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Warning – Watching Avatar Can Cause Depression

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posted 12:43 AM EST, Wed January 13, 2010
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Warning – Watching Avatar Can Cause Depression © Photo Credit: Desirée Delgado

For some people, experiencing the immersive alien world of Pandora makes real life hard to take by comparison.

With Avatar and with a slew of new technology James Cameron set out to make a new kind of 3-D experience; and by most accounts he has succeeded in creating a more immersive story, with special effects that really bring the viewer into an alien world called Pandora.

This immersive success will likely translate to a record breaking box office take, but for some people, the Avatar Pandora experience is so real and so desirable, that by the end of the movie - real life seems pale and harsh in comparison.

The Avatar fans site, AvatarForums.com has had well over 1000 posts from people dealing with a post Avatar depression, an emotional funk that seems mostly created by the stark differences between reality and the utopian world of Pandora.

One fan, Ivar Hill, 17, of Sweden, posted his experience on the forum, writing, "When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed ... gray. It was like my whole life, everything I've done and worked for, lost its meaning," Hill wrote on the forum. "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."

Dr. Stephan Quentzel, a psychiatrist at Beth Israel Medical Center, who commented on the Avatar depression phenomenon, wasn’t all that surprised that some people were having a hard time with the transition from fantasy back to reality, saying, “real life will never be as utopian as it seems onscreen. It makes real life seem more imperfect."

The consensus of advice from the forums for those going through the an Avatar depression is that Avatar video games and music can be helpful, and if all else fails – getting out of the house and involved in real world activities can also be of some benefit.

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