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Horror Movie Trauma Essay

1237 words - 5 pages

Horror movies today are a part of our culture, and different cultures around the world. This genre of movie may be a hit or miss with people, but it sure does have some devoted fans. People crave adrenaline; and scary movies can be very satisfying. The only problem is, some argue that seeing so many terrifying images can harm your psychological state and your health. In some cases this is true, but in many other cases people tend to handle fear quite well and learn to overcome it.
Neuroscientists have long been doing research on how fear and strongly emotional experiences tend to make a longer impression on one's memory. An article in the online journal Molecular Psychiatry, Daniela Kaufer and colleagues at UC Berkeley found out a new way that someone's emotions affect their ability to remember. They state that, "The brain's emotional center, the amygdala, induces the hippocampus, a relay hub for memory, to generate new neurons" (ScienceDaily 1). When these neurons are made, it is basically a blank palate to engrave the new memory in. There is research conducted by Joseph LeDoux, director of the Center for the Neuroscience of Fear and Anxiety in New York, implying that the things we associate with fear; different shadows in the dark or a slight sound, triggers the amygdala and "It triggers a body-wide reaction in milliseconds, pumping out stress hormones that prime the body for action" (Wall Street Journal 2). Other parts of your body are triggered when you become anxious as well. When this happens, our muscles need more oxygen and glucose, so our heart speeds up. A hormone called Cortisol is released in this process, but the bad thing is that if your body produces it for a long period of time it can hurt your heart, your immune system, and can even increase risk for obesity (A Quiet Place 2).
Fear is one of the only emotions that can kill you. Martin A. Samuels, chief of neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, states, "The heart muscles contract involuntarily in a characteristic pattern, and they don't relax again because of the huge rush of stress hormones" (Wall Street Journal 3). This can obviously cause somebody to go into cardiac arrest, resulting in death. In addition to actual causes of death, prolonged fear or trauma can become embedded in your thoughts. Richard Bryant, School of Psychology, writes about how once a traumatic experience is instilled inside your mind, one becomes extremely sensitive to trauma reminders. This is called fear conditioning, which is assumed to generate fear circuitry disorders. These disorders would include PTSD, social phobias, agoraphobia, and panic disorders.
Many people enjoy horror movies or become intrigued by them. This stage usually starts in pre-adolescents because they are trying to chase a thrill. Since children have a different thinking process than adults, children are unfortunately the majority of people who are affected by scary movies. Children are actually the group of...

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