Consuming stories of crime and destruction can be beneficial too, as it acts as a coping mechanism for the various hardships that life has to offer. But too much of the same can have a reverse effect, making us feel chronically worried and depressed.
The brain creates and pumps a dose of adrenaline every time one watches a true crime story, something that is common while watching breaking news. This rush of adrenaline can be addictive and unhealthy in the long run.
Why do we love to watch scary horror films? Some psychologists claim people go to horror films because they want to be frightened or they wouldn't do it twice. You choose your entertainment because you want it to affect you. But what else does the literature tell us about the psychology of horror movies?
Zen has a rich tradition of storytelling. Actually, just about the entire human race has a rich history of storytelling. Why do we like stories so much? Because we can identify with them. Stories, whether real or not, pull and tug at our emotions. We connect personally with stories.
A university professor researching Zen sought master Nan-in, who served him tea. Nan-in poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said,“you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
A farmer was consoled by his neighbors who claimed it was bad luck his horse ran away. The farmer replied “Maybe.” The horse returned with more horses, so his neighbors said it was luck. The farmer said “Maybe.” Later a horse broke his son leg and the neighbors said it was a misfortune. The farmer said “Maybe.” The next day his son escaped conscription thanks to his broken leg and the neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. The farmer said “Maybe.”
Time goes on and good and bad are two sides of the same coin. Being aware of this allows us to find peace and happiness.
"Patient Five" was in his late 50s when a trip to the doctors changed his life. He had diabetes, and he had signed up for a study to see if taking a "statin" - a kind of cholesterol-lowering drug - might help. So far, so normal.
People with lower cholesterol levels are more likely to die violent deaths.
If you put primates on a low-cholesterol diet, they become more aggressive. Lowering animals’ cholesterol seems to affect their levels of serotonin. Even fruit flies start fighting if you interfere with their serotonin levels.
Studies have linked serotonin levels in people to violence, impulsivity, suicide, and murder.
In a randomized controlled trial, statins were found to increase aggression in post-menopausal women though, oddly, not in men. Giving statins to Nile tilapia made them more confrontational and altered the levels of serotonin in their brains.