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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7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

"Literature Is One Of The Most Interesting And Significant Expressions Of Humanity." -P. T. Barnum
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Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate toward literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world has come to think that literature is insignificant. To me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning of the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world. Here are just a few reasons why literature is important.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

Cover Image Credit: google.com/images

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Who Knows My Boyfriend Better: Me Or His Best Friend?

Can romance beat bro-mance? We'll find out.

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I've been dating my boyfriend, Caleb, for almost two years now. I feel like we share plenty of common interests and know a lot about each other. But, as many people do, my boyfriend has a best friend: Korey. Caleb and Korey are so close that I often joke that he would probably leave me to be with Korey. So, I thought it would be fun to put that to the test. I asked Caleb to quiz Korey and me to see who knows more about what Caleb likes. These are the results:

1. Favorite Movie (3 acceptable answers)

https://giphy.com/gifs/smiling-smirking-bII1xcasWXI2c

Morgan: Top Gun. That was one of the first movies you showed me so I'm going with Top Gun.

Korey: 50/50, because I am the purveyor of taste and I introduce all good movies to him.

Caleb: 50/50, Limitless, or 2049

Point: Korey

2. Favorite Food

https://giphy.com/gifs/orange-is-the-new-black-oitnb-OJ8hVSLYbpQ08

Morgan: Any kind of pasta.

Korey: Geez... Chicken wings?

Caleb: Pizza

Caleb likes lots of foods but, unfortunately, neither of us got this one.

3. Favorite Color

https://giphy.com/gifs/arrested-development-blue-tobias-funke-fj3CWRJJshhe

Morgan: Blue

Korey: He has none, he's colorblind. (Just kidding, I think it's blue.)

Caleb: Blue

This one was easy. Point: both.

4. Favorite Show

https://giphy.com/gifs/how-i-met-your-mother-gFE3wHTcpHPy0

Morgan: Silicon Valley. You watch a lot of TV shows so it's hard to know exactly which one is your favorite.

Korey: That 70's Show

Caleb: How I Met Your Mother

Caleb later told me that either one of our answers would have been his second choice. But they weren't his first so, again, no one gets the point.

5. Favorite Song

https://giphy.com/gifs/lynyrd-skynyrd-pcJXmvk044TfmTeyfa

Morgan: "Free Bird"

Korey: "Free Bird"

Caleb: "Free Bird"

Again, another easy question. Caleb plays this song all the time. Point: both.

6. Favorite Actor

https://giphy.com/gifs/tom-cruise-top-gun-WDtCGLCXBAgow

Morgan: Paul Rudd? I feel like this is wrong but I'm going with Paul Rudd.

Korey: Tom Cruise. I think he said he was his second favorite, but when I asked him what his favorite was, he said he didn't know...Tom Cruise it is then.

Caleb: Tom Cruise

Hello?! Tom Cruise is in Top Gun, how did I get question one wrong? Whatever. Point: Korey

7. Favorite Candy

https://giphy.com/gifs/running-exercise-fat-clYsxQzIArpgk

Morgan: Sour Patch Watermelon

Korey: (Expletive.) I don't know. Lifesavers? Do those count as candy?

Caleb: Strawberry Sour Patch

My answer was closest seeing as I guess the correct candy just the wrong flavor, so we all agreed that I get the point.

8. Favorite Film Series

https://giphy.com/gifs/the-lord-of-rings-enjoy-dngSJRCuyR8ha

Morgan: Wet Hot American Summer. I don't even know if this is a series but I know you like it. Again, you watch a lot of movies.

Korey: Middle Earth

Caleb: Lord of The Rings

Point: no one

9. Favorite Book Series

https://giphy.com/gifs/percy-jackson-JOQudfdX4ZHeU

Morgan: Percy Jackson? You don't read much.

Korey: … Middle Earth?

Caleb: Percy Jackson

We both love the Percy Jackson books. Point: Morgan

10. Favorite Band

https://gfycat.com/gifs/search/journey+band

Morgan: Journey. You went to their concert so that's what I'm going with.

Korey: AC/DC? Or Journey? I'm gonna go with Journey. This is hard.

Caleb: Journey

Point: both

11. Favorite Solo Artist

https://giphy.com/gifs/lildicky-lil-dicky-save-dat-money-that-l46CloFkQdnBBilGw

Morgan: Ed Sheeran

Korey: Ed Sheeran

Caleb: Lil Dicky

Korey and I agree that we were robbed this round. Point: no one

12. Favorite Shirt

https://giphy.com/gifs/dish-nation-quotes-dish-nation-RJxIbNI9P0cOr51clg

Morgan: Either the "Allegedly" shirt or that blue one that says something about pizza.

Korey: "Allegedly." The blue one. The one he got from Rooster Teeth.

Caleb: "Allegedly"

He wears this shirt probably twice a week. Point: both

13. Favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe Hero

https://giphy.com/gifs/thor-victor-marveledit-d1Kla2AyYicso

Morgan: Star-Lord. I would say Thor but you laugh more at Peter Quill so I'm going with him.

Korey: Thor

Caleb: Thor

I was so close, too. Point: Korey

14. Favorite MCU Movie

https://giphy.com/gifs/excited-yes-thor-l4FGni1RBAR2OWsGk

Morgan: Thor: Ragnarok

Korey: Thor: Ragnarok

Caleb: Thor: Ragnarok

Easy. Point: both

15. Favorite Soda

https://giphy.com/gifs/food-nachos-quesadillo-VO2MiYWK4SRsk

Morgan: Dr. Pepper

Korey: It got hard again. Dr. Pepper? I might be thinking of someone else.

Caleb: Dr. Pepper

Point: both

16. Favorite YouTube Channel

https://giphy.com/gifs/achievementhunter-laughing-why-443fSTZUEOCo4ksFDG

Morgan: Rooster Teeth

Korey: Rooster Teeth. The place he got his shirt from.

Caleb: Achievement Hunter or Rooster Teeth

Another easy question, he loves Rooster Teeth. Point: both

17. Favorite Comedian

https://giphy.com/gifs/television-stand-up-john-mulaney-3Nn5OL0WegpsQ

Morgan: John Mulaney

Korey: John Mulaney (See commentary from question 1, but substitute "comedy.")

Caleb: John Mulaney

Point: both

18. Favorite Director

https://giphy.com/gifs/david-fincher-UZ9VtOJ9qWcEM

Morgan: Christopher Nolan? I don't keep up with directors and you know that so I feel sabotaged.

Korey: He told me the other day it was David Fincher. If he says a different answer I should still get partial credit because he's a liar.

Caleb: David Fincher

This is rigged. Point: Korey

19. Favorite Lord of the Rings Movie

https://giphy.com/gifs/finally-atlast-itsover-Ajhi3tsHaGBB6

Morgan: Fellowship of the Ring? They're all the same to me.

Korey: Return of the King

Caleb: Return of the King

Again, this is rigged. Point: Korey

20. Favorite Star Wars Movie

https://giphy.com/gifs/star-wars-luke-skywalker-mark-hamill-kzJpeoOgRszDi

Morgan: Empire Strikes Back, solely because this is the only one I know the name of. (I've never watched Star Wars.)

Korey: New Hope

Caleb: New Hope

I'm telling you, it's rigged. Point: Korey.

So, the end score totals to Korey with fourteen points and me with ten. Evidently, bro-mance beat romance in this case. While I'm slightly disappointed that I was beaten (though we all know I was set up to fail by the end), I'm happy to know that Caleb has friends who know him so well. And we all know I love him the most anyway.

Overall, this was a super fun game and I highly encourage you all to play with your friends and your significant others! They might just surprise you.

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