James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle “Avatar” may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.
On the fan forum site “Avatar Forums,” a topic thread titled “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible,” has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.
“I can understand why it made people depressed,” Baghdassarian said. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world.”
A post by a user called Elequin expresses an almost obsessive relationship with the film.
“It’s so hard, I can’t force myself to think that it’s just a movie, and to get over it, that living like the Na’vi will never happen,” Elequin posted.
“It has taken the best of our technology to create this virtual world and real life will never be as utopian as it seems onscreen. It makes real life seem more imperfect,” said Dr. Stephan Quentzel, psychiatrist at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.