News-Induced Depression

How do you get your news?  Do you watch the nightly broadcast?  Read it on Google, Yahoo!, or AOL?  Glance at it on Twitter or Facebook?  Read the (gasp!) old-fashioned print version of your city’s paper?

I’m not a huge news person.  Meaning, I don’t watch cable news, I don’t read a newspaper regularly, and I don’t troll the internet for the latest breaking news items from around the world.  Instead, I’m probably like a lot of people.  I pick the news up here, there, and all around in bits and pieces.  It probably doesn’t make me the most informed  person, but it works.

But even in my semi-ignorant state, I still get News-Induced Depression from time to time.  This isn’t a diagnosis recognized in the DSM-IV or by any scientific body of researchers, but I think it is real nonetheless.  Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Feeling sad, down, and/or tearful after hearing about a news event
  • Continuing to think about news event over the course of several days or weeks, causing a deflation of mood
  • Fear for safety of family and/or self (over and above the ordinary level of concern) for several days or weeks after hearing about news event
  • Desire to either learn as much as possible about the news event or ignore all information about the event
  • Experience an increased level of overall anxiety, nervousness, and/or worry in the days and weeks following learning about the news event

Have you ever experienced News-Induced Depression?  If so, what are the stories that typically cause it?  Are you affected more by personal tragedies and traumas (i.e., rapes, murders, etc) or by political scandals, corruptions, and disappointments?  How do you deal with it?


2 thoughts on “News-Induced Depression

  1. S says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Well, I’m glad to hear there’s an actual term for this awful feeling. I’ve been feeling all of the above symptoms after watching the news and hearing about a tragic murder that took place in a surrounding city. Ever since the story (and similar stories) have broken out into the the media, I can’t help but be fearful for my family’s safety, above and beyond a normal level of worry. I can’t stop thinking about it, but I also can’t help but learn more about it because it’s affected everyone. We got rid of cable television last year, but somehow I still end up hearing about news here and there and become just as well informed as though I had cable. In any case, is there a simple solution to address this feeling without being so uninformed about what is happening around us that we put ourselves at a risk? I hate feeling this way and not being able to go about my life normally after hearing about something sad or tragic on the news.

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