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Avatar: The Way of Water is now in theaters, and with that comes the recent resurgence of an era of pre-Avatar depression.
After the first film, when Avatar started filming in 2009, many moviegoers were feeling depressed and even suicidal despite being caught on the incredible digital world. According to CNN, the real world felt grim after watching Avatar depicting the lush forests of Pandora.
One can say my depression had double-sided, said one fan, Ivar Hill. He was depressed because I wanted to live with Pandora, that seemed such a perfect place, but he was disgusted by our world, what we did to Earth, of course. I wanted to escape the reality.
The natives of the village who have been living in harmony with nature are connected to the plants and animals surrounding them, and the sensory organs of their skulls are built at the base of their frogs. The Navi are forced to defend their home when humans colonizers try to destroy its resources on the planet.
Hill and other fans have sought refuge in the online communities, such as Kelutral, a Discord server launched in 2020. The Physicist Jacob Williamson told Variety that taking part in Kelutral helped him to get out of the worst of his depression. I talked about it to a psychiatrist and she was not expecting a piece of advice: Let yourself do it. The woman says she wants to stop her. I watched Avatar repeatedly, enshrined languages and started to learn Nayad. I have never had an accident since then.
How did you treat post-Avatar depression?
In the psychiatric study, people with depression in particular consider that finding community, seeking professional help and giving others permission to devote their time to that much to avatar fandom are good tools for people to learn post-Avatar. Even those fans interested in the Navis connection to nature might get out of real natural world.
I spoke to Lila Higgins, licensed forest therapy guide and director of the Community Science program at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Forest therapy, based on Japanese practice of forest bathing, helps people and others find themselves in love with nature. Higgins recognises that in a city accustomed to interacting with nature, it can be difficult to find the right place to start.
For some people, a long-standing commitment to being outdoors and connecting to nature is a huge obstacle to overturning, says Higgins. They may need help or guidance. But, local organizations can connect to nature, a forest therapy group, a natural history center, or a natural history museum. Don’t you make an appointment for a walk with an expert or something that can help you.
Even if your local nature walks have the same visuals as Pandora, the experience can still refresh your mind. Higgins says that breathing in a phytochemical substance has some advantages. You can’t fall by the heart, lower your blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Many people feel really quiet after a forest therapy walk.
Indigenous people have known long ago how important it is to connect to nature. The author and botanist of Potawatomi, Robin Wall Kimmerer, writes in her seminal work Braiding Sweetgrass that even the most simplest acts of connection can help those healing from the trauma and alienation caused by industrial capitalism and colonization.
People often ask me what kind of thing I would recommend to restore a relationship between land and people, writes she. Plant a garden. It’s good for the health of the world and good for the health of the people. Garden is a nursery for the nurture and defying relationships, ground for cultivation of practise.
Even the Navis emotional connection to Pandora’s Spirit Trees, giant trees that give access to Pandora’s planet consciousness, isn’t as far from reality as Avatar fans think. Many people are out of forest therapy saying I’m really connected to this tree’ says Higgins. People give birth to the tree a message.
(Image: 20th Century Studios)