(AscendHealthy.com) – Who doesn’t love a good murder mystery? True crime takes it up a notch, challenging us to solve real-life murders as we immerse ourselves in horror.
Whether a person’s chosen poison is novels, television shows or podcasts, the content can be addicting. For some people, too much of a good thing can lead to potential mental health risks. See how.
Warning: Overexposure to True Crime Can Carry These Mental Health Risks.
The Draw of True Crime
We watch true crime for a handful of reasons, most of which make a lot of sense. One of the main ones, according to AskWonder, stems from a place of self-preservation: If we can learn from mistakes that have gotten other people killed, we might avoid falling down those same paths. As observers, we can follow the clues to their logical ends, feeling watchful and alert, empowering ourselves a little more each time we add to our mental databases.
We also engage in true crime to understand why these tragedies occur. Part of our fear of the human monster is related to our fear of the unknown. If we can better understand how these predators tick (or what turns good people bad), we might strip away some of their power. Even more, we can walk away from a chapter or episode feeling grateful that we were not the victim.
This time, anyway.
Impacts of Overexposure
Knowledge is power — usually. After all, it’s always good to have a heads up to all the symptoms of arsenic poisoning, right? Or the tell-tale signs that “perfect” marriage is actually a long con, someone is stalking us or a business partnership is really a setup….
Sometimes, all that “information” can become violence overload. According to a recent Huffington Post article, some people may respond to all that exposure by becoming more fearful and withdrawn. Instead of feeling empowered by the info they take in, they become hypervigilant and untrusting. Their mood might grow darker as the exposure continues, and they may suffer from nightmares and other signs of overwhelmedness.
When the world suddenly appears dangerous from every angle, it might be time to take a break. We use entertainment to unwind and relax; if it’s causing anxiety and distress, instead, it’s not fulfilling its purpose. Shift gears by binge-watching a comedy or lighthearted romance — or find a nonfiction story that’s inspiring instead of unsettling. Reminding ourselves that a hero is out there for every villain may help restore our faith in humanity.
True crime can be informative and empowering, but too much of it could paint a dark cloud overhead. Avoid binging on this genre to keep exposure levels healthy. As with so much else in this world, balance really is the key.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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