Horror and Mental Health
Mental health is a fascination of mine.
While horror as a genre doesn’t have the best history with mental health representation, horror being used as something to help with your mental health is a very real thing.
Horrors uses fictional and/or real events to help us face and understand our own fears through a controlled environment where we know everything is safe.
“Horror movies don’t create fear. They release it.”
“You don’t enter the theater and pay your money to be afraid. You enter the theater and pay your money to have the fears that are already in you.”
Wes Craven, an American film director
Horror improves our self-confidence and helps us feel connected with the people around us.
Watching scary movies with others can be rewarding. Reading scary books can be rewarding. Playing scary games can be rewarding. It’s wonderful to connect with others over a common interest. Then going on from there to discuss these things with people and talk openly about the parts that frightened us.
It has real value.
But despite this horror itself isn’t always great at representing mental health.
So, you can imagine my delight when the horror writers’ association launched their mental health initiative. Part of this initiative is to be bold in its approach to tackling the stigma of mental illness in the genre and to promote positive images of mental health in horror, and to create an environment of understanding and compassion.