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.

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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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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on

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I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

farm2.staticflickr.com

If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

www.imdb.com

This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

https://www.hulu.com/

I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

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I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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