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unhealthy obsession with the macabre?


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Hi,

    I'm new to this site.  I wanted to get some people's opinion on something that I've been batting around in my mind.

    I have depression, anxiety, and PTSD.  I watch and listen to almost exclusively depressing and dark art.  Right now I'm watching old Twilight Zone episodes and gloomy film noir movies, and listening to depressing music.  My question is, do you think these outlets exacerbate or quell mental disorders, or neither?  I've always liked really melancholy songs, and I've had a fascination with the dark side even as a child.  This has always kind of alienated me, I think, but I just can't relate to happy things, unless they are also related to darkness.  I find that mainstream movies either make me feel more alienated, or else I think that they're corny.  I've tried to listen to other kinds of music, but I always end up going back to gloomy songs.  I like artists

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Hi,

    I'm new to this site.  I wanted to get some people's opinion on something that I've been batting around in my mind.

    I have depression, anxiety, and PTSD.  I watch and listen to almost exclusively depressing and dark art.  Right now I'm watching old Twilight Zone episodes and gloomy film noir movies, and listening to depressing music.  My question is, do you think these outlets exacerbate or quell mental disorders, or neither?  I've always liked really melancholy songs, and I've had a fascination with the dark side even as a child.  This has always kind of alienated me, I think, but I just can't relate to happy things, unless they are also related to darkness.  I find that mainstream movies either make me feel more alienated, or else I think that they're corny.  I've tried to listen to other kinds of music, but I always end up going back to gloomy songs.  I like artists

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hi,

i think it's really good that you are even asking this question. and i kind of suspect that you have an answer for it yourself.

is it the chicken and the egg? will listening/watching dark music and art depress you or is it a catharsis of sorts allowing you to let your outside world resonate with your inside world.

hmm, i think i missed the chicken and egg analogy i was starting out with there.

if you started listening to the osmonds you would likely become highly agitated and i don't think that would be a good thing for you.

do you socialise with other people who enjoy the same kinds of 'dark' things as you? or do you dwell mainly on your own? i know from personal experience that cutting off social ties can enhance depressive feelings. so are you feeling trapped with this life you have made for yourself? are you able to talk and socialise with people about things that interest you? or can you talk to anyone about your depressive feelings?

grouse.

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Oh, god, The Smiths are torture!  ;)   I used to listen to "Asleep" on repeat and just cry and cry and and cry and cry and slice up my legs and cry some more.  I can't do it anymore, because that... to me, that was just like depressive masturbation, you know?  It was wallowing.  Not the fact that it was The Smiths, necessarily.  Just... I don't know.  How I used it.

But you can tell when certain things get that quality, I think. 

And I do think that it can be cathartic, as well.  It all hinges on that question of use- how you use it. 

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Do you feel better, worse, or unchanged afterwards?

That'll answer your question. ;)

Listening to the Osmonds would freak anyone out, I would think.

I tend to go for angry dark music when depressed. Black Flag, Misfits, sort of stuff.

Dunno why, but older dark angry music just seems to be more theraputic than listening to Slipknot scream. (That's fun too, though.)

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Wow,

    A lot of great responses here.  It's cool to see that a lot of other people have thought about this too.  I can definitely relate to what was said, here.  I think Grousemouse put it well with the chicken and the egg metaphor.  Thanks for posting, everyone.

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I listen to a lot of dark and depressive music (smiths, velvet undground, patti smith etc.) and read a lot of twisted mind-fuck literature (Auster, Baudelaire, Poe etc.) but I don't have a problem with it at all - I believe it's more than just cathartic, it's interesting as what I perceive as good art. The problem is I never meet anyone else into the same stuff. Can't watch TV anymore because most of the shows nowadays freak me out something chronic with their lame celebrity-obsessed upbeat "zany" hollywood-worshipping whatever. And I'm falling out of love with the radio. Maybe there are tolerance issues, I don't know, but I'm happy with my tastes, just wish they didn't seem to be exclusive to me.

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I can't say at what point it may be unhealthy maybe only you can. If you are surrounding youself with things that match your mood it's one thing. If you are seeking things out to make yourself worse in a destructive way that would be another.

I like darkness. I like winter. I get more depressed when spring comes-longer  daylight, snow melting, people getting outside more. I like Mahler symphonies and listening to The Sound of Music is absolute torture. Happy people bug me. I've never met anyone in person that is like me in that way but it's nice to know there are others out there.

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I think it depends on the person. Personally, I prefer things which are grotesque and socially deviant. For a variety of reasons.

For example, I have chronic anxiety (GAD according to a med student doing his internship, first time he met me, so take that as you will) and I can't deal with sane people. They freak me out. "Crazy people" make me more at ease, because they are more predictable. You can find all sorts of DSM criteria listings for various disorders.  Yet, where is the list of criteria for "normal personality disorder"?

Crazy things make me feel better also, because I lose the sense that I need to explain myself for everything I do. Crazy people know crazy thoughts/behaviours.

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It depends on YOU, so that you probably have some idea as to an answer.  It also can depend on the circumstance.  Someone mentioned social cutoffs = bad, and that's a MAJOR part of it, but really I think it's about how you're using it.  I have used the music I listen to to continue to cycle my mood.  I have also used the exact same music to mellow out and feel better.  If it's not going the right way when you turn it on, turn it off and do something else. ::shrug::

Oh, and...welcome.

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I didn't realize this until about a year ago, but most of the music I listen to was sung or played by artists who died. Some committed suicide, some not.

The little TV I watch and the few movies I see usually involve murders, suicides, accidental death, etc.  I've been told that I am preoccupied with death.

It doesn't seem unnatural to me.

I find a strange sense of comfort with my interest in the macabre.

Sometimes, thoughts of death actually make me appreciate my life more. A former musician I worked with passed away in December. His death motivated me to give notice at my miserable job. I don't even have another job lined up. He was only 6 years older than me, and his death forced me to realize how short my life really is. I believe when we die, that's it. But, in a really wierd way, I feel like he is watching me.

Happy people annoy me to no end.

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OK I havent been around for a while - but my "fav fucked up song" is 'Everybody here wants you' by Jeff Buckley.  Sorry, I get caught up in the lyrics and well, yeah it makes me cry.

I dont mind the dark side of things - we are just more accepting of it, the "mainstream" world is afraid of death. 

A quote I heard from somewhere goes along the lines of "you cant live until you realise you have to die"

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