Horror Movies & Mental Health

Okay people, hands up how many of you out there suffer from a mental illness?

My guess is that there’s a few of you out there that have mental health issues, if so raise your hand up.

Well I’m going to wear my heart on my sleeve here and I’m going to get real personal with you, I myself suffer from mental health issues, and I have done for many years. My two big escapes from it all involve music and film and I also know it’s the same for a lot of people out there who are in the same position.

It makes me laugh because I find that people that have mental health issues are drawn more towards the Horror genre, I laugh because when you think about it you’d think that people with problems in their lives would maybe watch a comedy not something that involves, blood, guts and death.

I’ve found that people, including myself, enjoy the escape that the Horror genre provides. No other genre does for its fans what the Horror genre does (well, maybe comicbook films which I also love), but I’ve always said that Horror just doesn’t offer scares and gore and monsters. No, no, no, there’s more than that to it.

The Horror genre has it all, want some comedy then watch “Shaun Of The Dead”, want drama then watch “Carrie”, want romance then watch “Return Of The Living Dead 3”, you see where I’m going with this. The Horror genre has something for everyone, it also has an illustrious history that can’t be matched.

Horror also offers us some amazing characters that we love and hate equally, or even love to hate. Fans can find something in these characters (and even the actors/actresses who play them) that they find inspiring and it can even be something life changing for some people.

Now I say all this because when you suffer from mental health issues you tend to want an escape and/or a release, something to take your mind off your problems and release your frustrations. Horror films are perfect for that, you don’t get that with any other film genre, but again I’m rambling.

I’ve also heard some very personal stories of how Horror films have helped people deal with their grief of a passed loved one, dealing with anxiety and depression, even post natal depression. I still find it amazing that films can have such a positive impact on someones life.

It’s a true power that they hold and to see that something that can be very gruesome and blood curdling scary can be something that people find therapeutic and a help in life. I know I myself have had a great amount of help from the Horror genre, as have man others, and we will continue to do so.

I do apologise for rambling on and on and I know I struggled to try and get my point across to you but I hope you’re able to see what I was trying to get at. I find Horror films to be truly cathartic, no other film genre does that for me and for that I owe it a huge debt.

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