Saviors Of Earth

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(CNN) -- James Cameron's completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.
On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

"I wasn't depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ," Baghdassarian said. "But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don't have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed."
A post by a user called Elequin expresses an almost obsessive relationship with the film.

"That's all I have been doing as of late, searching the Internet for more info about 'Avatar.' I guess that helps. It's so hard I can't force myself to think that it's just a movie, and to get over it, that living like the Na'vi will never happen. I think I need a rebound movie," Elequin posted.

A user named Mike wrote on the fan Web site "Naviblue" that he contemplated suicide after seeing the movie.
"Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it," Mike posted. "I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in 'Avatar.'

Other fans have expressed feelings of disgust with the human race and disengagement with reality.
Cameron's movie, which has pulled in more than $1.4 billion in worldwide box office sales and could be on track to be the highest grossing film of all time, is set in the future when the Earth's resources have been pillaged by the human race. A greedy corporation is trying to mine the rare mineral unobtainium from the planet Pandora, which is inhabited by a peace-loving race of 7-foot tall, blue-skinned natives called the Na'vi.

In their race to mine for Pandora's resources, the humans clash with the Na'vi, leading to casualties on both sides. The world of Pandora is reminiscent of a prehistoric fantasyland, filled with dinosaur-like creatures mixed with the kinds of fauna you may find in the deep reaches of the ocean. Compared with life on Earth, Pandora is a beautiful, glowing utopia.

Ivar Hill posts to the "Avatar" forum page under the name Eltu. He wrote about his post-"Avatar" depression after he first saw the film earlier this month.
"When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed ... gray. It was like my whole life, everything I've done and worked for, lost its meaning," Hill wrote on the forum. "It just seems so ... meaningless. I still don't really see any reason to keep ... doing things at all. I live in a dying world."
Reached via e-mail in Sweden where he is studying game design, Hill, 17, explained that his feelings of despair made him desperately want to escape reality.

"One can say my depression was twofold: I was depressed because I really wanted to live in Pandora, which seemed like such a perfect place, but I was also depressed and disgusted with the sight of our world, what we have done to Earth. I so much wanted to escape reality," Hill said.
Cameron's special effects masterpiece is very lifelike, and the 3-D performance capture and CGI effects essentially allow the viewer to enter the alien world of Pandora for the movie's 2½-hour running time, which only lends to the separation anxiety some individuals experience when they depart the movie theater.

"Virtual life is not real life and it never will be, but this is the pinnacle of what we can build in a virtual presentation so far," said Dr. Stephan Quentzel, psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. "It has taken the best of our technology to create this virtual world and real life will never be as utopian as it seems onscreen. It makes real life seem more imperfect."
Fans of the movie may find actor Stephen Lang, who plays the villainous Col. Miles Quaritch in the film, an enemy of the Na'vi people and their sacred ground, an unlikely sympathizer. But Lang says he can understand the connection people are feeling with the movie.

"Pandora is a pristine world and there is the synergy between all of the creatures of the planet and I think that strikes a deep chord within people that has a wishfulness and a wistfulness to it," Lang said. "James Cameron had the technical resources to go along with this incredibly fertile imagination of his and his dream is built out of the same things that other peoples' dreams are made of."
The bright side is that for Hill and others like him -- who became dissatisfied with their own lives and with our imperfect world after enjoying the fictional creation of James Cameron -- becoming a part of a community of like-minded people on an online forum has helped them emerge from the darkness

"After discussing on the forums for a while now, my depression is beginning to fade away. Having taken a part in many discussions concerning all this has really, really helped me," Hill said. "Before, I had lost the reason to keep on living -- but now it feels like these feelings are gradually being replaced with others."
Quentzel said creating relationships with others is one of the keys to human happiness, and that even if those connections are occurring online they are better than nothing. "Obviously there is community building in these forums," Quentzel said. "It may be technologically different from other community building, but it serves the same purpose."

Within the fan community, suggestions for battling feelings of depression after seeing the movie include things like playing "Avatar" video games or downloading the movie soundtrack, in addition to encouraging members to relate to other people outside the virtual realm and to seek out positive and constructive activities.

