A client recently commented on how she felt ‘down’ after watching Avatar. There have been reports that Avatar can cause depressive thoughts. It does not surprise me that people can have a reaction when they view certain movies. People pay money to ‘feel’. Amusement and theme parks, Boat rides, Gambling, Gaming and more. A movie allows us to live in another character, another world for a few hours. A movie brings up emotions, a wide range of emotions which can be accessed through the characters and narrative in the movie.
The fantasy world of movies is very removed from the hundreds of millions who live in India. Movies that sell there have people living in a world of luxury where most live in poverty. For a few rupees a person can disappear into another world. They can enjoy living another life.
With clients who suffer a lot of anxiety I often advise they stop seeing Horror movies and anything which brings up feelings of fear. Some advertisements are really good at this and bring up fear to sell their products. Some clients have to cut down on TV or even give it up. It is not surprising that people can feel depressed after a movie. They can feel happy too. Feel good movies feel good for a reason. Examples of feel good movies are ‘Forest Gump, Slumdog Millionaire, it’s a wonderful life, Ground Hog Day, Chariots of fire and more. A feel good movie will help you feel hope and full of future.
We cannot all predict with any accuracy as to how a movie will make us feel. It is important to talk about it with someone and then to reflect and remind yourself it is another world. Chat with friends about it. Discuss the narrative and its development. Do an activity. Go outside and experience the trees, breathe in the air. Look at the sky. Watch people and animals.
No matter how auto-biographical a movie is, it still uses actors and can never truly accurately predict and represent the reality of it all. It is important to realistically appraise the world presented and bring yourself back to your own world. We are at our most vulnerable when watching a movie. A portal opens up within us when we watch. A portal which suspends judgement. It is important to be able to close it once the movie is over. Instead of seeing your own life as a negative, use the movie as an opportunity to find new meaning and direction. Something to add to your own life.