I need help after watching a tv show

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Dragon729
Butterfly
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Joined: 24 Jul 2022
Age: 15
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Posts: 14

24 Jul 2022, 10:51 am

There's this TV show I've been watching. One of the characters is explicitly neurodivergent. While I will add that he is not explicitly autistic, I can't help but see the parallels between his behavior and the stereotypically traditional autistic behavior. This character also has superpowers, and has difficulty controlling them. The general advice he is given is that he just has to try harder, focus, etc. This is presented as a viable solution, he tries it, and it is shown to work. I can't help but equate his superpowered freakouts where he can sometimes accidentally zap people with lasers or something with my own meltdowns where I'm chucking plushies at a wall or screaming at people. As someone who has kind of always heard stuff like "You just need to focus" or "Calm down", and has never been able to do it with it work, I am hating watching it work on screen. The worst one for me is when he is learning to control his superhearing, which in my opinion is a perfect parallel to autistic sensory overload and meltdown. The advice he is given is pretty much "Focus on one sound" (which to me sounds like the whole, "you know, you could try not covering your ears and maybe you'll get used to it" that I've gotten from kids at school before), and he tries to do this in training despite that it is shown to be painful to hear everything else. While he does have noise-cancelling headphones, the apparent goal is to eventually be able to stop using them. My headphones are my babies, and I just hate those parts of the show. Even though I tell myself "It's superpowers! They probably work differently!" the parallels are too great. My viewing of these episodes is also coming off of a string of recent meltdowns, and I hate the idea that it could be any other way if I just tried harder, did more, changed something. It's shown as working in the show, so that idea that it could work in real life, which I keep coming back to, is like saying "You don't work hard enough to just not be a freak" And then there's the fact that I think I'm overreacting because It's a TV show and it's not even real!! I'm trying to calm myself out of the chaotic rut I'm it right now, but nothing's working. Every stim I'm trying just to keep myself from whirlwinding is now accompanied by the sense that I shouldn't have to be doing this because the normal don't and maybe I could be one if I just tried. So, my question is, am I overreacting to a TV show? Or would other autistics react the same way? Has this ever happened to you before? What should I do to calm down and feel better?



Dial1194
Deinonychus
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Joined: 3 Jul 2019
Age: 123
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24 Jul 2022, 4:21 pm

TV shows (and movies and any media) are not only not real, they're deliberately constructed to be unrealistic in ways which are designed to make as many people as possible watch them. This will mean as a side-effect that they will be difficult to watch for other people.

Nothing on TV is realistic unless being a little bit so will make them more watchable. The characters are not realistic, the situations are not realistic, the dialog is not realistic, the 'solutions' are not realistic; they're just what fits into 22 minutes and sells the most ad space.

All I can advise is to not watch that one particular show and instead watch something else. From a more generic perspective, don't throw more of your time and attention at something which isn't a good return on investment. Look up 'sunk cost investment' as to why it'd be a good idea to quit this show sooner rather than later.

Always remember: if something isn't working out, you don't have to finish it. You can walk away.



Dragon729
Butterfly
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Joined: 24 Jul 2022
Age: 15
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 14

24 Jul 2022, 4:45 pm

I've already decided I'm going to stop watching it, and I'm going to try to avoid doing something that will just make me feel worse. I just wish its general sentiment wasn't something I've seen so many times before.