Conclusiophobia is a common diagnosis amongst readers. It is likely that throughout your reading life, you will suffer at least three bouts. The clinical definition is: The fear of not living to see one’s favorite book series completed.
The condition is most commonly found in adult readers, despite the fact that children are more voracious consumers of fantasy and young adult series’. Studies have shown that while kids do thoroughly enjoy their favorite series’, and often anticipate the newest installments more anxiously than adults, they are simply not cognoscente enough of death to really be concerned that they may actually perish before the last book. This subsequently excludes them from the phenomenon, and renders their lives virtually, useless; a wasted effort.
There are gradations of severity to be observed in an adult condition. The most conclusive data thus far identifies the most prone to be devotees of the Game of Thrones series, who are known to exhibit all requisite symptoms. Those include:
-Googling the author’s name every 5 minutes
-Harassing the publisher
-Inquiring whether the next book has been released in another country first
-Re-reading prior installments to fill the void
-Refusal to read anything else
-Active involvement in online communities
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Conclusiophobia other than to see the series finished. For most, the completion of the last book allows them to carry on with their lives, but in rare cases, the shock caused by the absence of Conclusiophobia can, subject the brain to severe Inanisphobia: fear of living without a series; or, fear of emptiness. The only cure for that, is, of course, a replacement series. It is, in many ways, a vicious cycle.
As was stated prior, most avid readers will experience a form of either condition at some point in their lives. The bad news is, once you’ve got it, you’ve got it. The only sure fire way to avoid it is to never read a series, which is likely more depressing than even the most severe cases of the condition.
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