The pleasure of fear is addiction or a yearning to feel safe and peaceful, which is what some felt because of the Corona crisis that struck the whole world
Starting with the myth of the Flood in the Old Testament, then descriptions of Hell in Dante's comedy and going through Karl Jaspers's warnings about the destructive power of the nuclear bomb, as well as Karl Ameris' dark futuristic picture of a world without forests.
Disasters have always attracted people's hearts in a strange way, not only since the Corona crisis, but this attraction increases especially in times of social isolation, as you find not few numbers standing in amazement in front of new statistics and tracking cases of infection and overcrowded hospitals with people and morgues, watching films about the end of the world and reading Dystopia novels, and here we say: Is there anything equivalent to the attraction of doom?
It may seem to you at first that the term "disaster pleasure" is a contradictory concept, but it undoubtedly performs an important function. Imagine that the worst scenarios create a kind of fear, and at the same time the body releases endorphins, which it calls the "happiness hormone". This hormone will protect the body, relieve pain and lead to a feeling of euphoria.
There is a sophisticated psychological viewpoint that believes that the mixture that mixes fear with pleasure is a logical emotion, it stimulates continuation and continuation in hopeless times and thus guarantees the survival of the body alive, and we also find that the concept of "disaster pleasure" is not worked out much in psychology, However, there is another concept associated with it that for a long time remained an impressive phenomenon: That is, "the pleasure of fear.
"Excitement," or the thrill of fear
According to the words of "Hans-Juergen Wirt", a psychoanalyst in the German city of Giessen, the pleasure of fear is a concept that centers on overcoming fear and the desire to get out of danger safely. Wert says: “If it is to be expressed, we can describe it as a narcissistic triumph.” He means by saying that when one passes over fear, one affirms his own abilities and stimulates excitement, but this concept cannot be properly formulated when translated into German.
“The pleasure of fear is an addiction or a yearning for a feeling of security and tranquility.” That was the point on which the interpretation of the Hungarian physician and psychoanalyst Michael Ballint was based, and he was the first to develop an explanation of the phenomenon of the pleasure of fear, and that interpretation is based on the fact that a person exposes himself to danger “voluntarily” and gives up Security in order to recover it later, and during that period one adapts to the feeling of fear in order to finally feel the pleasure of restoring security again, and according to Palint's interpretation the process of giving up security in order to restore it again plays an important role in development:
Children search for exciting and terrifying situations and games that generate a sense of fear within them, but they will master the game and eventually get used to the situations, which proves that they are stronger and better able to deal with fear in the future.
Motives for the disaster
When a person feels fear, which soon turns into joy, we are in the process of "the pleasure of fear." For example: when riding a roller coaster game or when jumping ropes then one is on the safe side of the thrill of the occurrence of the disaster, or specifically in the role of the spectator, the energy that is generated from fear does not appear in the form of defensive or resistance with the thrill of the disaster, but it appears in other ways: One of its forms is to escape from boring routine, writes Friedrich Zeburg wrote.
“The daily routine under democracy and its bleak problems remains boring, while impending disasters become very exciting ... If we no longer know what is the point of our existence in this life, then at least we wish to be part of a period immortalized in world history. It is very difficult to live properly, but that life will definitely lead us to death in the end. ” On the other hand, we find that the pleasure of disasters unleashes imagination and resolve. In an article entitled "Mirror", writer Tia Dorn considered disasters to be "a time of great sign."
As soon as the time when disaster strikes us, the thrill of disasters dies at once. "The awareness of the danger of Corona is growing, and people have realistically appreciated the situation," says Vert. Here we emphasize that the person who can feel the pleasure is the person who stands in the role of the observer from the safe side without being part of the disaster, however it must be recognized that in the event of an outbreak of epidemics it is very possible that everyone will be infected with the epidemic, and the main element in the pleasure The disaster is also an amazing event that leads us to plunge into exciting fantasies, as happened with the terrorist attacks on (11) September, as this does not happen only with viruses visible under a microscope.
Psychoanalysts say: The huge numbers of cases and death reports have created a kind of realistic shock, and that many people now have become more realistic and begin to fully appreciate the danger and consequences of the epidemic, and then begin to take precautionary measures such as ending their social contacts. Eva Horn shares the opinion with Wert that the pleasure of crises occurs only when a person is safe. Eva teaches German grammar at the University of Vienna, and works on portraying disasters and employing them in literature and cinema. “Many famous films that revolve around epidemics date back to The period following a financial crisis; Where people feel threatened is vague to some extent. ”And she added: We do indeed find many people eager to watch such films in times of disaster, but they hardly tolerate them. As reality remains contrary to the events of the film, and this may lead us to a feeling of anxiety or, on the contrary, to make you feel solace and solace.
How disaster films help calm down
Fernando Merlis portrays a strange scenario for the epidemic in his film "City of the Blind"; Where a virus spreads that infects people with blindness, the government leaves the injured to meet their fate in an abandoned mental hospital, and after a while an armed gang takes over the site, and when the prisoners finally gain their freedom, they do not find guards They discover that everyone they encounter is truly blind.
Here, the state no longer has an internal or external presence as a systemic force, and on the contrary, we find in the film “Contagion” by Stephen Zoderborg that the epidemic is taking a lighter path, as the main focus of the film revolves around knowing the methods and symptoms of infection, and then developing a vaccine whose experience in the film succeeds in a matter of six Only months, here, consideration is given to maintaining public order without strict restriction of civil rights, and modernity is based on the principle of optimism about the steps towards progress, and in the end we can preserve that optimism and our way of life as well.
“I'm watching that movie again at the moment,” Horn says. So that on an intellectual level I can deal with what could happen. In movies, instead of feeling the pleasure of disaster, the events present images that may be violent, but are more likely to be reassuring and as part of a scenario that ends well.
The true pleasure of the disaster can only be expected later, when the current epidemic is over and the desire to break out of the daily routine becomes wild once again, that routine that is still far from us at the present time.