? People with OCD can easily spend hours upon hours a day obsessing over various aspects of death and dying, asking the same existential questions mentioned above, and then some. Worrying about these thoughts coming up at a later time can also trigger them to come up, and again strengthens their neural pathways.

Psychologist’s Reply

Instead of worrying about your outcome, focus on prevention. Both men and women experience thanatophobia in their 20s. Thoughts about death or dying have started to interfere in the way you live your life. I tried a deep breathing technique that worked — at first…. By: aka Tman.

  • The official diagnosis will likely be anxiety. Are thoughts of death and dying are often nagging at you?

  • Focus on what is within your control.

  • The fear is so intense that they can suffer panic attacks and that they can start to avoid many different situations which could be related to death.

  • If you're curious about what OCD is or how it's treated, you can learn more with these frequently asked questions. A doctor will help a person to come up with practical solutions to overcome their feelings of anxiety.

Letting them pass by diyng their overall power and helps you form a new, healthier routine that may reduce the anxiety that accompanies these unpleasant thoughts. Thankfully, there is good treatment to help those with OCD learn to live in the present moment and work toward the lives they deserve. Try using a mindfulness practice to help yourself process these thoughts. Increasing Your Daily Self-Care Stress tends to increase obsessive thoughts, so prioritizing your self-care may significantly help in reducing these unpleasant thoughts, as well as any anxiety about having these thoughts in the future. It impairs their ability to do their job or to concentrate on their studies.

Low Serotonin is also linked to obsessive thoughts — andd recent thoughts of death and dying you are experiencing. At times, ironically, this fear of death can make it harder for people to live a normal life! Increasing Your Daily Self-Care Stress tends to increase obsessive thoughts, so prioritizing your self-care may significantly help in reducing these unpleasant thoughts, as well as any anxiety about having these thoughts in the future. People who suffer from fear of death OCD think about and reflect on death all day long. Go to source. Place your hand on your stomach and heart and begin to focus inward. Find a redirection that helps you refocus your attention away from thoughts of death.

In a way, their thinking about death masks their desire to know if they are actually valued by the people around them. Please enter a valid email address. Be specific in describing their appearance and write it down, draw it, and describe it in detail. Related Articles How to.

I perform many tasks around death myself, and these articles help me understand my own compulsions. You can Call Emergency Services or check yourself into the Emergency Department at your obseszive hospital. Last Updated: July 5, References. Anxiety can be an overwhelming condition, and when the mind is overwhelmed, it can do some very unusual things. At times, ironically, this fear of death can make it harder for people to live a normal life! Your body rushes with an intense amount of adrenaline due to changes in your brain chemistry and thought patterns - your body and mind is telling you that you're in grave danger.

I had these thoughts for well over a obsessive thoughts of death and dying before I realized what it might be — I was eeath the impression that it may just be due to my overactive imagination. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. If you know your time is coming, make arrangements with your friends and family to help alleviate any stress. A support group can offer encouragement, support, and friendship and can help with feelings of isolation. Essentially, suicidal OCD is when you have intrusive thoughts about your own death, about severely hurting yourself, or both. The recent arrival of dying-related thoughts is a clinical sign you are experiencing stress and maybe depression. Please try again.

If drath been living with OCD, it might feel like obsessions and compulsions control your life, but the right care strategies for you can help. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Categories: Death Controlling Your Thoughts. Am I living my life the way I should, or want?

Death is a Natural Fear

Related Articles How to. People who are less humble are more likely to worry about their own death. Individuals with more physical health problems experience greater fear and anxiety when considering their future.

  • Co-authored by:. Instead of shaking off those weird and unwanted thoughts we all experience, a person with OCD will fixate on those thoughts, connect them with meaning and anxiety and try to deconstruct what they mean and what they say about them as a person.

  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter or animal sanctuary, or with children or the elderly. When the obsessive thoughts arrive, they typically target memories in our past — something that is tormenting to us.

  • You may be in perfect health or have a health condition that limits your life.

  • There are several motives which could lead to fear of death OCD.

In extreme cases, these thoughts might be so terrifying that the sufferer ends up isolating themselves completely, avoiding leaving the safety of their house in the fear that something terrible might happen. During a panic attack, people may feel a loss of control and an intense fear of dying or impending doom. They want answers to these questions and might analyze and research them — again for hours and hours. Self-care includes:.

Do something you enjoy for 15 minutes or more, such as taking a walk, listening to music, reading, or playing a game. Stay connected. Want the best Mighty stories emailed to you? They might also seek reassurance, either from themselves, clergy, or anyone who will listen.

Reader’s Question

It is not uncommon to experience general anxiety as well as depression when dealing with OCD related ad death. By doing so, you choose to be a part of your healing journey, instead of feeling subject to these intrusions. Exploring other cultures that celebrate end of life as opposed to fear or hide it may also be helpful.

  • Lincoln continues to record the highest number of coronavirus infectons in the country Lincoln The rise in cases is being blamed on a Lincoln nightclub.

  • Thankfully, there is good treatment to help those with OCD learn to live in the present moment and work toward the lives they deserve. It also helps you form a healthier habit, if you have the tendency to avoid.

  • Understanding Intrusive Thoughts A large aspect of intrusive thoughts is the concept that not wanting to think about something or avoiding it actually makes the neural connections stronger as you think more and more about it. This realisation alone is enough to bring about anxious thoughts.

Not all psychologists or other mental health professionals are knowledgeable about these techniques, though. Some individuals death and dying also be more prone to obsessive thinking based on their genetics. Anyone can experience obsessive thoughts about death or dying and unfortunately they can surge when a triggering situation arises or even feel like they come on out of nowhere. People with OCD can easily spend hours upon hours a day obsessing over various aspects of death and dying, asking the same existential questions mentioned above, and then some.

  • Both men and women experience thanatophobia in their 20s.

  • This paralyzes them vitally in a way that their own inactivity and immobility justifies the fact that they are actively trying to change their life.

  • The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment.

  • It's a very common problem in those with anxiety, even after doctor's visits. Breathing exercises are simple, but powerful tools in helping you feel grounded during these intense moments.

  • The idea of death, or more specifically the idea of my parents death, occupied my thoughts from the moment I woke up till the moment I went to sleep.

There are no tests that anv help doctors diagnose this phobia. What to know about anticipatory anxiety. While we can live in the moment and enjoy one another, the fear of death or dying can still be concerning. Thoughts about death or dying have started to interfere in the way you live your life.

It is overseen by the same international advisory board of distinguished academic pride and prejudice romance stories with overweight and mental health professionals — with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe — that delivers CounsellingResource. Anxiety can both cause and contribute to a variety of fears. If you tend to focus on catastrophic events or exaggerated feelings of responsibility, therapy can help you respond to these thoughts in a healthy and effective way without resorting to compulsive behavior. This paralyzes them vitally in a way that their own inactivity and immobility justifies the fact that they are actively trying to change their life. Be specific in describing their appearance and write it down, draw it, and describe it in detail.

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