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Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:54 pm
by mattmxl
Has anybody ever had a piece of fiction completely mess them up for a prolonged period of time? Nightmares, disrupted sleep patterns, detachment from surroundings, head that won't settle and races at 100mph, knotting of the stomach etc? If so, how long did it last for and what steps did you take to overcome it? Beginning to wonder if I'm in some trouble.

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:56 am
by snail
I've had this, but generally only for a day or two. After that the effect wears off as everyday life pushes it into the background. I actually do, and have for about 20 years, censor my book and film intake so as not to have to deal with concepts that I know will really upset me enough to make everyday life difficult for a while.

The book/film has touched something in you that you were already bothered about, and triggered a major anxiety attack. It will subside; the best thing to do is keep busy with mundane tasks. But the really best thing to do would be to deal with the underlying anxiety with talking therapy. If the worst comes to the worst you can go to your GP who will give you some medication, but it's only a short term solution.

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:22 pm
by Tarantula
You're not alone mattmxl. I had something similar which lasted a few days. It was a porn story I read about a guy who cheats on his wife with a seductive masseuse. I got paranoid about masseuses. I still never want my fella to have a professional massage from a woman. :D

Also the film 'The Hills Have Eyes' (the remake) really upset me for a while as it included sexual assault themes.

Basically all symptoms subsided in time. Obviously don't read/watch the offending thing again. And as snail says, address the WHY behind why it bothers you so much.

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:45 am
by mattmxl
Well the two "professional" people I've also consulted on the matter have both suggested its a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which seems a pathetic thing to pick up from a sausage video game. If I'd witnessed my mother being murdered in front of me or something then fair enough, but a video game, nah. It's something to start on though I suppose.

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:20 pm
by Tarantula
What game is it? Is it about sausages?

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:21 pm
by Tarantula
It's not Slender, is it? 'Cos that game would GIVE people PTSD, let alone prompt it...

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:14 pm
by snail
mattmxl wrote:If I'd witnessed my mother being murdered in front of me or something then fair enough, but a video game, nah.


It's not really about the game, that's merely a trigger (and triggers for even major anxiety attacks can be surprisingly slight). It's about your own state of mind. It can be very frightening and confusing because it totally feels as though it was the fictional idea that upset you, but the reality is you were on the edge anyway - tired and scared, and this is why the idea has got such a hold on you.

It will pass. But if the underlying anxiety isn't dealt with, something else could trigger you off again at almost any time.

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:19 pm
by mattmxl
No, it wasn't about sausages, though I can see why you might ask that question. The language filter on this is clearly hyper-sensitive. Slender? No, it wasn't that, never heard of that one, certainly not going to look it up now. It was a recent release called The Last Of Us. Also, it wasn't so much the highly graphic depictions of violence that got to me more the actual plot of the thing and quite how involved I somehow got with the characters. Doesn't normally happen so it's probably a case of extremely good writing, but the whole thing was exceptionally sad.

snail wrote:It's not really about the game, that's merely a trigger (and triggers for even major anxiety attacks can be surprisingly slight). It's about your own state of mind. It can be very frightening and confusing because it totally feels as though it was the fictional idea that upset you, but the reality is you were on the edge anyway - tired and scared, and this is why the idea has got such a hold on you.

It will pass. But if the underlying anxiety isn't dealt with, something else could trigger you off again at almost any time.

Well now you're scaring me because I've been there before. First time I went down with it, it was "triggered" by a film, a fairly harmless one at that. Oh dear, have to see if I can get the old brain swapped, this one is clearly prone to flipping.

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:16 pm
by snail
Well, if you've been through it once and come out, then it's less frightening the next time, because you do at least know you can survive it and it will pass.

Ideally, you need to explore with a counsellor why certain issues are so deeply frightening and disturbing for you, and come to some understanding of it.

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:57 pm
by mattmxl
I have no idea what these issues are though! You think a counselor would be able to figure something out from the above clues perhaps?

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:39 pm
by snail
Well, if you explained in some detail what the trigger was, how you felt, and what it caused you to think that made you so frightened, then they might be able to have a stab at it, based on their general knowledge of psychology.

But counselling is not like taking your car to the garage to be fixed you know :P They don't just find and swap out the faulty part. Humans are too complex for that (or most of them are, anyway!). Counselling is about exploring yourself and your feelings and your values with someone who is aware and educated and perceptive, whom you trust, and who grows to know you very well. It takes time, usually at least a couple of years. In this respect, the '8 week courses' and similar offered by the NHS are not so helpful, as there is not enough time to build knowledge and trust, and you don't get to pick your own therapist. But you can still get benefit from them, as they teach general psychology principles (like cognitive behavioural therapy) that are helpful for almost everyone, and the therapist's overall knowledge of psychology is enough for them to give you useful insight into the more general problems you may be having.

Re: Fiction Too Real!

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:11 pm
by mattmxl
I'd have to explain the whole back-story to the game for it to make any sense really, which could bore the socks of anybody and possibly ruin it for people who haven't played it.