True crime is a popular genre that many people enjoy. Learning about real-life crimes and the people who commit them can be fascinating. It may also help you feel safer by understanding more about the dangers that exist in the world.
But if you immerse yourself too deeply in true crime stories, it may take a toll on your mental health.
Is It Giving You Anxiety?
It’s one thing to be curious about these stories and enjoy learning about them. But if they are causing you distress and preventing you from living your life, that’s a problem.
Pay attention to how these true crime stories affect your mood. It may be time to take a break if they make you feel anxious, fearful, stressed, or depressed.
Anxiety includes symptoms such as:
- feeling restless, wound-up, or on edge
- difficulty concentrating
- muscle tension
- sleep problems
- rapid heartbeat
- excessive sweating
- shallow or rapid breathing
Do You Feel Scared or Unsafe At Home?
Part of the reason people enjoy true crime is that it gives them a sense of control. It’s a way to feel like you understand the world and how to keep yourself safe.
But if you find that your exposure to true crime makes you feel scared or unsafe in your home, take a step back and find something else to enjoy.
It’s important to feel safe and comfortable in your own home. If you can’t, it may be time to talk to someone about what you’re experiencing.
Is It Preventing You From Connecting With People?
If you are overexposed to true crime stories, you may become paranoid and suspicious of the people around you. These narratives can give you the false impression that everyone is dangerous and nowhere is safe.
And if you are constantly distrustful and fearful, forming or maintaining healthy relationships will probably be difficult. It’s okay to be cautious, but if it’s leading you to avoid social interactions altogether because you’re afraid of what might happen, that’s not healthy.
If these true crime stories are not interfering with your work, school, or home life, you may be able to continue enjoying them in moderation. But if they negatively impact your emotional state and prevent you from functioning normally, it’s time to take a break and maybe speak with a therapist or counselor.