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Aaron2016

Morbid Fascination - Watching Disasters

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Aaron2016
Posted (edited)

What compels us to relive those horrific moments we saw on TV?  Sometimes I get the urge to watch 'hours' of recorded news coverage of 9/11, JFK assassination, Challenger explosion, Princess Diana's death, etc. I feel the emotion and adrenaline each time as I anticipate what is about to happen and feel powerless to stop it and just watch with morbid fascination as the news anchors react to the story as it unfolds again and again.  Any ideas what on earth drives us to watch those moments again?

 

Edited by Aaron2016

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Desertrat56

I have no clue as I do not suffer from that affliction.  If I am present I can look at stuff and be rational and calm, but I will not relive it over and over and I have no desire to watch footage of any of that, nor do I want to relive WW2 every 6 months, which is why I don't subscribe to the HIstory Channel.  Is is possible that you have an aberrant compulsion that you assume is normal?  (or maybe I am the aberration - see what kinds of responses you get besides mine).

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Aaron2016
4 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

I have no clue as I do not suffer from that affliction.  If I am present I can look at stuff and be rational and calm, but I will not relive it over and over and I have no desire to watch footage of any of that, nor do I want to relive WW2 every 6 months, which is why I don't subscribe to the HIstory Channel.  Is is possible that you have an aberrant compulsion that you assume is normal?  (or maybe I am the aberration - see what kinds of responses you get besides mine).

I sometimes think there is a biological reason that creates the impulses which makes us watch horrific events.  It's as if the human brain requires a certain stimulus, which is buried in our subconscious and was part of each generation as a natural defense mechanism to deal with terrible events during great hardships such as the Great depression and the war, and all the spontaneous things that occurred on a regular basis, but now that we live today in such a sedate and peaceful way of life, we no longer use that chemical, which eventually overwhelms the subconscious and drives us to watch replays of battles and disasters on TV just to release that stimulus in the brain so that we can get on with life.

 

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Desertrat56
6 minutes ago, Aaron2016 said:

I sometimes think there is a biological reason that creates the impulses which makes us watch horrific events.  It's as if the human brain requires a certain stimulus, which is buried in our subconscious and was part of each generation as a natural defense mechanism to deal with terrible events during great hardships such as the Great depression and the war, and all the spontaneous things that occurred on a regular basis, but now that we live today in such a sedate and peaceful way of life, we no longer use that chemical, which eventually overwhelms the subconscious and drives us to watch replays of battles and disasters on TV just to release that stimulus in the brain so that we can get on with life.

 

Well, you may have it partly right.  Our brains fire endorphins and if we start a pattern of thought, attention the brain starts expecting that certain chemical mix, it is what makes addictions so difficult to give up.  It is not just an emotional thing, it is a craving for the endorphins that are fired when you feel that emotion or what ever.  So maybe you got into the habit of watching these disasters and so now you watch them over and over, addicted.  I know the way I watch television is an addiction.  I can keep busy all day but at night I watch television, usually the same type of shows (murder mysteries and stand up).

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quiXilver
1 hour ago, Aaron2016 said:

I feel the emotion and adrenaline each time as I anticipate what is about to happen and feel powerless to stop it

I would expect this response has something to do with it...

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Scholar4Truth

I think its the fact that after we see it more and more we sort of become desensitized. 

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WillowLavenders

This probably falls under the question of why we watch horror movies, and like you said, the adrenaline and raw human emotion.

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RabidMongoose
On 10/3/2019 at 11:10 PM, Aaron2016 said:

What compels us to relive those horrific moments we saw on TV?  Sometimes I get the urge to watch 'hours' of recorded news coverage of 9/11, JFK assassination, Challenger explosion, Princess Diana's death, etc. I feel the emotion and adrenaline each time as I anticipate what is about to happen and feel powerless to stop it and just watch with morbid fascination as the news anchors react to the story as it unfolds again and again.  Any ideas what on earth drives us to watch those moments again?

 

Have you watched the videos on YouTube of people cut in half by trains?

Its interesting, and scary.

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Aaron2016
43 minutes ago, RabidMongoose said:

Have you watched the videos on YouTube of people cut in half by trains?

Its interesting, and scary.

That would be going a little too extreme.  My Dad had a friend who's job was to take photos of crime scenes and fatalities.  He kept a photo album filled with gruesome images that he took including a man who had been killed by a train.  When he retired he gave my Dad the book, and my Dad would show it to us when we were kids, but I wouldn't look at it, and left the room whenever he opened the book.  I guess that was our version of a bedtime story.  Once upon a time a man stepped in front  of a train, and this is what happened...(turns the page).  :unsure:

 

Edited by Aaron2016

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Melskaya
On ‎10‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 8:22 PM, Scholar4Truth said:

I think its the fact that after we see it more and more we sort of become desensitized. 

I watch it so I don't become desensitized and complacent.

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