Why anime can help with anxiety and depression?

in The Anime Realm29 days ago


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Many people describe anime as childish and underate it as a regular cartoon show. I always argue with people who underate the animes, especially the people who didn't watch one. They never knew what topics anime indirectly discusses in its plot. Animes like Graves of Fireflies, One Piece, Attack of Titan, and My Hero Academia incorporates social issues in their storytelling. Besides, it talks about taboo topics like mental illness like Yuki Takeya: School-Live!, Psycho-Pass, and Neon Genesis. Anime portrays these topics in an uncanny realistic sense that is relatable to any viewer. It is not only comedic and romantic but deep and dark.

Going back to animes that creatively brought mental illness discussion, Neon Genesis Evangelion reflects, as believed, the author's history of clinical depression and personal struggles. The main character, Shinji Ikari, is an introvert who has social anxiety, which he shies away from human contact due to the fear of bullies, injuries, and ridicules. On the other hand, Yuki has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and psychosis in Yuki Takeya: School-Live due to witnessing her classmate killing her senpai. She viewed the world to what she wants to see in it but not what happens in it. Furthermore, Psycho-Pass deals with mental health and the criminal mind. It shows how society works without fear and stress.

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Shinji Ikari suffers from social anxiety in Neon Genesis Evangelion. source

Mental illnesses are not a joke, and it is something we should not shrug off. We need to help those having it. Anxiety and psychiatric disease are well-known for being unpleasant. Everyone else's ability for these challenges is different. Some people can get up, go off to school or work, communicate with others, and engage in other routine tasks with little stress. These simple tasks can be daunting for certain citizens. Anime is one of the few mediums that publicly addresses anxiety, stress, paranoia, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. It depicts it in an unapologetically authentic, gritty way and without holding back. In anime, we see the universe of razor-thin lines between reality and exaggeration, which amuse the otakus. It helps otakus cope with their anxiety and depression in their lives, but not as mystical in the anime.

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Yuki has PTSD in Yuki Takeya: School-Live. source

Anime has been a source of optimism and strength for otakus suffering from depression and anxiety. It relieves their extremely sore heart and eases their anxiety and depression during the turbulent storm in which their head would seem to keep on getting trapped. Anime energizes audiences, reawakens their enthusiasm, and broadens their creativity to realms outside of their own. Watching their favorite anime characters overcomes their tales of distress and failure. It is why they would have watched anime their whole lives makes them feel that they are not alone and can solve everything, even on their worst days.

How anime ease our stress? Like many novels and TV shows, there are characters to whom we are attracted, which we mostly attach. Many people have found fulfillment and warmth in these characters. The otakus reflect their favorite anime characters, which help with coping with their anxiety and depression. They aligned to them to make tough choices in their life. Many anime characters are relatable which we are easily attached to them. People react to these sense of humor, sarcastic retorts, and social connections of these characters.

Some people get addicted to characters because they find them unique and easy to relate to, especially how characters progress. In a nutshell, creating those connections can be soothing. Some people relate to underrated characters in anime. People enjoy relaxing with their favorite characters, particularly the ones that are more entertaining. People also read and write stories about some of these characters in some situations. Reading and writing can be both relaxing and soothing for people, particularly if they like it.

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Animes has several genres that good for everyone. source

Anime has several genres that we will love to watch, which we can find several reasons for everyone to love it. It is because they believe the performance to be humorous and perhaps even exciting. Many animes have comic undertones, which makes the program more accessible to new audiences. Some other important reason anime alleviates frustration is that it gives its audiences several life experiences and moral lessons. Numerous times, animes deal with families, fellowship, passion, and courage. Some animes don't have a happy ending, but there are several funny moments in the series that we feel cozy and comfortable inside.

Anime is one media that effectively inspire people, beginning with how it is okay to be not okay. Many animes gave people goosebumps with huge realizations, in contrast to many regional shows in a city, which frequently have actresses and actors who appear to me to be mere publicity seekers, particularly the newer ones, which develop antipathy more than anything else.

Many anime series are the inventions of creative minds. Nothing will alleviate depression in an instance, but anime helps. We can not alter it by flipping our hands and changing the atmosphere. It is a psychiatric disorder caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. It is not due to a physical condition of a person. Anime is a good platform for dealing with it. It is a form of entertainment that can elicit a wide range of positive emotions and, depending on what you watch, can encourage you to recognize and improve yourself as a person. At the very least, it has aided many people.

Anime is therapeutic. We can relate to the characters going through similar experiences to us. It amazes us how characters conquer and persevere in the face of adversity and win. It encourages the otakus and casual viewers to do the same in their own lives. Anime and mental illness have an intriguing connection. Some shows project the stigma associated with it, while others represent the grim and gruesome aspect of the same, and others attempt to improve it.

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A look into the mind of Sato from Welcome to the NHK. source

Numerous anime characters exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental illnesses. Anime served as an inspiration and motivator for the world to step out and confront mental health problems. The company has a lengthy list of anime characters with which people identify. Many viewers believe that watching anime would help them in their healing process.

Although there are so many characters, they are noteworthy in portraying behavioral disorders that the audience can easily see, feel, and relate to our lives. The depiction of them struggling from these problems is raw and hard-hitting, according to the fans. When we see our favorite anime characters doubt their self-worth or recovering from loss, it may be painful to watch, but these animes make our experience valid. It shows us a reflection of the complexity of mental illness. Some animes deal with mental issues discreetly and compellingly. They develop better pathways to understanding and positive thinking, which is what renders them interesting to watch.


Note: The cover image is created by the author using Canva.

References

  1. Anime and Mental Health: The Connection
  2. Mental health and anime
  3. Mental Illness in Anime and Manga
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I like anime because it talks about a lot of topics. Of course there are many animes that encourage people as they solve their hardship. Sometimes its by others and other times its by hard work. So I think its a good thing to take your mind off things and relax.

So I think its a good thing to take your mind off things and relax.

Definitely agree to this. I destress by watching anime too. Thanks for your engagement, @jfang003!

did you say the main character of neon genesis evangelion is an introvert and has social anxiety? I'm adding it to my list now. Thank you. :)

Some anime characters are really relatable and sometimes it makes me cry how much I could relate to a character. Anime stories are cool and their osts are awesome! And of course, the way they are drawn. :)

did you say the main character of neon genesis evangelion is an introvert and has social anxiety?

Yes, that is the underlying premise in the show. It indirectly discuss social anxiety. I also agree with @takyarts that anime characters are easily relatable especially how they evolve to the character we knew and love. Thank you for your engagement!

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Totally agree! Personally, I love watching anime and playing games because it takes my mind off from the stressful real world. XD

I won't go so far and say that 'what you watch, can encourage you to recognize and improve yourself as a person' though, maybe for some but this is not for me. The thought did cross my mind while watching slice-of-life animes but hours or days after finishing it, I'm back to my previous version. Lol