‘Post Avatar Depression Syndrome’ has left viewers seriously depressed
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With Avatar's long-awaited sequel The Way of Water dropping today (16 December), thousands of people will be excitedly heading to their local cinema to catch a glimpse of the movie that's been 13 years in the making.
While James Cameron is hoping the film will be as much as a hit as the first, one thing no one wants is a repeat of is what is known as ‘Post Avatar Depression Syndrome’.
The unusual phenomenon unfolded back in 2009 when fans were introduced to the lush (and fictional) world of Pandora.
Thanks to the visual mastery that went into creating the blockbuster hit, viewers were transported into the stunning scenes of a sparkling and stunning planet that had been untouched by human forces.
For many it was a feast for the eyes, but according to a 2010 report from CNN, some grew depressed after its release because they longed to visit Pandora themselves but realised that could never happen.
This was outlined in a fan website named Avatar Forums, with a thread entitled: "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible."
The thread racked up more than 1,000 posts and became so popular, the site’s administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create another to meet the demand of Avatar fans with the blues, so to speak.
Baghdassarian told the outlet: "I wasn't depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy. But I can understand why it made people depressed.
"The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don't have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed."
For an example of just how bad ‘Post Avatar Depression Syndrome’ became, here's an example of a post on the forum:
"That's all I have been doing as of late, searching the Internet for more info about 'Avatar.' I guess that helps.
"It's so hard I can't force myself to think that it's just a movie, and to get over it, that living like the Na'vi will never happen. I think I need a rebound movie."
On another thread, one fan even said they had experienced suicidal feelings, writing: "Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed.
"Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it.
"I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in Avatar."
Let's all hope that the same thing doesn't happen with Avatar: The Way of Water.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123
Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Studios
Topics: Mental Health, TV and Film