Bad anxiety after fictional character deaths?

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dark__paradise

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Apr 26, 2019
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#1
So I got very involved in a series for the last few years and it became a really great way for me to escape from my every day life and gave me something pleasant to think about when my mind was racing and I was trying to relax. it was pretty much my happy place. Now, several characters have either died or come to an end and I can’t think about it without a feeling of intense anxiety coming over me. I’m laying here awake at 4am and can’t sleep because of it. The issue is that this was the thing I would think of before bed to relax myself and now I can’t think about it at all without panicking. I got so attached to the characters over the years they kind of became somewhat of a safety net or safe space to go to in my head. I feel really messed up over what’s happened and don’t know how to even calm down enough to fall asleep. every time I get close to falling asleep when i’m half awake thoughts of it will come into my head, i’ll get anxious and my heart rate picks up and i’m back laying awake trying to calm down and do it all over again. I realize this sounds ridiculous because i’m so upset over people who aren’t even real, but any advice would be really appreciated.
 
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gam9147

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Feb 18, 2019
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Delaware, USA
#2
Hi my friend. I have trouble watching things on a show that I know are related to personal issues. So I suspect its the same for you here. It just means its time to pay attention to those issues, I think death in your case. Have you thought about talking to a therapist about these?

You can start by doing breathing exercises to try to calm your body down when you are feeling badly.
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

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#3
Is it Downton Abbey?!? I know what you mean - I get really attached to fictional characters, too.
One outlet for my grief is to go to fan boards and find threads where other people are upset about the character’s death. It helped me - it might help you. :hug:
 
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linus

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#4
To me it sounds more like a social anxiety issue. Do you socialize often? Do you have close friends and spend time together?
 
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mikedrums

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New Jersey
#5
Just curious what series was it? I'm a big anime fan and in my favorite anime series a ton of characters you get attached to die so some people might not understand completely, but I do. I look at the bigger picture of it more though. Think of each death as a bigger meaning. Directors and writers use death in series and movies as a way to give you perspective on things and sometimes even kill of seemingly invincible or extremely personable characters to really drill their point in. It's easy to get immersed in the fantasy world, but remember these things are entertainment and also a means of artistically presenting themes. Maybe think of these characters deaths in the greater scheme of things in that series. Sometimes a character dies to make another stronger or resolve a huge conflict. All part of the writing process. Hoping the best for you.
 
supergreysmoke

supergreysmoke

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#6
I'm still recovering from how they ended Blake 7 and that's going back a few years.
 
littlemachines

littlemachines

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#7
gosh i really really relate to this and don't worry you don't sound ridiculous! i went through pretty much the exact same thing....there was a series i really fixated on for a couple of years and it was sort of my "happy place" as you described--i would think about it to help calm me down, thinking about the show and the characters made me feel safe and comforted, etc. but then the show started to go downhill after a couple of seasons, the plot ended up being a mess, the characters were portrayed/treated poorly....i couldn't even bear to watch the last couple seasons because i knew they would just make me upset, and even just hearing about what happened in them causes me anxiety. i can't think too hard about it at night or it will literally keep me awake. it can be very upsetting because i still care so much about the characters but i get so anxious and sad over what happened in the show.

anyway i don't think it's silly to be upset about these things; i think as anxious people we sometimes depend on fictional characters/worlds to escape to when we're feeling bad because they can provide something comforting to fixate on. but of course it can go badly if the actual source material ends up being very upsetting. in my case writing/reading fanfiction has helped me quite a lot actually because i can read other people's interpretations and it distracts from how bad canon ended up being, haha. and writing it myself i can explore things that were never explored in the actual show the way i had hoped. so that may be something to look into if there is a decent amount of fanfic for the show that's upsetting you...alternatively, i know it's hard, but you might try moving onto other things if fixating on that one show is causing you so much stress.

hope this helps and you're definitely not alone in these types of feelings!
 

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