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'Avatar' Audiences Experience Depression, Suicidal Thoughts

by VR Sreeraman on  January 16, 2010 at 3:35 PM Mental Health News   - G J E 4
 'Avatar' Audiences Experience Depression, Suicidal Thoughts
The idyllic planet depicted by director James Cameron in his blockbuster film Avatar is giving rise to depression and suicidal thoughts among people who regret not being able to visit the planet populated by blue aliens.
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The plot of the film is set in future when Earth's resources have been depleted and tracks the story of a corporation trying to mine a rare mineral. The humans clash with the natives - a peace-loving race of 7ft tall, blue-skinned creatures called the Na'vi, who exist in perfect harmony with nature.

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Fans have taken to Internet to tell about their depression, reports News.com.au.

On the site Avatar Forums, the topic 'Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible' has more than 1,000 posts.

In a similar forum, one user wrote: "When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed grey. It just seems so meaningless.

"I still don't really see any reason to keep doing things at all. I live in a dying world."

On another site, one fan was even more affected, admitting: "I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora."

According to Daily Mail, the incredible visual realism of the film could mean viewers become particularly attached.

"Virtual life is not real life and it never will be, but this is the pinnacle of what we can build in a virtual presentation so far," Dr Stephan Quentzel, psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Louis Armstrong Centre for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Centre in New York told CNN.

"It has taken the best of our technology to create this virtual world and real life will never be as utopian as it seems onscreen. It makes real life seem more imperfect," Quentzel added.

On the official Avatar website, David Scott Jaggers posted: "I can totally relate [to people feeling depressed about having to leave the world of Pandora]. I think most us can here.

"For me, getting to talk to you guys online allows me to feel closer to the movie, or maybe closer to you guys because we can share our feeling and thoughts and friendships.

"So many things from the movie, like for example the idea of brotherhood we can bring to this very real world of ours."

Source: ANI
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