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There’s a Reason You Feel Depressed After a Netflix Binge

You may have noticed you feel a bit down after binging the latest season of your favorite show on Netflix. It’s not just your imagination. People have studied this phenomenon and discovered that depression following a Netflix binge is pretty common. Here are some of the reasons behind it.


It may be that people who feel depressed are more likely to binge on TV. You have no energy and you want to escape from your problems for a while, so why not see what Kimmy Schmidt is up to? You forget about your problems while you watch but when you run out of episodes you find yourself back in the life you weren’t wild about to begin with.

Addictive shows.

Everyone involved in making a show wants to keep you coming back. Good shows are full of excitement, humor, and tension. If you’re watching House of Cards, everything is really important. Democracy is at stake. All the boring bits are left out. You immediately want to find out what happens next, so you go on to the next episode. When you return to normal life, it seems a bit boring and meaningless by comparison. There’s a lot of waiting around and chores. It’s a letdown.

Lack of movement.

Most people just sit on the couch to watch TV. Aside from bathroom breaks and trips to the fridge, they don’t move around much. After a few hours, you start to feel sluggish. Your joints ache. You haven’t really been breathing. You are bound to feel a bit depressed.

Eating junk.

Be honest, you’re not making a salad to binge watch It’s Always Sunny.

We often binge alone.

We usually binge watch alone. Maybe your husband missed the first couple of seasons of Game of Thrones and he’s tired of trying to figure out what’s going on or you’re tired of explaining it. Maybe you watch with someone, but you aren’t really together; you’re just in the same room, watching the same show. Either way, entertainment on demand is isolating and spending several hours on the couch alone can make you feel disconnected.

You miss the characters.

There is a name for feeling invested in a TV character’s life–”parasocial relationship.” You spend so much time watching these characters get into tight spots that you care about them. They feel like friends. In our minds there is very little difference between real friends and fictional friends. Some studies have shown that people who watch a lot of TV feel like they have more friends than people who don’t. When the show is over, we miss those people. They have left us. Our friends, with whom we experienced so much, are gone.

If you need help for addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help. We offer medically assisted detox and we are equipped to treat dual diagnoses, including depression. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.