Watching Scary Movies: Stimulating Or Stressful?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by encerent, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. encerent

    encerent Member

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    For movies that really scare you:

    At first it seems kind of straight-forward that they would cause a fear-based stress reaction where you'd release adrenaline, cortisol and other nasty things.

    But does "ultimately knowing" that there is no real danger restrain the stress hormones? And does the "thrill" of it that a lot of people love (including me) stimulating? By stimulating I mean could it encourage your body to increase dopamine and beneficial hormones like other stimulating activities?
     
  2. tca300

    tca300 Member

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    I dont know if the body can tell the difference. When watching TV shows or videos when people get hurt ( falling while skating for example) I can feel it in my chest when they wipe out. I assume that adrenaline is responsible. Probably not beneficial.
     
  3. superhuman

    superhuman Member

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    I agree. You can also tell when your watching scary movies and they are good and effect you. Your hands start almost sweating, heart rate increase etc its all adrenaline and bad stress.
     
  4. ReSTART

    ReSTART Member

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    Vaguely traumatic.
     
  5. kiran

    kiran Member

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    I haven't seen a scary movie in a bit, but I found World War Z stressful.
     
  6. Good question.

    Scary films which rely on cheap frights are, I think, stressful, in a very real way. That's why I don't watch them, and also because if they rely on cheap frights they're not likely to be very interesting. The reaction may be somewhat muted because we know it's fake, but the adrenaline response is real, and not at all welcome if you're a nervous person in general.

    On the other hand, a very few horror movies can be both stimulating and scary, especially so if they're not the jump-out-of-your-seat kind. Films like Pan's Labyrinth or, more recently, The Witch come to mind.
     
  7. Regina

    Regina Member

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    I think the "ultimately knowing" helps. I used to loathe screen violence until I joined a stunt team. Then, it became hilarious. Because you know how each scene is done and how much fun everybody involved had. And also the respect for their professionalism. The fights might be stupid but getting the footage is a b**** and takes a lot of good-natured commitment.
    I also developed a like for well-executed grisly drama; such as, Hannibal, Wire In The Blood, Bates Motel, The Killing.
     
  8. DaveFoster

    DaveFoster Member

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    I used to enjoy the horror, the obscene, and the taboo, but after making sure my thyroid works well, lowering stress, and having fulfilling, loving relationships I now have little interest in those things.

    Behaviors that people term "degenerate," such as drug abuse, horror, pornography, profanity, and similar activities appeal to a debased, degenerated psyche. By the same token, spirituality, altruism, the desire to restore order and contribute to society align with a healthy, generate mind.
     
  9. cb4

    cb4 Member

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    I cannot tolerate scary or suspenseful or disturbing movies (my wife loves them!). If your muscles tense, palms sweat, and heart pounds then it does not matter if your mind knows its not real. That is a real physical reaction, the body cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy.

    A low carb diet seems to over-activate the sympathetic nervous system, which is why when I was low carb I had the most trouble watching suspense/horror at night. Sometimes I would get so wound up I could not sleep for hours. That is no bueno.

    I think someone could get addicted to horror/suspense by needing something overstimulating in order just to get your nervous system up to baseline. Otherwise there may be a tendency to want to fall asleep if there is nothing stimulating.

    I agree with DaveFoster...focusing on the macabre, grotesque, etc. is degenerate and not how I want to spend my precious time on this planet. There is enough real garbage going on in the world. I am a sap for a good old fashioned feel good movie. In fact I recently made a pact with myself that everything I choose to do from now on will only be things that are net positive for myself or others.
     
  10. damngoodcoffee

    damngoodcoffee Member

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    I think it's ok to watch a scary movie every now and then. Some of them go too far however and should not be seen by anybody imo. I enjoy classics from the 70's and 80's. Maybe 90's too.
     
  11. sladerunner69

    sladerunner69 Member

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    Wow someone who actually enjoys horror films? Usually I find them comical or just boring. Some of them are totally dependant on "shock" value and gratuitious violence and gore which I beleive would totally increase adrenaline and cortisol and in turn estrogen and even serotonin. A steady Peat regimine would likely buffer against those effects though.

    Still why do you like horror films? They're so dull.
     
  12. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    I really think worrying about the hormonal effects of watching a mere movie is going a bit too far. Are you being healthy to live or living to be healthy?
     
  13. damngoodcoffee

    damngoodcoffee Member

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    :yeahthat
     
  14. CrystalClear

    CrystalClear Member

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    So does all the above go for watching the news on TV? The news is pretty much a nightly horror movie ( I think there was a song about that lol ). I hear RP stopped watching the news - never bought a new tv after his broke down. If RP is "peating" surely this would buffer the stress response watching the nightly news?
     
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