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Psychologist warns it's a red flag if you relax by watching true crime TV shows

Psychologist warns it's a red flag if you relax by watching true crime TV shows

Your fascination with unsolved murder and serial killers could mean something

If you're anything like me, I bet there's nothing you enjoy more than a Friday night off the booze, settling down in your pyjamas in front of the telly, sticking Netflix on and binging your way through that week's most talked-about true-crime banger.

I mean, is there anything more riveting than tales of unsolved murders, rampant serial killings or eerie missing person plots?

And before you come for me, it's not that we're making light of the horror of these spine-tingling true stories by enjoying TV series' made about them.

There's simply something fascinating about the extent of criminal behaviour, as well as how long a lot of these crimes and cases go undetected or unresolved.

And whilst I believe I've argued the case for my true crime intrigue rather well here - if I do say so myself - a psychologist has this week argued that such a level of interest in this subject matter is actually seen by some in the industry as a walking red flag...

Zac Efron as Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. (Netflix)
Zac Efron as Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. (Netflix)

Mel Robbins welcomed psychologist Dr Thema Bryant onto her podcast, The Mel Robbins Podcast, to spill on how we can reconnect and heal after experiencing hardship.

And while they were chatting, Dr Bryant revealed that those of us consuming these violent TV shows examining crimes and dark events might be doing so for a very dark reason; possibly because the trauma is familiar to us.

She said on the podcast: “If your idea of relaxing before you go to sleep is to watch three episodes of Law and Order, [then] I would encourage you to think about 'why is trauma relaxing to me?'

“Some of us grew up in high stress [situations], so people mistake peace for boring. To come home to yourself, you have to lean into the discomfort because it’s gonna feel unfamiliar."

So basically, if you can relate to this feeling of relaxation as you binge on true crime before bed, you might possibly be in need of some serious counselling.

Dr Elizabeth Jeglic, Professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also explained to Crime Reads why survivors of trauma may be so interested in these kind of stories.

"Anecdotally, some people are drawn to the study of psychology to understand themselves and heal themselves," the clinical psychologist said.

"We have many people in psychology programs who have a history of active mental illness.

"Similarly, I think it might be likely that people who have a history of trauma might be drawn to true crime to kind of re-experience those traumatic situations in a safe environment where they have more control."

Bryant’s comments on the podcast spoke to many, as TikTok users flooded the clip with responses.

One said: “Wow! Makes so much sense.”

Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer. (Netflix)
Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer. (Netflix)

And others wrote: “Gut drop….. Off to journal.”

Another added: “Wow that is exactly what I watch to relax. This was so enlightening.”

One also put: “Damn. This really hits home. I used to watch so much chaos on TV, but after working hard on myself for the past two years I just can't anymore.”

And another opened up: “The trauma isn't relaxing to me - it's the justice the characters/real people often get that I never did in my own life.”

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: True Crime, Netflix, TV And Film, Crime