halloween

20 Non-Horror Halloween Movies People With Anxiety Love


For people with anxiety who dislike the horror movies, finding a non-scary movie to watch during the Halloween season may feel like a tricky undertaking.

Maybe the thought of someone jumping out to scare you makes you feel panicky. Maybe your child has anxiety and you are looking for kid-friendly Halloween movies to show. Or you’re so sick of fighting anxious thoughts all day you don’t want to watch something that will set you more on edge.

If you find yourself wanting less blood and gore, and more sugar, pumpkin spice and everything nice, this one’s for you.

We asked members asked our mental health community who live with anxiety to share non-scary movies they watch during the Halloween season.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

“I love watching ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas,’ and not just because if its catchy music. I love this movie because it recognizes that you can question who you are, but the questioning of yourself doesn’t mean you are no longer yourself. You’re still you, your perspectives, ideas and feelings have just changed, and that’s OK.” — Aurora W.

2. “Monsters Inc.”

“Not really a Halloween movie, but ‘Monsters Inc.’ It’s such a cute movie.” — Kadie A.

3. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

“I like this movie because it’s funny and both adult and kid friendly. It has the Halloween spirit in it with no horror.” — Kimberly L.

4. “Hocus Pocus”

“’Hocus Pocus’ of course! It’s the best Halloween movie there is. Lots of jokes, only a little bit of ‘scare,’ and it’s OK for kids because many of the more adult jokes go over their heads. I watch this every year!” — Elizabeth K.

5. “The Addams Family”

I usually hate regular horror movies with a passion because they don’t have anything lighthearted about them. I cope with my anxiety a lot with dark and morbid humor, so I can handle [this movie].” — Janelle C.

6. “Halloweentown”

“All three of the ‘Haloweentown’ [movies] made by Disney. I watched them all growing up and they remind me of my childhood.” — Kay S.

7. “Hotel Transylvania”

“It’s just a sweet movie about a dad and a daughter trying to understand each other, all while running a hotel for other famous monsters.” — Elsa J.

8. “Practical Magic”

“There are some tearful moments, but no anxiety moments to endure!” — Koroleva V.

9. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

submitted by Bailey S.

10. “The Haunted Mansion”

“’The Haunted Mansion,’ starring Eddie Murphy. I have panic attacks and anxiety, so I’m unable to watch scary movies of any kind. However, this one is actually funny and enjoyable.” — Jean K.

11. “Scooby-Doo: The Movie”

“’Scooby-Doo’ is my go-to, no matter if it’s Halloween or not. It’s funny and brings comfort of my childhood. It’s about friends [who] become family and rely on each other.” — Camille R.

12. “Beetlejuice”

“Is Beetlejuice considered a Halloween movie? I love it!” — Mena F.

13. “Twitches”

“[It’s a] Disney Channel movie, so [it’s not] too scary.” — Kat K.

14. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

“Maybe it’s not a Halloween movie, but there’s never wrong time to watch this movie! It makes me much calmer when I have bad days.” — Miska M.

15. “Edward Scissorhands”

“It’s not only a great gothic style feel to get into the positive side of gloom, it’s a movie that reminds us there is love for everyone and it has a lot of forms.” — Andy S.

16. “Scary Godmother”

“It’s a childish movie, but it’s so cute I love it. It makes me smile and lets my mind go silent. It helps me forget for a just a bit.” — Savannah V.

17. “ET”

“A movie the whole family can watch. I don’t like scary movies at all and never have.” — Lisa M.

18. “ParaNorman”

“’ParaNorman’ is a fantastic movie with an important message that can relate to those of us with mental illnesses. It always helps me feel less alone and heal from losing my best friend to suicide. It portrays a boy who can speak to and see the dead. He is stereotyped and shunned by society and all the adults in his life for being ‘crazy,’ before everyone finally realizes they’re in the wrong.” — KellyAnn N.

19. “Rise of the Guardians”

“It really incorporates several different seasons/holidays, but the premise is beautiful. Jack Frost struggles with being invisible until he finds his ‘center,’ and realizes why he was chosen to be a Guardian. He learns how his past impacted his present, and how it can further impact his future. He is helped by the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Santa Claus.” — Kristy H.

20. “Elf”

“I don’t like scary movies, I usually watch movies like ‘Elf” around Halloween.” — Claire W.

What would you add?

Photo via “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Hocus Pocus” Facebook pages

RELATED VIDEOS

woman who looks worried

This Is How I Would Explain My Anxiety


I’ve had anxiety for about a year and a half. I’ve learned who I am in my anxiety and what my triggers are. It was not until I started working in an environment where people weren’t really familiar and supportive of someone with anxiety that I learned the best ways of explaining it.

