Do you remember feeling sad after a TV show ends? How normal is it to be unhappy that a fictional story has ended?
It would seem that this is just a TV series. However, the feeling of loss and regret in such a situation is quite natural.
But why is this happening?
Is post-series depression real?
You may be surprised, but there is a psychological term: post-series depression.
Usually, we got very involved with the series. We get carried away with every new episode of the series. There were real thought processes going on in our heads. After the end of the series, everything stops. You lose a part of yourself – the part that analyzed worried about the characters, and followed the plot.
In this article, I want to talk about whether it is normal to feel sad after a favorite show ends. And how to free yourself from post-series depression. However, If you really want to understand your passion for the series, I recommend these film discussion questions for self-reflection.
Why do I feel sad after a show ends?
Inner emptiness or loss of meaning.
In fact, this feeling is very familiar. It arises when a certain meaning of existence is lost. We have become accustomed to the plot and the characters. Even though the story is fictional, we are emotionally involved in it. It evokes strong emotions in the fans.
Suskers for sports teams feel a similar affection when they are mad about their teams’ poor performance. I can’t imagine how many hearts were broken because of the unhappy and unexpected ending of “Game of Thrones.”
Achieving the goal.
It is quite natural for humans to set goals, sometimes even unconsciously. For example, if we have watched our favorite series for several years, we formally set a target to watch it.
Even if this does not fill us with meaning or cause us to become emotionally attached, there is a goal, and reaching that aim dumbling down – “What’s next?” As a result, we “catch” apathy, disappointment, and sadness at that moment.
Return to the real world.
Every movie is an immersion into a different reality. When we watch the series, we live with the characters in their world and feel partly like another person. This allows us to forget for a while what is happening to us. Such a change makes it possible to escape from problems, thinking them, and gain time to make an informed decision.
Violation of the usual routine/ritual.
Watching the series becomes a kind of ritual for many of us. For example, we sit in front of the screen with our favorite snacks or wrap ourselves in a blanket on the sofa. By repeating this occasionally, these factors get something expected and desired. And when circumstances change, it unsettles us.
Lack of communication.
A series is often not only a movie of many episodes but also a whole universe. And when you join the fan community, you automatically find yourself in a unique environment where an interest in a common theme unites everyone. So this is an excellent opportunity to expand your circle of friends, make new ones, and feel like a part of something bigger.
But, unfortunately, the main reason for communication disappears as soon as the series ends. This is frustrating, of course.
Lack of positive feeling.
Anticipation of the new episode gives us strength and positive emotions. We like to imagine how we step in front of the screen after the end of the working day and turn on the continuation of our favorite series.
What will happen next? How will the events unfold? What will the hero do in another problematic situation? All this we want to know, especially if the previous series ended at its climax.
A sense of joyful anticipation is crucial when there are not enough positive events in life.
Long series provide an opportunity to remember the past.
Television shows like Game of Thrones, which has been on the air since 2011 and is known for having to wait several months for new episodes, can hold an important place in viewers’ lives. It is a very long series.
We often wonder how our lives have changed during the show. The series reminds you of how time flies and make you think about the past.
What to do after the show ends?
#1 Fill the existential void with anything that gives meaning to one`s life. That can be talking to friends, doing what you love, and taking care of yourself.
#2 One can compensate for the loss of connection to the series’ characters by self-reflection. Why did you enjoy this show? What new things did you learn from the heroes? Did you make discoveries for yourself?
#3 Reaching a goal does not mean we should not continue. Instead, we need to set goals to move forward. Look back, analyze the journey so far, and outline further development.
#4 It`s always a good idea to take a break from television after the series ends. Now you have extra free time and many ways to spend it. For example, cook something delicious, read a book or watch an educational webinar, meet with friends, go for a walk, etc.
#5 Let your creativity flow. I am a big fan of the TV series Tudors. And from time to time, I have been visiting the same fan page about Tudors for almost ten years now. The administrators still do a great job of making that page interesting and useful. Great!
You can create a meme, a fan site, or a poem. Use your energy to make something wonderful.
#6 What to do after the show is over? Watch it again! We can rewatch our favorite episodes or even entire seasons. No rush and no pressure; set your schedule. You can also watch special behind-the-scenes episodes or interviews with the actors. It will cheer you up.
#7 If you feel really sad and lonely. Try to understand that this sadness is normal, but only to a certain extent. You need to stay with it, let go of this conditional loss and take up further life.
Despair is a separate issue and not equal to simple sadness, and it may be a sign that serials are not just a way for you to have fun, get emotions, etc. But it is an escape from some emptiness in life for a short time. In this situation – the order is a little different. Not the end of the series “causes” emptiness, but the participation in the series – temporarily helps to cover this emptiness.
If you want to delve deeper into your feelings about favorite series, then I advise you to read about how to get over a movie obsession. I think this article will help you.
It’s okay to worry about the end of a series you’ve followed for many years. However, if you are grieving, you need to figure out what role the series played in your life. For example, if the show had a social function, you might find another reason to get together with friends regularly. Or you might start watching something else to become part of the community of fans of the new series again.
Sometimes it is not easy to recover from many hours spent watching all the episodes. But with time, the feeling of emptiness passes, and fortunately, there are many other fantastic TV shows or entertaining activities to switch to.
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