How to Fight with Anxiety Disorder through Horror Films
It may sound paradoxical, but there are people who suffer from an anxiety disorder-including myself-and nothing so relaxing as horror movies. I asked an expert what this might be.
According to a recent study by the Robert Koch Institute, 15.3 percent of people in Germany suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder. Personally, certain things have worried me as a child - usually on a catastrophic scale, but completely disproportionate. When I was ten years old, I read something about comets in a museum.
I lay awake for weeks at night and was afraid that a comet would be able to rush straight to the ground at this very moment. As a teenager, I have thought that I could suffer from it, even in the rare fatal illness I heard on television. Nowadays, my fear manifests itself in a way that is difficult to explain to people who have not had such experiences: Do you know the feeling of being nervous? It's a bit like the fear that comes to you when you have a hangover and you know you've done something but do not know what. About the whole time.
I am lucky that my fears are so limited that I do not need medication. I trust in a mixture of balancing movement, low alcohol and the regular control of my own mental state. But if it gets really bad, then there is only one thing that really helps me reliably and instantly unfolds its effect: horror movies - the bloodthirsty, gloomy and disturbing, the better. It was only last week that I watched a deadly game : a low budget movie without much action but the more blood that Netflix has got two and a half stars. On the starting picture you can see a razor blade, which is held directly to someone's eye and threatens to cut the eyeball.
When I first noticed how effective the effect of this unconventional healing method is against fears, I'm totally freaked out: What's wrong with me? Am I a psychopath who finds consolation in the suffering of others? Is that only for me that way? Is not right with me? These questions I have asked members of the Reddit forum / r / anxiety.
Horror film are not an alternative to genuine medical and therapeutic help, but I have been flooded by answers from people who are the same. "I've also noticed that I feel better when I look at a Horror film," a user said. "A Horror film produces a different kind of fear-a fear that is not about myself."
"Yes," said another, "I think it's because you have a 'real' reason to be afraid."
"Most of the time I get frightened that someone could break in or I could face a ghost," confirms a Reddit user. "Everything else I've thought about before suddenly seems completely ridiculous."
To find out why some people treat themselves with Horror film themselves, I have spoken to Dr. Mathias Clasen from Aarhus University. He has researched the psychological effects of horror films for more than 15 years. "When you look at the effect of a Horror film, it can be encouraging as long as the negative emotions that the film provokes are controllable," explains Dr. Clasen, "There is also a psychological distance between us and the film Aware that what happens there is not genuine, or at least parts of our brain are aware that it is not genuine. Other parts-old structures in the limbic system-react as if it were genuine. "
He also explains that Horror film cause an escape or attack mechanism within us, which, however, is limited by the controlled environment. "It does not surprise me to hear that horror films have a therapeutic effect on people with fears," he says. "The genre gives us the opportunity to make voluntary-and in a controlled environment experiences with negative emotions."
Dr. Clasen has also assured me that I am not on the verge of chasing old Freddy-Krueger style. His theory, however, could not really explain why anxiety, paradoxically, leads to a more relaxed life.
Do I get rid of my real fears by putting them on screen in the form of serial kills?
If someone who is suffering from anxiety disorder looks at a Horror film, then he just stuffs himself with subterranean fears, like a kind of psychological inoculation against the real fear? Or are we just splashing on adrenaline? Dr. Maria Iron side works at Oxford University and is concerned with the subject of anxiety and depression. In her research she uses a method called non-invasive brain stimulation. In principle, small, harmless electric charges are delivered to the brain of the subjects in order to document the effects in groups of people with and without anxiety disorders. I asked them what happened exactly in my brain, when I was afraid, so from a scientific point of view. "There is a brain region,
I ask Dr. Irdon side what her theory is about anxiety and adrenaline. Can it be that my reaction to Horror film is explained? Do I get rid of my real fears by putting my fears in the form of serial killers on the screen? "Studies have shown that the response in the amygdala decreases with time when humans are shown again and again with the same image of a creepy face. In phobias, people are confronted with exposure to the origin of their phobia (e.g, narrow spaces or spiders), and over time, they learn that their experiences do not lead to a negative result, and thus fear decreases. This is similar to the idea with the horror films. However, I'm not sure if it would work,
I've always been on Horror film even then, when I was still a nervous, paranoid child. The best overnight parties for me were always the one with a girlfriend who had a big brother and a whole lot of horror movies on VHS - from Nightmare on Elm Street about The Exorcist to Halloween . We've always made the sound very soft in the event that their parents were reincarnating and caught us huddled and wrapped in our sleeping bags in front of the TV and feeling like members of a secret conspiracy.
Steph Hovey, assistant psychologist at the Tavistock Center and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, explained to me that anxiety "develops from our childhood experiences, which also have an influence on how we see the world as adults." When I look at a Horror film So this could mean for me that I am confronted with my fears in a secure environment and next to someone I trust. "The memories of the entertaining Horror film abende with friends at that time can help you deal with your fear Because you know that you will not let anything happen to you, but you may be able to get a better armor to deal with these feelings. "
According to data from a baseline study conducted by the Robert Koch Institute in 2013, about 15.3 per cent of people in Germany suffer from anxiety disorders. Affected are 21.3 per cent of women and 9.3 per cent of men. At the last nationwide health survey in 1998, it was only 14 percent. However, when you look at global changes - from viral pandemics to international terrorism to Brexit and Donald Trump - this development is hardly surprising.
A couple of years ago, my roommate George and I did a Saw Marathon. We spent a weekend watching every single movie. It was so much fun that just a few months later, we added a Paranormal Activity Marathon. Since then, the whole has become such a small tradition. This is similar to the roller coaster ride, or when you share a sharp curry-it's slightly crazy and basically completely harmless, but you get the feeling of having "passed through" this moment together , Why Horror film have such a good effect on me, but in this inconceivably frightening world it can be quite reassuring to know.
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