We can’t deny the connection between news and mental health. Every day we wake up to look forward to what’s happening in our city and around the world.
Unfortunately, in recent times, we have seen unimaginable global difficulties and crises. The media helps us become aware of these and helps us spread the word about important global events.
However, there’s an underlying link between news and mental health, which highlights the need for a balanced approach. While it may seem that we are simply receiving information, there’s much that happens to our brain.
Constant exposure to violent media or otherwise negative news can make us susceptible to mental health concerns. That’s especially true for individuals with vulnerabilities and can heighten their anxiety.
News and mental health: Negative effects of watching the news
While we may say that we would like to see important, evidence-based news, a lot of us end up doomscrolling through the day.
While media houses want to cover the details of the important events, they end up also displaying what increases their viewing numbers. In a way, as consumers, we constantly influence the news and mental health connection.
We now have access to a constant stream of information. It’s on our televisions, phones and even our laptops. Perhaps the most uncertain aspect of news is that you will not know what comes up next. Additionally, news often focuses on negative ones, as they increase traction.
Unfortunately, that can significantly influence the negative connection between news and mental health. Imagine that you’re going about your day and suddenly you see breaking news. That triggers the brain, and you may end up feeling anxious. A lot of individuals in therapy report feeling affected by ongoing wars and natural calamities.
In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of individuals resorted to seeking therapy, as they felt overwhelmed by the constant flow of tragic news. Moreover, information overload can have cognitive effects on how you retain and process information.
You may have noticed that your patience level has gone low since the advent of quick bits of information and news. People have moved away from long-form content and become hungry for instant gratification, even for bad news.
Can watching news cause depression?
The connection between watching news and depression is not linear or causal. It also means that watching the news can’t cause depression. However, there’s a positive correlation. This means that as watching news increases, the chances that you may feel sad, anxious and worried also increase significantly.
The content that we get exposed to is heavy and mentally draining. Naturally, it has effects on our emotional health. It’s important to not jump into this world of news as soon as you wake up. If you’re seeing the symptoms of depression, it’s best to seek additional help.
Watching news is a crucial part of life. It helps us stay up-to-date and sensitive to the issues around us. However, anything in excess can be draining for our mental health.
It’s important to always remember the value of media and news. The current circumstances around the world are especially distressing and troubling. If you’re feeling that the connection between news and mental health is becoming difficult for you, it’s fine to reach out for help.
Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master’s degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.
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