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media for the anxious

So… I have anxiety. At the moment, I”m medicated and reasonably stable. However, since medication isn”t a cure for anxiety, it isn”t like its all gone.

One of the more recent (and irritating) consequences of my anxiety is that I have a lot of trouble consuming media these days. Like. Any media. I primarily listen to m/m audiobooks atm. Not very serious material. And yet…

Whenever the conflict gets reaches a sufficient intensity, I find myself unable to continue bc I”m too anxious. And… the ridiculous thing is that this applies to stuff I”m not even very emotionally invested. I mean… esp for m/m, a large portion of the time I actively dislike the characters and wouldn”t actually mind if they died. And yet…

One of my main strategies for dealing with this is spoiling myself. If I reach this point in a book, I”ll go read summaries and reviews online until I know what is going to happen. This serves to dispel the tension/anxiety over not being sure what is going to happen. It”s a good strategy for anyone in the same boat. Before starting a TV show/movie/book, read reviews and summaries and get spoiled (this also has the benefit of letting you know in advance if there might be anything super triggering in the plot).

The other other thing? While I don”t watch a lot of TV (or movies), when I do its often stuff intended for kids. Cartoons and the like. Especially stuff made in the US (versus Japanese cartoons). Most of these you can be fairly certain won”t have anything truly awful in them (I mean beyond the usually issues of racism, sexism, etc).

Better yet, most of the narrative conflicts can be fairly low stakes. And you can be fairly certain that, whatever happens, the resolution will be positive. Again, a good thing if you get too anxious with the plots where you don”t know but are imagining the worst possible outcome (or just anticipating it).