Monday, May 19, 2014

What is Escapism?

Daily stresses can drag anyone down, making escapism and getting away from it all an important part of getting through life. Escapism can be a healthy form of shaking off the effects of daily stress and retreating to an imaginary world, whether prompted by toys and figurines or board games and role-playing games. There are some unhealthy forms of escapism, too, that must be mentioned. Escapism that is based on individual creativity, however, can be very important in terms of personality development and mental capacity.


A lot of people use escapism to retreat from depression or other mental anxieties. When people are generally sad or depressed, focusing on happier times or brighter things is a form of escapism that offers a healthy alternative to a rather bleak reality. This form of escapism can be healthy when it allows the person to realign themselves and approach reality with a more positive outlook. It can be harmful, however, when it causes the person to neglect reality and retreat from dealing with the depression or mental anxiety in a tangible and practical way.

Examples of Escapism

Escapism has long been an industry in and of itself in society. Television, movies, sports, music, books, role-playing games, the internet, computer games, recreational drugs, and other items have long been associated with helping people get away from the rigors of everyday life. Other so-called normal activities of human life can also lead to escapism. One example of this would be people that overeat to help numb the pain of their depression.

The Importance of Escapism

While there are many opponents of escapism and those that say it is important to the human experience to live in reality and face the consequences, there are also many proponents of escapism. Fantasy writers, for example, often propose their fantastic universes as a way to promote creative thinking and problem solving. It is largely accepted that escapism can help people more ably interact within reality and cope with some of the stresses of modern life.

For years, people have been turning to radio programs or science fiction programs to envision another world and grasp at what life might be like within another experience. This thought has often led to the discovery of many items of interest within our own universe and our world, which has in turn led to an enhanced reality of our scientific world. Escapism can open doors and can surpass natural sciences in many ways.

Daydreaming and Children

Daydreaming is important, especially in children. As escapism provides a release from reality and a greater desire for creative thought, daydreaming encourages the same in children. Most people daydream while being wide awake, picturing objects and situations that are as far from their current situation as possible. A child taking a test in high school, for example, may daydream about being somewhere else entirely. This type of daydreaming should be encouraged within children as it influences creative impulses and helps with the forming of various mental capacities.

Children who daydream, for example those that dream of their dollhouses coming alive or their stuffed animals having a tea party, are less likely to be depressed and often develop greater skills to deal with the changing patterns of day-to-day life.

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