Psychologist Warns It’s A Major Red Flag If You Relax By Enjoying True Crime Stories

A psychologist is warning people that it's a major red flag if you find true crime stories relaxing. 
Credit: Mel Robbins via YouTube & Netflix

A psychologist is warning people that it’s a major red flag if you find true crime stories relaxing. 

If you scroll through the Netflix library, you’ll find a ton of dark and disturbing documentaries that explore real-life, horrific crimes.

For instance, there’s the three-part series about the ‘real-life Gone Girl‘, which explores one couple’s harrowing experience with a home invader.

And there’s Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, which follows a spiritual leader who creates a system of abuse and coercion.

While these shows may be among Netflix’s most-watched, a psychologist has warned that it’s a major red flag if you enjoy watching true crime.

Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer.
If you enjoy true crime stories, it could be a red flag, according to one expert. Credit: Netflix

However, not everyone agrees with the expert.

“The trauma isn’t relaxing to me – it’s the justice the characters or real people often get that I never did in my own life,” one person pens.

Another adds: “I’m not about the trauma. I like to see the bad guy get caught or them figure out the mystery.”

Somebody else comments: “Been watching/reading true crime [for] 40 years and still on the right side of prison bars. It’s harmless fascination.”

A fourth agrees, writing: “Some of us just like watching the dark side of things. To me, it makes us more aware of this crazy world just in case we are faced with these kinds of scenarios.”

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But for some people, the expert’s words have rang a little too true.

One writes: “Wow! Makes so much sense.”

A second says: “It still surprises me that people find peace to be boring. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that.”

“Wow, that is exactly what I watch to relax,” a third comments. “This was so enlightening.”

Someone else admits: “Woah I never even thought about this. When my mum was dying I was watching Real Life Crime to calm me.”

Dr Thema Bryant
Dr Thema Bryant says people should question why they enjoy true crime stories. Credit: Mel Robbins via YouTube

Appearing on The Mel Robbins Podcast, psychologist Dr Thema Bryant discussed how people can reconnect and recover after experiencing hardship.

During the episode, the expert claims that people who watch violent media enjoy it as the trauma is familiar to them.

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She said: “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.

“It may be a good time to reprogram your nervous system. Peace may seem unfamiliar and feel boring but you are worth it.”

@melrobbins If your idea of “relaxing” before bed is watching a few episodes of Law & Order (or any other #truecrime show), listen up. This was just ONE of the many incredible mic drop moments 🎤 and knowledge bombs 💣 that @Dr Thema Bryant drops on the #melrobbinspodcast. Listen now!! 👉 “6 Signs You’re Disconnected From Your Power and How to Get It Back: Life-Changing Advice From the Remarkable Dr. Thema Bryant” 🔗 in bio #melrobbins #podcast #trauma #traumatok #healing #bingewatching ♬ original sound – Mel Robbins

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.