This is how I would explain anxiety:

Imagine a moment when you were overwhelmed. Why were you overwhelmed? Imagine how you felt and how bad you wanted to feel OK and in control again. Now imagine a moment when you were stressed out. Why were you stressed? Imagine how much you wanted everything to run smoothly again. How much you wanted whatever was stressing you out to just be right or fixed so you wouldn’t be stressed out anymore. Lastly, imagine a time you were worried. Why were you worried? What or who were you worrying about?

Anxiety is feeling overwhelmed, worried and stressed all at the same time. But anxiety doesn’t always have to have a reason. The “why?” is sometimes unanswerable. Sometimes you can figure out what the trigger is and manage your anxiety better, but that’s not the case all the time. And when it comes to panic attacks, letting them pass is the best bet. Don’t try to control a panic attack in the midst of it happening. I find that to be more stressful than just sitting and trying to gain control again. In times of panic, it’s best to find a space to relax and let it pass.

Anxiety isn’t just overthinking or being overwhelmed either. It’s overthinking and believing whatever assumptions and accusations your mind is telling you, stressing out about it and then becoming overwhelmed after.

Anxiety is like feeling something spewing in your stomach then slowly feeling it manifesting itself as panic, however that looks for the person.

Anxiety for me has been interesting. I get two types of anxiety. The first one is feeling nauseous. I feel nauseous when I’m not aware of the exact root of my anxiety. When I’m nauseous, there’s most likely a plethora of reasons for my anxiety (school, money, family, work etc.) and this type of anxiety can last a really long time. The longest this type of anxiety has gone for me has been several weeks. The second type of anxiety is the gut feeling of direct nervousness. It’s kind of like stage fright fear, except it lasts longer and most likely leads to a panic attack along the road. Panic attacks look different depending on the situation. Sometimes it comes out as tears and uncontrolled crying, blanking out, long periods of nausea (my first type of anxiety is like a prolonged panic attack) or not being able to calm my nerves (shaking hands, heavy breathing, chest pains).

I’m glad I’m learning to deal and manage with all these different forms my anxiety takes. Although at times I get embarrassed and ashamed, especially when other people look at me like I’m crazy and exagerating (I wish I was), I still seem to get past those hard moments and push through every situation I come across.

If you have anxiety, you’re not crazy and I hope you find ways to deal with it that are healthy and help you come closer to healing.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

 Thinkstock photo via DeirdreRusk

close up of book lying on beach in the shade with sea in background

Why Today Was a Win Over My Anxiety


Today was a win.

This morning my brain and I fought.

I had plans made and I was looking forward to my outing and spending time with friends.

Then I woke up.

My brain tried to tell me I didn’t want to go — that it would be much easier to stay in my comfort zone at home and not see anyone, that I should just stay in bed. Not in the “I’m tired” way, but the “I can’t be bothered” way. My brain put up a good fight, but today I was stronger.

Today was a win because I went anyway. And as expected, I had a great time.

I don’t always win these fights, and too often I focus on the loses or how challenging it was to win. Today though, I’m choosing to focus on the fact I went. I won the fight.

Today was a win.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via contributor.

woman with notepad and pen writing in bed in warm sunlight

5 Mistakes I'm Learning From Living With Anxiety


I have spent a chunk of my life and headspace thinking about the mistakes I’ve made — mistakes that aren’t even worth thinking about again (why did I make that joke that time? Were they offended? You catch my drift) — and I started to think about reasons why mistakes are good things. If you don’t get off the bus at the wrong stop the first time, how will you learn where you need to get off? Great analogy. This actually happened to me the other day and it was very annoying!

Sometimes, my anxious mind revels in the mistakes I’ve made, haunts me with things I said 10 years ago and doesn’t let me forget. Maybe it’s good to not forget them, keep them, write them down, learn from them. Maybe some things are just worth letting go of.

Here are five mistakes me and my pal anxiety are learning from:

1. Apologizing.

I used to say “sorry” a million times a day. Sorry I cried when we were trying to have a good time. Sorry for not coming on that night out. Sorry for saying I was sick when I definitely wasn’t. Sorry I “missed” your call. Sorry I didn’t let you talk about what’s going on with you. Sorry I got angry when my anxiety was triggered by something and you didn’t even realize you’d spoken. Sorry I rang you late at night when I couldn’t get to sleep. Sorry I didn’t call when you told me you cared. Sorry I left early and couldn’t have fun.

