Affects Of Scary Movies


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People love to be scared. They go to haunted houses, ghost hunting trips, and watch scary movies just to get a thrill. I can remember being scared for like by the movie the 6th sense after sneaking in on my parents watching it. I have hated scary movies ever since. But can scary movies actually have effects on your health beyond just making you scared for a period of time?

 

According to Lifestyle Lounge, the long lasting affects of watching scary movies includes anxiety, sleepiness, fear, and phobias. Anxiety is a visible affect of watching horror movies and can even linger into adulthood. Regarding sleepiness, Lifestyle Lounge says, "An immediate psychological effect of scary movies on the minds of people is lack of sleep. The person may find an inability to sleep through the night for few days, even months after watching the movie. He/she may need to use a nightlight while sleeping. The thoughts of the horrifying characters appeared in the horror movie and the situations may haunt him/her, leading to sleepless nights. This condition last for a week to even a year." The lack of sleep can affect your overall health and quality of life. The fear and phobias come from the playing of the scary movie in your head and makes you fearful of things relating to it and eventually can turn into a phobia if it is not caught in time.

 

In an article by Suite 101, it says that, "According to Glenn Sparks, a professor of communication at Purdue University, the physical reactions to horrifying images include sweaty palms, tense muscles, a drop of several degrees in skin temperature, a spike in blood pressure and an increase in heart rate of up to 15 beats per minute. Those are some pretty incredible changes considering you're simply sitting still viewing images."

 

All in all, if you can not handle watching scary movies without any of these side affects happening, you should not watch these types of movies. They can be bad for your health short term and bad for your psychological health long term. 


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5 Comments

Interesting article. I also recently wrote an article about the affects of scary movies check it out here: http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/siowfa12/2012/11/why-do-we-watch-scary-movies.html
I personally don't like scary movies and I probably never will. I wanted to understand why people did like such movies and psychological stimulation is one of the reasons why. Since I wrote about why people liked watching scary movies and the benefits that people got from them, it was interesting to read why scary movies are bad for you. The side effects don't seem as severe as you write them to be but all in all I think it has to do with the type of person watching the scary movie. If one is more sensitive to scary movies then they are obviously more susceptible to the psychological side effects that come with it.

Interesting blog topic, however i feel like this is the case in extreme situations. I have never met anyone so terribly afraid of a movie to the point that they experience health issues. I also feel as though if scary movie actually caused health issues they would not be as popular as they are. After reading this article and learning about absolute and relative risk i couldn't help but make a connection. I feel as though the relative risk of watching scary movies could increase your chance of health problems, however the absolute risk must be incredibly small. I wonder if there were any cases in history where someone's health was seriously affected after watching a terrifying movie, such as getting a heart attack or something like that?

I have to agree with Liam on this one. I think the psychological effects of watching scary movies can vary from person to person. Personally, I have the mental capacity to accept the fact that everything I see is always just a movie, and nothing more. Therefore, I can say I have never lost sleep or been seriously physically or mentally affected from watching a movie which scared me a lot, but then again, that is just me. However, this article (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-12-06/hyderabad/28230672_1_horror-films-residential-school-student) explains a major incident in which a man dies of shock just minutes after watching a common horror film such as Aliens. Whether he died of an outside cause or as a direct result of the horror films itself, it definitely opens up the possibility that someone can in fact be seriously physically or mentally harmed as a result of viewing a horror film.

Quite interesting, However, I hold some different opinion with you. According to you blog, you cited the viewpoints from the experts who highlight the bad effects of scary movie, when I began study this topic on the internet, I found something totally different for the saying as that, excuses for not watching the movies will not work anymore. Studies have shown that horror movies can be good for mental health and brain of women. The benefit of watching scary movies proves that it has a positive effect on the mind, body and soul. Research suggests that while women watch horror flicks, the brain secretes neurotransmitter dopamine, glutamate and serotonin. Thus, increased brain activity gets the state of mind alert for a while. Additionally , threat signals that pass through the hypothalamus will stimulate the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and opiates which has an anesthesia like effect.
And what is different from your blog that, the anxiety which will make people unable to get into sleep will last for several days, the article said that after watching the movie for half and hour, the system of the body will be calm and the defense system will become more powerful. That is when the immune system in the body will be stronger for a while.
What's more, in my personal view, when we are watching the horrible movie and scream out loudly that is a kind of relax. Any way, I love scary movies.

I've never really been a big horror movie fan, but when I do watch them occasionally, I know I don't really sleep a lot for a couple days or a week after seeing the movie. I'm not really big on scares because I get absolutely terrified, but the adrenaline rush is kind of fun sometimes and I feel like I'm a lot more alert and aware of my surroundings after seeing a scary movie. Like Liam said, scary movies could definitely increase the relative risk of having a serious health problem, yet the absolute risk must be very small considering people are different and things obviously effect them differently. Could watching too many of these horror films give a person more health problems, as in, the more scary movies the more trips to the hospital? Is there any research that has been done about it?


While Shuqi was talking about the screaming being a relax, I know a lot of people who will watch a comedy after watching a scary movie to be able to relax and get their mind off things.

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