• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

How Depression Improved My Movie-Watching Experience.

pauljeremiah

Gold Member
Jun 7, 2007
2,355
736
1,665
38
Ireland
letterboxd.com
I've been battling with depression since my mid-teens, and I've always found the best way for me to deal with it is to deep dive into one of my hobbies. It just helps me take my mind off it and I generally tend to get over it.

Sometimes it may be playing video games or reading books, or if the weather is nice, going for long walks in the woods or just doing work in my garden. But the one constant that has always been there to help me is movies. From trips to the cinema to just watching movies at home.

I think it's the whole escapism that continues to draw me to movies. Growing up on the west coast of Ireland in the '80s and '90s you really did need some form of escapism to get through it. So just seeing the world from a different perspective than my own was always something that drew me in. It's like what Roger Ebert said: "The movies are like a machine that generates empathy. If it’s a great movie, it lets you understand a little bit more about what it’s like to be a different gender, a different race, a different age, a different economic class, a different nationality, a different profession, different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."

I use to love checking out the latest trailer just to keep up with what was coming out next. Sadly in the late '90s and early 2000s, I was still on dial-up and downloading a trailer in "high quality" could take a few hours. Like spending nearly four hours to download this trailer for Terminator 3. I also started a home movie collection, first on VHS, then DVD, and now blu-ray & 4K.

In the last few years, I started to have serious bouts of depression again, even to the extent that I was considering harming myself and even taking my own life. I think it was just a bad combination of things at the time, I felt that I was in a dead-end job, my latest relationship had ended badly, I had to move out of my apartment and it felt like life was throwing haymakers at me and I had little or no defence.

I just started to binge movies to get me over the hump. I watched all of the Star Wars films, all of Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings. Then I decided that I need to watch more films from before I was born, so I just started to buy random films on iTunes and blu-ray. Noir films from the '40s and '50s, Westerns from the '30-60s, New Hollywood films from the '70s etc, films from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China and Thailand. My mindset became, every film deserves at least one watch.

And because of the above mindset, I've stopped watching trailers and stopped reading the vast majority of movie news, especially casting news and production news, and my whole movie watching experience has dramatically improved. I'm enjoying movies more now. I've noticed this more when I go see a comedy and my friends come out hating it and I enjoyed it because non of the jokes were spoiled for me. I've stopped reading reviews and listening to movie podcasts until after I've seen the film. It's gone from "is this film worth my time and money" to "does reading/hearing this review help articulate my thoughts about the film better?"

I know I will have some bad days ahead of but I also know that the vast majority of those days will be good. I know that whenever those bad days do come, there will always be a film I haven't seen yet that will help me get back on the right track and put in the right direction.

So apologies for my rambling, but thanks for reading if you got this far.
 

Codiox

Member
Aug 11, 2013
2,010
93
595
Germany
This is something I realized aswell. Don't look reviews, trailers or anything up, just dive into a game / music / movie / book without knowing anything. If it catches your interest because you saw the cover / advertisement or even a snippet just go for it. Most of the time you will enjoy it. It's also much easier zu enjoy it without knowing how it was rated.


When there was no internet this was also much easier to live by.
 

pauljeremiah

Gold Member
Jun 7, 2007
2,355
736
1,665
38
Ireland
letterboxd.com
This is something I realized aswell. Don't look reviews, trailers or anything up, just dive into a game / music / movie / book without knowing anything. If it catches your interest because you saw the cover / advertisement or even a snippet just go for it. Most of the time you will enjoy it. It's also much easier zu enjoy it without knowing how it was rated.


When there was no internet this was also much easier to live by.
Oh totally agree, just going down to my local video store in the early 90s and just renting a movie purely based on the cover and maybe that two or three-line synopsis on the back of the box. It's how I came across films like Spaceballs, The Burbs and Weird Science.
 