Basically, I was constantly sending apology messages. Apologizing for my behavior and not feeling satisfied until I got the response I was waiting for (which is never what I want and it doesn’t matter what you say because it won’t make me feel better — because I never stop punishing myself).

And then I stopped. Not completely, but time by time I realized that really, I was the one overthinking the reasons behind why I’d left or why I’d gotten in a bad mood all of a sudden. Why am I apologizing for something I can’t control and something everyone around me, except me, accepts?

2. Forcing myself to have fun.

Anxiety doesn’t have fun. It doesn’t turn off so you can enjoy yourself. I guess, if that happened, it wouldn’t exist. I wish it did. I used to really enjoy myself — parties, holidays, work, everything. And I still do; I still go out, I see my friends and I make lots of plans. Keeping busy keeps my brain occupied and spending time with people close to me is something that will always make me happy.

I have stopped going places purely because I fear I will miss out on the set of jokes, I will be seen as a “loser” or people will think I’m lying and doing something else (I’m really in bed thinking about whether or not I’d have had fun if I went). Instead, I’ve started going places because I will enjoy it.

Maybe that one night out or dinner plan isn’t feasible at the moment and that’s OK — I’m not going to force myself through something so excruciatingly painful for the sake of perception. So I started saying, “no, I can’t make it, I’m having a bad day and would rather go to bed,” or “Can we rearrange when I’m feeling a bit better?” It really works. Let your mind and body have that space to calm without the pressure you felt just to show face or to prove you are better than your anxiety.

You are better than it, but sometimes you just need to be honest with yourself and know that particular day isn’t going to get better by sitting through a social experiment for your brain.

3. Self-destruction.

Go to the gym, eat healthily, get eight hours sleep, don’t drink too much — all things we know is crucial to a healthy mind. When the only thing that feels remotely safe is your four walls and your duvet, these things become near impossible. I’ve stopped seeing my inability to consistently look after myself as a failing but a mistake I can learn from.

Making the self-destruction mistake is one of the hardest to learn from. Self-destructing often seems easier than making an effort to self-care.

But trust me: once you learn from it and start to self-care (and I mean like eating salad and doing some exercise every now and again), you’ll feel a world of difference. It’s not the solution by any stretch, but take it from someone who knows — it does help. I even know that’s unhelpful to say because when people said it to me, I’d be like “oh, bore off with your gym salad eating life.”

4. Caring too much.

Through my most anxious times, I’ve found myself caring so much about everything. Every tiny thing — from when I’m going to shower that day to why someone said that thing 100,000 hours ago and what it meant.

The ability to stop caring is near impossible and completely unrealistic. We all care about something and it’s important we do. I am learning to focus on caring about things that matter. Caring about self-care, caring about those closest to me, caring about my health. Not about who said what when, that I might be missing out on something by not attending, that something’s going to go wrong, caring about presumptions.

Most of the mistakes I’ve made come from caring way too much about things that just don’t matter. Write down what you care about and why it matters — it’ll make sense when you do it.

5. Stopping writing.

Baring myself, making myself vulnerable, writing under my own name, letting people read the things I’ve felt, describing every single thought and feeling…

I’ve nearly stopped a million times — stopped writing, deleted all my posts.

I realized that would be my biggest mistake. It’s such a release. If you don’t want to go public (and I do not blame you!), then just write. Write it all down — every single feeling, every bit of sadness, every bit of anger. I promise, write it down. Words, sentences, draw — release it.

I’m coming through the other side, but knowing I can create empathy means enough to know that to stop would be my biggest error.

Be creative, release your biggest fears and scare yourself a bit. It might work.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via daizuoxin

woman sitting outside at a cafe on her computer

What It's Like to Be a Blogger Struggling With Anxiety


Blogging, despite what others may think, isn’t just free samples and hashtags. So what’s it like being a blogger with anxiety? Cute shots of snuggly blankets and tea? Tweeting about biting nails and nervous flutters with the hashtag #socialanxiety? Blushing adorably after every time someone mentions how good your blog is? Sadly not.

Being a blogger with anxiety is tough. It’s horribly and disappointingly tough.

Anxiety is having to pace around the room, take a breath, ignore your heart, ignore your head and snap shut your laptop screen after posting a single article. It’s never looking at your stats, for fear that the low numbers will frighten you into deleting your site. It’s buying expensive products for a perfect review and then panicking about bank accounts, overdrafts, expenses and disposable income for the next month after uploading.

