Attraction To / Fascination With Disaster, Catastrophe, Damage & Carnage

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Glen85

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Attraction To / Fascination With Disaster, Catastrophe, Damage & Carnage

Hello folks,

I'm new here, so I hope I haven't made an error in making this post.

Basically, I've been looking for somewhere to discuss this 'thing' about me, in the hope that I can learn more about it.

For as long as I can remember, I've had this fascination, of sorts, with disasters, especially where such disasters have caused a lot of damage to material things. I must stress three things before I go further:

  • I feel no sexual attraction to any such events or situations
  • I have no desire to create such events or situations to fulfill any 'desire'
  • I have no direct interest in such events or situations where someone has suffered harm or loss of life

With regards to the final point, this is a bit of a grey area, as I may still be fascinated by an event where injury or loss of life has occurred, however, my point is that my fascination is not altered by this fact, or connected to it in any way. My fascination is with damage and carnage, not with harm or loss of life.

Now that I have put that out of the way, allow me to give some examples of events and situations to which I have found myself intrigued.

A good example, and by far the most prominent for me, is fires; whenever I have seen a burned out car, building or anything like that, or have witnessed a blaze, I have been fixated upon the scene, to the point where I have actually travelled for miles on my bike as a kid, just to watch a large warehouse in a local town burning down. After the blaze, I would frequent the scene, getting as close as I could to, in some weird way, marvel at the devastation which had been caused. This is, as I have said, my biggest fascination. I have pulled over in the car and wandered up to burned down houses to examine what's left from afar, I've messed about with torched cars as a kid, just looking through.

Another example is traffic collisions; I'm not a typical rubber-necker (the name given to those on the opposite carriageway of an incident who slow down and weave around because they're too focused upon the scene than their driving), and the reason for this is because I consciously force myself to avoid looking at the scene because I know I'll likely lose all focus on my driving if I do.

Out of all of this, I feel an overwhelming need to help in certain situations; though I'm not a member of the fire service, it's something I would love to do, if my physical and mental fitness were up to standard. Although I've never been in the situation where I would be faced with such a decision, I think I am the kind of individual who would enter a burning building where someone was trapped, in order to try and rescue them. My overwhelming desire to help others has been fed a few times, like the time I spent four hours helping police and fire & rescue services search for a vulnerable individual seen close to a lake in the early hours of the morning, and the time I witnessed a road traffic collision involving a truck and cars, where I called the emergency services at the first instance of the collision occurring and then helped injured folks from their vehicles.

I am of the opinion that I do not have a 'normal' mind and that this is a sign of such. However, is there a 'label' for this (I don't really like labels, but even so...)? Could anyone shed any light onto this, perhaps?

Thanks,

Glen.
 
Mayfair

Mayfair

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#2
Hi Glen, welcome to the forums.

You perhaps have a very analytical brain, which isn't unnatural.

I think this resides in most people, but in some cases it is perhaps nosiness as much as anything. I think we [as humans/animals] tend to have a fascination is anything that isn't 'the norm', hence for example, why people are glued to their TVs when something exceptional occurs.

I think it is like a spectrum where originally an interest is started by such an event, then after that is based on individual perspective and interest. I record and watch Air Crash Investigation for example. I don't watch it to watch people die! Nor do I watch it to criticise people or companies that make mistakes. I'm interested in the smaller details, and reasons.
 
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Glen85

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Hi and thank you,

I, along with many others in my family and social circles, have come to the solid conclusion that I live with low latent inhibition. Where on the spectrum that level is is anyone's guess, but I certainly notice, process and log more than most others seem to. Maybe this has something to do with it.
 
Mayfair

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Hi and thank you,

I, along with many others in my family and social circles, have come to the solid conclusion that I live with low latent inhibition. Where on the spectrum that level is is anyone's guess, but I certainly notice, process and log more than most others seem to. Maybe this has something to do with it.
I think most probably Glen. I notice things that when I say out loud, people say and I get 'why/how did you see that?!' type responses.

well... I don't know!! haha. People see different things is my explanation!
 
Beergardenweather

Beergardenweather

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#5
I always thought this was normal
This is why the are so many books and films about terrible things.
Or maybe it's not and its another thing to add to the list of anomalies that I have as I'm pretty much exactly the same.
When I crashed my car it was such an andrenaline Rush. Even if something is happening like heavy snow and floods which are distrupting my plans and could possible cause harm to me or my property part of me doesn't want it to stop because it's so exciting.
 
Jaminacaranda

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#6
I always thought this was normal
This is why the are so many books and films about terrible things.
Or maybe it's not and its another thing to add to the list of anomalies that I have as I'm pretty much exactly the same.
When I crashed my car it was such an andrenaline Rush. Even if something is happening like heavy snow and floods which are distrupting my plans and could possible cause harm to me or my property part of me doesn't want it to stop because it's so exciting.
I think this is normal, if there can be such a thing. I think people like to try and understand extreme experiences which they have never personally experienced and I also think it's about trying to achieve some empathy with people in those extreme circumstances. In other words, I don't think it's necessarily pure mawkish curiosity, it's about trying to understand life and the fragility of it and therefore also death.

And yes, like you say when you crashed your car, extreme circumstances like that can produce an adrenaline rush and an intense focus that you rarely experience in everyday life and yes, it can feel good. I've been in a few situations like that myself. I think it feels like, OK, this is down to me and my gut reactions and instincts and hell yes, I'm going to stay in control and make the best of it and I can do this! When it works out well, you feel good.

To Glen85, if you fancy being a firefighter, go for it. Get yourself fit. It's a highly valuable and honorable profession. You obviously don't have a hysterical reaction to fires so that sounds like a bloody good start to me - as long as you don't just stand there and admire the fire without doing anything ;)