Psyche of Fear and Fun is Normal

Psyche of Fear and Fun is Normal

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Ed Yeates ReportingFor many people Halloween is their favorite holiday because it’s fun to be scared, and we like to masquerade and become someone or something we're not - if only once a year. It's the psyche of fear and fun, and psychologists say it's normal.

Second only to Christmas, Halloween has become a really big deal. We color or cover our faces, slip on the best of disguises, and escape, if only for a day, into something that for most folks is just a lot of fun.

Dr. Liz Hale, Psychologist: "We have so many fears, real fears - fear of intimacy, fear of failure, fear of success - that I think when we see scary movies or monsters, it's just fun because we know those aren't real fears. It's almost an escape from our reality, if you will."

And that's not bad. In fact it's normal. Dr. Liz Hale should know. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, she also hosts the Dr. Liz show on KUTR 820 radio. And today she dressed up, as she does every Halloween.

Dr. Liz Hale: "I love scary movies. I love to scream and throw popcorn. You know, just take me out of my normal, ordinary ho hum or hum drum life, whatever it may be."

A kid dressing up as a scary monster is not necessarily going to become a scary monster in real life. Dr. Liz says parents need to use good wisdom, especially if the wee one is trying out Halloween for the first time. The premise should never change. It's sort of a holiday, a celebration, complete with decorations and lights and screams.

Dr. Liz Hale: "Again, I think it's the element, especially if you have the cognition that it's not real - to just be scared and be silly. It's permission, I think, permission to be something you're typically not."

So whether you're eight or eighty, you have permission this night for hootin’ and spookin’ and dressin’ up, and to jump out for that brief but normal "rush" of fear.

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