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I have a hard time going in to auditoriums and movie theaters because of the dark lighting and the large group of people I don't know. What are some things I can work on to help me overcome this?

16 Answers
Last Updated: 10/04/2021 at 4:07am
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Parvathy Venugopal, MSc in Clinical psychology


Life is chaotic and you need to rest if you're tired. I am here to help you relax until you are ready to start over again.Your mental health is priority, so is your happiness.

Top Rated Answers
April 10th, 2015 11:55pm
Honestly one of the most fantastic ways of overcoming this is just getting out and being in the places that scare you the most. It's a simplified desensification. The most important thing however is to do it with the intention of facing your fear and having the idea of overcoming it in your mind. It's best to have an affirmation or goal statement that you say before hand, during and or after as well. There's no point in doing it with out telling your brain how to react. You very well will feel scared and paniced, however your brain will fire neurons in a different way due to your goal statement. Our brains are very powerful and when we focus them instead of everything being random or unconsious, we lead our brain into forming strong and intentional neural pathways that create healthy habits and emotional states that take a once very paralyzing situation into a gradually bearable and eventually enjoyable one. An example of an intentional or goal statement is "I am overcoming my fears, I am fearless, I can overcome anything, I AM going to break free" Something powerful. and it doesn't matter if you feel as if you failed by having terrible symptoms while trying to go in those places, the important thing is to keep repeating your intentional/goal statement as you do it. You can do this.
May 8th, 2015 5:37pm
my dad is blind and I hate crowds so i know exactly how you feel! what i do is go with a group of people i am comfortable with, go on of peak times if you can and pre book your seats, arriving early and getting in first can also help, just remember to relax and enjoy the show :)
May 10th, 2015 11:57am
Make sure when visiting these places, you attend with somebody you are close to and trust. This will help you to feel more safe and trust that the person will not let anything happen to you
October 10th, 2016 4:33pm
You can use your flash light on you cell phone to find your seat and and pick a seat up front so your not consantrating on how many people are in the theater. If you feel a panic attack coming on you have choosen a seat close to the door for easy access for self and not to disturb others.
March 24th, 2015 8:54pm
You can surround yourself with people you feel comfortable with and you can try recreating the movie theater scene at home. Try watching a movie on your computer with headphones with the lights off :)
January 2nd, 2017 11:16pm
You might try going early to either of these will allow you to pick a seat where you will feel the most secure and generally the lighting is brighter during this time. Once seated in the "safest" seat you can watch those that enter later. It might make you feel a bit more at ease to see the faces and mannerisms of the people you will be sharing the next hour or two they don't seem like faceless bodies in the dark. I hope this helps. Good luck :)
January 1st, 2018 9:52pm
In order to overcome this, you can take a step aside from the situation go buy something than come back and try again or bring a friend with you to keep you company or try different distracts through the movies and performance.
December 30th, 2019 9:04am
Hello! This is tricky because I can understand it can be a very scary place! You could try exposing yourself to the situation gradually. So make individual parts of that situation in less scary circumstances. For example, you could get used to dark lighting in rooms around your house or someone else’s home to help your mind realize it is okay. Or you could make sure you have a small group of your friends/people you know with you so they can sit around you and you are surrounded by them and not strangers. I know quite a few people don’t like it, so you are not alone!
May 5th, 2015 12:05am
One step at a time. Pay attention to your body. If your hands are clenched...unclench them. Open up. Realize it's a shared experience and be on the lookout for someone that may need help that can't see as well as you. Service is sometimes the door out.
November 13th, 2015 8:41am
You have a phobia that might have resulted in things that happened to you in the past. Best to see a counselor/therapist to help you through the phobia.
February 15th, 2016 8:33pm
Taking baby steps in this situation is always the best approach. First try going with multiple people you are comfortable with to an early show. So there are less people. Sit in an area that isn't so populated and just focus on the light from the screen. Work your way up to less people with you and more people in the room. Move at your own pace. Focus on the light from the screen or shinning from the exit signs.
January 8th, 2018 9:25pm
You could try and watch movies at home first, or at a friend’s house in a room with dark, or dim lighting. Eventually, you could shift to trying more theaters every once in awhile.
April 24th, 2018 4:24pm
Do you have a friend you could go with to help you through the difficult feelings? You could also try to do some mindful breathing which may help you to stay in the difficult situation
July 16th, 2018 8:06pm
Something that helps me is first getting used to the dark lighting at home and watching movies with friends or family that I feel comfortable around. Then seeing movies at the theaters with those same people will help you feel like you are at home, and comfortable!
April 1st, 2019 10:11am
There are many people who experience different fears from spiders, loud noises and many more. You would be surprised to find that you are not alone in how you are feeling. Going into a dark space with so many people can be overwhelming for many people. How do you usually react in these situations when you are about to go onto any of the above locations? What are some techniques you have previously used? Have any of the techniques you tried previously worked? There are many different ways that help people overcome their fears so it is good that you have voiced these fears and want to help yourself overcome them.
October 4th, 2021 4:07am
It sounds like you are experiencing some symptoms of anxiety. I can imagine you feel distressed, and frustrated that you aren't ready to face some things yet. I recommend trying this cognitive method to overcome your thoughts about going into auditoriums and movie theatres. One method I would recommend is trying CBT. CBT suggests that our thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and behavior are all connected, and that what we think and do affects the way we feel. By challenging our thoughts, we may overcome our fear and face the music, such as auditoriums and movie theatres. There are 5 steps Step 1: Make a list - identify situations that make you feel worried or anxious. Step 2: Write down unproductive thoughts - recognise and record all your negative and worrying thoughts about the situation. How do you feel about going into movie theatres or auditoriums, what do you think might happen if you enter, what could be the best/worst scenario? Step 3: Invalidate your negative thought - challenge your negative thoughts by explaining them with evidence, chances are, there won't be much actual, valid evidence to back up your thoughts. Why are you thinking this way, what brought you to reach these conclusions, and where did this thought start from? Step 4: Create replacement thoughts - Reshape your negative thoughts with positive thoughts, correct your thinking perspective to be more optimistic. Step 5: Repeat - change in behaviour won't be instantaneous or immediate, by repeating this process with situations that make you feel anxious, you can gradually run the feelings of anxiety down, until you feel comfortable enough to confront situations such as going into auditoriums or movie theatres.