Horror Movies Help Me Fight Depression

Horror Movies Help Me Fight Depression

They may frighten us, but they may have a positive effect on mental health.
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Horror movies are that special genre of movie that either people hate or love to hate. We shut our eyes, anticipate at what point the monster, ghost or murderer will jump out at us, and we check our pants for yellow stains after we have jumped out of our seats.

I have many friends who refuse to watch these movies with me because they just cannot stand the terror that they have to go through while watching Freddy Krueger stab through a bed. I understand that the anticipation and scare can be a daunting thing for anyone; it is not a feeling that people want to have to live through. I just happen to be addicted to watching horror movies, and they have been helping me cope with depression for years.


Now I am in no way a medical professional. While I do study psychology and have certification as an EMT, that does not mean that I am here to tell you that this is a foolproof treatment that can help everyone.

If you think you are currently suffering from any type of mental illness, then please seek professional help from a licensed therapist or psychiatrist.

I happen to suffer from a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder, meaning my depression will manifest usually from late fall to early spring when there is less natural light, and the weather is mostly gloomy.

By the way, the change with daylight saving is a pretty big screw up for my mental state.


The biggest thing that depression does to me is that I will get trapped within my head, constantly thinking and over-thinking any thought or situation to the point where I cannot concentrate on seemingly normal tasks, and this wreaked havoc on my school work.

When I finally managed to see a therapist, she came up with a treatment that I never really thought would work. She suggested that I watch horror movies so that I wouldn't have to medicate myself. I'm not a stranger to medications for depression, but the drugs usually left me feeling like a walking zombie with absolutely no emotion whatsoever.

Horror movies cause me to get absorbed in the moment. I can put everything that is on my mind aside because I have to focus solely on what is happening on the screen. This happens more so than with any other genre because the horror movies are designed to make you focus on that anticipation of dread that has become such a cliche.

As soon as I get into the movie, everything else in the world can drop away as I await the chainsaw wielding maniac to come running out of nowhere.

.

The next thing that horror movies do is release an incredible amount of adrenaline and dopamine into your system. Adrenaline is the hormone that your body secretes during moments of stress that causes your heart to start racing, palms to become sweaty, blood pressure to rise and you to become more alert.

All of this commonly comes together in what is known as the fight or flight response, gearing you to suddenly react to something that might attack you. It is also a pretty addicting feeling that leads to cases of adrenaline junkies. Combining that with dopamine, known as the feel-good hormone that activates the reward centers of the brain, means that when a lot of my friends shy away from the jump scares, I get hooked on the feeling of bliss that I feel after the scare is over.

This all combines to combat a real empty feeling that comes with my depression. I don't have to take a pill that manages levels of neurotransmitters when the seasonal affective disorder starts to creep up. Now all I have to do is make sure I take a nice long walk when the sun is out, and then I sit down and turn on a good horror movie, leaving the lights on of course. The last time I watched a horror movie with the lights off, my sister crept into the room and scared me so badly that we had to get the couch reupholstered.

Cover Image Credit: shnakebite91.wordpress.url

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To The Girl Who Still Has Her Mom This Christmas

To the girl with who is blessed enough to have her momma this Christmas. 
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     To the girl who is blessed enough to have her momma this Christmas, please remember to soak every last bit of it in. 

      Please remember to hug her so tight, that the way she smells is locked into your nose. Listen to all the stories you've heard a million times, like you've never heard a single one. Help her, even if it seems completely silly to you, help her mix that cake. Laugh, oh please laugh. Laugh at all her corky ways, at the way she mispronounces words, try's to be hip and use new found lingo, or how she cusses when she forgot to get the rolls out of the oven but quickly asks the Lord for forgiveness. Remember her laugh, etch it into your brain. Make her happy, if she wants to go riding around looking at Christmas lights down the same streets you've went for years, do it. Don't fuss, take her advice, agree to just disagree on things. It's not worth it. Most importantly, remind her over and over how much you love her. 

     Because unlike you, I'm not able to see my mom on Christmas. I'm not able to see her on birthdays, Thanksgiving, or any other occasion. My time with her is up. Death is the most permanent heartbreak. 

     How I long to hear her voice, her laugh. To feel her tight embrace. Smell, oh god, what I would give to just be able to smell her. I would absolutely love to go riding around for hours while she ohhs and ahhs at every single house we pass. If I had the opportunity I'd tell her just how much I love her, how I'm so thankful for all the sacrifices she made for me. In fact, I'm not sure I could ever tell her enough. 

      Some days I wake up and it still doesn't feel real. Others, I panic trying to remember exactly how she sounded. Because, I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget a single characteristic about her. Not one. 

     Take time, not just on holidays, or special occasions to be with your mom. Even if it's just you two piled up watching reruns of "The Little House on the Prairie", soak it in. 

    You only get one momma. Nobody could ever take her place. She's your rock. 

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25 Moments Of 'A Christmas Story' You Remember While Watching It 10 Times In A Row On Christmas

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

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Let's be real, you can't go through the holiday season without watching "A Christmas Story." It's a classic. I have to watch it at least once around Christmastime. Since it's iconic, it's very easy to remember everything that goes on throughout the film. Here are twenty five of the most memorable moments of the movie.

1. When poor Randy had to bundled up EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

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2. And in turn caused a huge problem. 

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3. Oh, and another problem. 

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4. When Ralphie dropped the F-Bomb in front of his father. He didn't say "fudge." 

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5. And he received the classic soap bar punishment. 

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6. When Swartz was persistent on getting what he wanted.

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7. When we realized Ralphie's father had never seen the word "fragile." 

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8. When Ralphie's mother was determined to keep her husband unhappy. 

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9. The one killjoy phrase quoted more than once. 

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10. When Ralphie got ripped off. 

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11. When Randy was picking at his food. 

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12. And his mother insisted on showing her how the piggies ate. 

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13. When the mall Santa got too close and personal. 

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14. Only to be a jerk in the end. 

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15. Let's not forget what Ralphie desperately wanted for Christmas. 

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16. When poor Flick was left to suffer on that pole. 

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17. When the family was forced to eat at a Chinese restaurant after their turkey was ruined. 

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18. And it was devoured by the neighbor's annoying hound dogs. 

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19. When Ralphie and his friends had to deal with this douchebag every time they left their houses. 

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20. It's okay, though. Ralphie eventually decides not to put up with it. 

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21. And let's not forget the pink nightmare Ralphie was given. 

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22. Ralphie's daydreams were interesting, too. 

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23. But some of them were weird. 

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24. When the Red Ryder BB gun ended up being a hazard after all. 

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25. Who am I kidding? The whole movie is memorable. 

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