It’s seeing an invite for a networking event, clicking yes, and then faltering the minute before you head out of the door with a heavy heart and too much anxiety to cope. It’s never messaging, commenting or interacting with the bloggers you love, for fear they’ll immediately reject you or that you’ll sound cringingly keen and embarrassing.

It’s repeating “no, no, really, no, I don’t think so..” the minute someone asks if you’ll start a Youtube channel. It’s thinking that communicating to the world through typing is bad enough, never mind speaking.

It’s wanting to travel to amazing places for beautiful photography and a stunning series of travel articles read by tourists all over the world — but cancelling your flight with shaky hands after a bad panic attack and a fit of nerves stopping you every step of the way.

1 in 4 people struggle with a mental illness, and bloggers are no different. Our jobs, hobbies and passions may take place inside cosy offices and coffee shops, but it takes an enormous amount of effort every day just to open our laptops and start writing. For some, blogging is a form of therapy — an outlet for the thoughts we’re not quite sure how to express out loud. For others, it’s an escape from the anxious world, into one of beauty, lifestyle, interiors and baking.

Much like writers, the income for bloggers is small and sporadic, and can come at the price of office socializing, and in some case, severe isolation that can sometimes lead to manifestations of anxiety and depression. The added pressure of a creative environment and a whole generation of digital competitors means that the blogging profession is already a hotbed of potential anxiety, even without the increasing numbers of bloggers with panic disorder, generalized anxiety and depression contributing to those figures.

This article may make the world of blogging seem like a dark, gloomy, unsatisfactory place. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The blogging community is one of bright color, imagination and fun — as well as immense online support, inspiration and motivation to keep even the most anxious of bloggers uploading.

The only change this article calls for is awareness. We need to be aware of the pressures bloggers face; of the “high-functioning,” generalized, social and specific anxiety triggers in creating, posting and sharing their work with the world — and respect them for their trials. This is the best way to support the bloggers in your life, community and online accounts — and they’ll never stop being grateful for it.

Follow this journey here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Christin Hume

kim kardasian panic attack

What Kim Kardashian Filming Her Panic Attack Meant to Me


The Kardashian family gets a lot of negativity for their television show, which focuses on what many contend is a superficial, extremely dramatized and privileged lifestyle. I myself don’t keep up with all of the media coverage surrounding the Kardashian family, and I don’t feel particularly strongly either way towards them. Over the weekend, though, I saw a headline on BuzzFeed that read: “Kim Kardashian Allowed Cameras To Film Her Having a Panic Attack In the Wake of Her Paris Robbery.” Like it or not, the Kardashian family has a big role in determining how mainstream society views certain issues and commodities. So, I clicked. I wanted to see how the Kardashian name was about to influence the mental health community and beyond. I wanted to see the messages we were sending. As it turns out, I was really surprised.

There are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding anxiety and panic attacks. I opened the article expecting, in large part, to see those represented in the video. I didn’t. Instead, I saw a little bit of myself. Now, I only watched part of the video, because it was hard for me to watch. It must be hard for anyone to watch. In the minute I saw, Kim calls her friend and cries into the phone as he reassures her that the house is safe. “Are you sure?” she asks. “Do you promise?” she pleads. She isn’t hysterical. She isn’t curled into a ball on the floor, incapable of everything. She isn’t beyond reason, and she isn’t dangerous. Instead, she’s pretty normal. She looks like she could wipe away those tears, take a deep breath, open the door, have a conversation and get right back to the anxiety in 10 minutes. She isn’t what our stereotypes tell us distraught anxious people have to be. Instead, she’s me. She’s you. She even says the place is “amazing” and that she’s “good,” that she “just has anxiety.” This is such a common experience and she’s finally put a face to it, finally given it the attention it needs. She just told people everywhere that anxiety can look like this too and that there’s help.

I didn’t see a spoiled rich girl. I saw Kim, a woman who went through something terrible and who is scared and struggling. I saw someone having overwhelming anxiety, the kind that makes it hard to breathe and makes your hands shake and your mind spin out of control. I saw Kim, a girl who has anxiety and is doing her very best to not let it define her and to fight it. With every question, she fights it. With every deep breath, she fights it. With every passing moment, she gets stronger.

It’s time we stop tearing Kim down, at least in moments like these. We are a community and we need to act like it. So, Kim, from one anxious girl to another: thank you for letting us in, and please know we’re here for you.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Screenshot via E! Entertainment YouTube channel

Real People. Real Stories.

8,000
CONTRIBUTORS
150 Million
READERS

We face disability, disease and mental illness together.