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Comment by peace frog on January 14, 2010 at 1:06am
wow im glad alot of people like this blog, Iv see the movie twice and each time filled my heart with joy. lol im trying to find people that haven't seen it and take them just so i can see it again, It is truly the best movie to get all of us to think about our beautiful planet. LOVE AND LIGHT to all, Thank all of you for taking the time to read this post.
Comment by Simmy on January 13, 2010 at 6:36am
I absolutely loved Avatar! It made me feel even closer to Earth. I don't know...this people that got depressed because of the movie...maybe they are limiting themselves in believing that "our Pandora" is "done", it's destroyed and there's no way back. But that's not true. Our Earth is the most beautiful and amazing being and she will be here, with her cycles of life and death, for ages to come! The only thing that cast a shadow on our beautiful planet is some of the dark people on it. But I feel that this darkness is coming to and end, somehow. Soon. Anyway, Pandora is fantastic but between that wonderful virtual world and our real world...I choose Mother Earth, anytime!
Comment by Vaddix on January 13, 2010 at 12:56am
Patricia its not earth that im discontent with. Its the people on it. Paticulary the ones in power. I dont need to see flying dragons floating mountains, lush beautiful enviroments to be happy. I know earth has plenty of it.
What makes me not want to wake up in the morning is the way we live our lives. Its sooo boring and mundane. Soul crushing. I dont want to wake up every morning and have to work to live, and this isnt a case of lazyness. I cant be happy in this system of money, i hate this horrible brocken system that is the cuase of the abundant misery on this planet.
Nobody gets to have an adventure anymore. Gone are the days of complete freedom, everyone is serving someone.
Comment by Ismail on January 12, 2010 at 10:43pm
i watched this movie twice and i wanna watch it again. the most beautiful movie ever. i cried both times and i just appreciate everything we have in this world. I am so glad it has become a talk everywhere and hopefully the human beings will wake up and start realising we are one and connected wih everything. Love, light and laughter to all in the universe.
Comment by Vaddix on January 12, 2010 at 5:50am
Woah, sooooo much positive aspects came from this movie. When i seen it, Yes i wanted to be on pandora with the navi flying those four winged dragons. The wolrd is so lush and beautiful, full of life and adventures.

My imagination is much like james camerons, Though i dont know if i could express my imagination with the talent he does. When i close my eyes and drift off into my subconcios i am not longer on earth, Im a constant wanderer of the stars. Many places ive been, with my imagineation i can quite litrally go anywhere and do anything, feel anything, My mind makes it seems like i have a second body out doing all these things that i can tune into at any point, Allmost like Sully's remote controlled avatar.
This is my home, My imagination is my happy place, where i find peace and solace.

However everynight, i go to sleep wishing that when i close my eyes and go to my imagination, that i do not leave, EVER. This world is so drab, this world is so sick, this world is grey lifeless and boring. This world is everything i do not want. I, like these people who have pandora depression, have imagination depression. This world can never be what i wanted. And i wake up everyday hopeing for it to change, so at least it more interesting.

I understand the lesson im suppost to learn here. Im suppost to be inspired by this to make my world more like the ones from my dreams, But i dont want to play this games. I dont like it.
Comment by tranceman on January 11, 2010 at 10:49pm
hopefully this film will be a catalyst for millions of people to awaken to the reality of our world today & then to help them envision a more harmonious world for all living things. that would allow for great changes to start occurring more rapidly.
Comment by mellia on January 11, 2010 at 5:32pm
I haven't seen this film as yet but as i was reading this post i just had the words home sick pop in my head.
I am a starseed and i have done many meditations to meet my star guides and my home planet, i get very limited info in my meditations but i have seen my home planet and it is beautiful and i know i belong. I always do guided meditations for this basically to make sure i come back lol i never want to come back i love it there and i quite often get homesick. But i know i have come to Earth from my own free will however horrible it sometimes seems...i definitely agree with people remembering where they once come from.
Comment by nonya on January 11, 2010 at 4:13pm
When I left the theater, I LOST it. So much of that put it into visual form how much this life down here sufficates me and assaults my soul. This was once a beautiful place and to know that I live where suffering of the earth and its creatures happens in multitudes everyday. Entire civilizations of creatures mowed down in one tree in a vast forest that has succombed to chain saws ultimately to serve the powerful and us. When will this end.
Comment by Ella on January 11, 2010 at 2:46pm
When I saw the Movie 2 Weeks ago, I felt exactly the same like the People in this Article. I was sad and angry of beeing here. Want to be Free, want to connect with Nature ect. Want to be a beautiful Na´vi. But after a few days, I was remembering how beautiful Earth IS. And how beautiful it can BE in the Future. And now, my Vision of a new Earth is clearer then ever before .
Comment by peace frog on January 11, 2010 at 1:51pm
well at least people are realizing that we need to change our world

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