The Type of Horror that Helps Me Take Control of My Anxiety
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with anxiety. I grew up as an anxious child and I have struggled with severe “worrying” my entire life. I have been on and off various anxiety medications and have participated in just about every form of therapy and exercise designed to help relieve anxiety.
But nothing has helped me to manage, and take control of, my anxiety more than the horror genre.
When I was younger, I was terrified of anything having to do with horror or Halloween, but as I have grown older I discovered how those intense feelings of fear and unease that horror movies, books and series brings provides me with an outlet to take control of my anxiety. Most of the time, I feel like my anxiety controls me by taking over my body with intense shaking, a rapid heartbeat, uncontrollable, worrying thoughts, and a shortness of breath. But, when I watch a horror movie or series, or read a horror book, I am looking my anxiety in the face and saying, “I am not afraid of you.”
Ashley Nestler, MSW is a survivor of Schizoaffective Disorder, Quiet Borderline Personality, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, multiple eating disorders, Fibromyalgia, and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ashley has dedicated her life to educating others on mental health and illness, as well as providing online resources for those who may experience barriers when seeking help for their mental health.
Ashley is also the author of "Beautiful Nightmare", "Into The Fog", and "Behind Broken Glass Walls". Her short stories and horror poems have been published in various anthologies. She is an educator on writing and loves to help authors through her book critiques and reviews. View all posts by Ashley Nestler, MSW