The most surprising way you can scare away your anxiety: Scare yourself with a horror movie. Our writer had been going through a really rough patch in her life and was feeling immense anxiety. She’d been sexually assaulted by someone she’d known for years, and then she had two cancer scares back to back.
She basically started self-medicating by watching horror movies. She wondered if what she was doing was helpful or harmful, so she talked to a trauma therapist. The therapist told her that watching horror movies can be kind of cathartic, that you can connect with the character’s feelings and essentially master the feeling of being scared while actually being safe.
And behavioral biologist we talked to has proposed utilizing horror movies as a legitimate therapeutic tool for dealing with anxiety disorders.
Another reason why horror movies can be cathartic is because you see the characters heading back the phrase in the horror genre called The Final Girl. She’s the survivor. She’s the one who makes it to the end. Our writer says it’s not that simple, obviously, in real life, and that fighting for survival and getting through all of your personal and mental demons isn’t just going to happen overnight.
She did end up getting on an SSRI and going to therapy for trauma. But the next time you’re in a deep anxiety slump, it’s worth trying, if you like horror movies, to go on a movie marathon.
READ HER STORY: “Horror Movies Saved My Life”