MURPHY: ‘Avatar’ depression strikes

It all started on Jan. 17. I saw a film so great I had to be pried from my seat 10 minutes after the credits started rolling. I didn’t want to believe it ended.

I was eventually forced to leave by a Steve Urkel look-a-like usher who threatened me with his flashlight. Upon leaving, I realized Earth will never be as pristinely beautiful and breathtaking as the world in “Avatar.”

Since that day, I haven’t been able to sleep. I have no appetite and humor is lost on me.

Very often I walk to the shore of Lake Michigan and perch myself on an abandoned lifeguard stand, staring off toward the endless horizon.

One might say I’m depressed. I simply say that I’m feeling blue.

WebMD.com might say I have what’s commonly known as “Avatar Depression Disorder,” or “ADD.”

Undoubtedly, the world’s top anti-depressant manufacturers have their best people working rigorously to produce an anti-“Avatar” depressant.

The drug would have to be strong enough to make me believe the intangible world set on the idyllic planet Pandora is actually a rational notion.

Until that day comes, I’ll be forced to continue my best form of catharsis: online “Avatar” forums. It’s here where those of us infected with “ADD” get each other through some hard days by posting our coping strategies.

On avatar-forums.com, user yunnydanis said he or she is writing an “Avatar” sequel.

Another user by the name Okoi said, “After I watched ‘Avatar’ for the first time, I truly felt depressed as I ‘wake’ up in this world again.

“So after a few days, I went to the cinema and watched it again for the second time to relieve the depression and hopeless feeling.

“Now I listen to the soundtrack and share my views in this forum. It really helps.”

Amen to that. Other users try reverse psychology to trick themselves into believing they don’t want to be on Pandora.

User Netytirifanboy posted that he reminds himself of how dangerous a planet like Pandora can be for humans.

He suggested it would probably take no more than five minutes before he was either eaten by a pack of viperwolves, Ikran or Thanator, trampled by a Hammerhead Titanothere, snatched away by a Toruk, pinned against a tree by a Na’vi arrow or “stung, bitten or eaten by some other Pandora plant or animal.”

Netytirifanboy added, “Then, even if I survived, I (would) probably be crushed to death by (an) RDA Bulldozer or hit by a stray RDA bullet. The real world may be mundane, but at least I know how to survive here.”

So true. That one right there has helped me through some hard times.

Avatar depression has become so widespread that it’s getting the attention of one of planet Earth’s biggest media outlets: CNN.

A Jan. 11 article on its Web site explains some fans are depressed to the point of contemplating suicide.

According to CNN, a user named Mike wrote the following in an “Avatar” forum:

“Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them,” Mike said. “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. 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.’ ”

I feel your pain, Mike, but let’s not get too carried away.

I merely hope that one night, I’ll fall asleep and wake up the next morning as an 8-foot-tall blue creature with a huge tail. For the time being, I’ll probably just go buy the movie.

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