TRIGGER WARNING: If you have an exaggerated startle response, you’re gonna want to prepare for anxiety during and after the movie.
First, I don’t prefer horror/suspense flicks because I don’t like mixing pleasure and pain.
Second, I’m genuinely unable to physically and emotionally deal with too much anticipation and such.
In the rare chance, I watch a scary movie, I tend to become easily annoyed by predictable plots and stupid moves by the characters. If the movie happens to be good and actually scares me, it takes me on an emotional rollercoaster ride (another fun activity I dislike due to the pain/pleasure dilemma).
Back to the movie, I was really triggered!! I pretty much had a mild-to-moderate panic attack that included: holding my breath, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, clenching my fists and holding my significant other’s hand and clothes too tight, breathing loudly (when I remembered to exhale), and intestinal distress.
As I walked out of the auditorium I jokingly said:
“I need some anti-anxiety medication after that.”
Jokes aside, I definitely needed to chillax. And THAT’S OKAY! Self-awareness is a beautiful thing. When it’s joined with self-compassion, we can engage in self-care.
Lastly, be careful to monitor your self-talk about your experience. Thoughts of shame, blame, and self-loathing only make things worse. Rather than judge yourself, tend to yourself.
Keeping this short, but I had to warn you all. I wouldn’t say don’t see the movie, just be prepared to bring yourself back to center afterward.