Humans are hardwired to interact with others, especially during times of stress. When we go through a trying ordeal alone, a lack of emotional support and friendship can increase our anxiety and hinder our coping ability.
This message is driven home in the newly-released thriller Shut In. Naomi Watts plays a widowed child psychologist who lives in isolation in rural New England with her son, who is comatose and bedridden as the result of an automobile accident. Snowed in and withdrawn from the outside world, Watts’ character descends into a desperate existence. It soon becomes difficult for her to distinguish the phantasms of her imagination from the reality of the creepy goings-on in her apparently haunted house. (See the trailer for Shut In.)
Shut In isn’t the first movie to use isolation as a vehicle for madness. The characters played by Jack Nicholson in The Shining and Tom Hanks in Castaway found themselves in similar predicaments. Although these movies are fictional, the toll on the protagonist’s psyche from being alone for so long is based on the very real science of social isolation.
[For more of this story, written by Frank T. McAndrew, go to https://www.psychologytoday.co...amp;utm_medium=email]