Soodanim

Member
Feb 24, 2012
6,837
2,142
1,005
There’s definitely something to be said for cutting out the information overload. You without trying get told what to watch and not watch, and although that might save you from a few 3/10s it also takes away the individual nature of enjoyment of a product. I don’t watch a lot of movies/films, but for those I am going to watch I don’t bother with trailers at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Somnium

pauljeremiah

Gold Member
Jun 7, 2007
2,355
736
1,665
38
Ireland
letterboxd.com
There’s definitely something to be said for cutting out the information overload. You without trying get told what to watch and not watch, and although that might save you from a few 3/10s it also takes away the individual nature of enjoyment of a product. I don’t watch a lot of movies/films, but for those I am going to watch I don’t bother with trailers at all.

I have no issue watching a bad film or a poorly received film. It’s only when you’ve seen a bad film that you can really appreciate a great one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Soodanim

Happosai

Member
May 13, 2020
1,592
2,002
420
33
South Central, Mexico
myanimelist.net
I've been battling with depression since my mid-teens, and I've always found the best way for me to deal with it is to deep dive into one of my hobbies. It just helps me take my mind off it and I generally tend to get over it.

Sometimes it may be playing video games or reading books, or if the weather is nice, going for long walks in the woods or just doing work in my garden. But the one constant that has always been there to help me is movies. From trips to the cinema to just watching movies at home.

I think it's the whole escapism that continues to draw me to movies. Growing up on the west coast of Ireland in the '80s and '90s you really did need some form of escapism to get through it. So just seeing the world from a different perspective than my own was always something that drew me in. It's like what Roger Ebert said: "The movies are like a machine that generates empathy. If it’s a great movie, it lets you understand a little bit more about what it’s like to be a different gender, a different race, a different age, a different economic class, a different nationality, a different profession, different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."

I use to love checking out the latest trailer just to keep up with what was coming out next. Sadly in the late '90s and early 2000s, I was still on dial-up and downloading a trailer in "high quality" could take a few hours. Like spending nearly four hours to download this trailer for Terminator 3. I also started a home movie collection, first on VHS, then DVD, and now blu-ray & 4K.

In the last few years, I started to have serious bouts of depression again, even to the extent that I was considering harming myself and even taking my own life. I think it was just a bad combination of things at the time, I felt that I was in a dead-end job, my latest relationship had ended badly, I had to move out of my apartment and it felt like life was throwing haymakers at me and I had little or no defence.

I just started to binge movies to get me over the hump. I watched all of the Star Wars films, all of Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings. Then I decided that I need to watch more films from before I was born, so I just started to buy random films on iTunes and blu-ray. Noir films from the '40s and '50s, Westerns from the '30-60s, New Hollywood films from the '70s etc, films from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China and Thailand. My mindset became, every film deserves at least one watch.

And because of the above mindset, I've stopped watching trailers and stopped reading the vast majority of movie news, especially casting news and production news, and my whole movie watching experience has dramatically improved. I'm enjoying movies more now. I've noticed this more when I go see a comedy and my friends come out hating it and I enjoyed it because non of the jokes were spoiled for me. I've stopped reading reviews and listening to movie podcasts until after I've seen the film. It's gone from "is this film worth my time and money" to "does reading/hearing this review help articulate my thoughts about the film better?"

I know I will have some bad days ahead of but I also know that the vast majority of those days will be good. I know that whenever those bad days do come, there will always be a film I haven't seen yet that will help me get back on the right track and put in the right direction.

So apologies for my rambling, but thanks for reading if you got this far.
I suffer from chronic anxiety and mild depression. It's been there just running in the background for over 20-years of my life. I like my life but I do find escape in movies or anime. The depression doesn't really affect my life anymore. It's just there. The movies, if well written, executed, funded, acted, directed, etc - tend to make me feel much better. It won't solve every problem with depression. The few friends I have, my wife (and best friend), getting out, sunlight, diet, and exercise do wonders too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pauljeremiah