Fear and horror movies

Strange but true: horror movies relieve anxiety

Anxiety becomes a disorder when worry and panic disrupts everyday life. You would think that watching horror movies, which evoke panic and fear, is the wrong genre for someone with anxiety. Nothing could be further from the truth, horror movies can actually relieve the symptoms of fear. But only if you know that you are in a safe environment and that what you see is not real.

The similarities

The plot of horror movies is normally a protagonist who senses danger lurking. Their cries are on deaf ears. In the end, the protagonist is proved right and goes into battle with the monster. According to Vice, living with fear feels like there is a sound or a shadow at every corner that refers to a monster that no one can see. You feel like there is something, but you can't prove its existence to anyone.

In horror movies, you know that the monster is real and can be fought against. The monster has a name, face, and weakness. Ultimately, the protagonist comes face to face with the monster and wins the battle. Someone with fear would want this to happen to them too. Being afraid of horror movies is considered rational as opposed to being afraid of things that are not there in the eyes of others.

How horror movies help

Watching horror movies is one way to escape the fears of real life. Horror movies can be a addiction to be. Psychotherapist John Kuziel states that the hypothalamus that causes the fight or flight response generates adrenaline, glucose and cortisol in our body. This adrenaline rush makes people want to see more horror movies. Horror movies make people with fear feel at ease. According to Dr. Mathias Clasen of Aarhus University is because watching a horror movie is a voluntary act that takes place under controlled conditions. This makes a person feel safer compared to real dangers. Just like when you're on a roller coaster, people with anxiety feel better watching horror movies in company knowing that they are going through the same thing together. Horror movies shouldn't be used as a cure for fear, but they can be a useful tool for controlling it.