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Does reading the news make you depressed?

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Does reading the news make you depressed?

I kind of feel like keeping up with the news is important. I like to know what’s going on in the world, in politics in our country and stay up to date with the top stories.  But, at the same time, I also feel constantly keeping up with what’s going on in the world can have a negative effect on mentality.

Is it possible that watching the news can actually have negative effects and even make you depressed?

I always start my day by checking the news on my phone when I wake up.  It’s the first thing I do.  I don’t spring out of bed once my alarm goes off, but choose to snooze and slowly wake myself up by browsing the news stories on my phone.  Not because I want to see what’s happened over night and I have fear of missing out, but it’s just become habit.  I like to read and it’s a nice way to ease myself into the day.  Or so I thought. 

I also end my day by reading the news in bed before I go to sleep.  I usually work for a few hours before I go to bed, so it’s my treat and switch off to read something else non work related before I finish my day. But now I’m questioning how much of a treat it is.  I am quite literally starting and ending my day with negativity.  Because let’s face it, the news rarely shares uplifting positive stories.

Recently I’ve been feeling quite anxious when I go to bed and I haven’t been able to put my finger on it.  I feel a deep sense of worry as it gets towards bedtime and it increases when I go to bed.  Some nights I even start feeling quite sick.  I’m not entirely sure what’s causing it as I can’t think of anything I would be worrying about.  It’s been going on a while now so I really need to put my finger on it. 

Could this worry be caused by reading the news?

Does reading the news in bed make you depressed

Perhaps the last thing I read before I drift into a welcome slumber shouldn’t be doom and gloom? 

Maybe subconsciously I am worried of going to bed as I never know what disasters and unimaginable tragedies I am going to discover.  Plus, it’s real life.  It’s not like reading a story book before bed, which too could be horrific, this is really happening all over the world and most of it is depressing and makes me question humanity.

The only solution is for me to stop reading the news and see if it helps. 

Problem with this is I then feel unconnected and ignorant to what is going on around me.  But maybe it’s OK to be in my own bubble of life for a while and to ignore the rest of the world if it’s starting to affect me emotionally.

Or I could just read it in the middle of the day, but I wonder if going cold turkey from the news will make me feel happier overall.

What do you think?  Does reading the news make you anxious or miserable?  Have you ever stopped reading the news altogether?  Let me know in the comments.

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Does reading the news make you depressed_

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  1. A S,Edinburgh

    I tend not to check it last thing. Also, I share a lot of news on social media BUT I now have a "no action, no sharing" policy. Basically, if a post about bad news doesn't include a link to, or mention of, something the reader can *do* about the bad news - whether it's a donation, a petition signature, a vote, whatever - then I don't pass it on. (With the very, very occasional exception.) Raising awareness is good for some things, but when it comes to bad news, I think on its own it can do more harm than good. It can make people feel more powerless and can burn them out to the point of compassion fatigue more quickly. And that's no good to anyone. If I want to tell someone about something bad, I try to think of what I can suggest they do about it.

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  2. Ashleigh Allan

    Yes it always seems to be negative I think

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  3. I used to have the news app on my phone but I deleted it about a year ago and I don't miss it. I was getting so worked up about all the horrible things going on and I realised that I had enough things to worry about in my own life, never mind getting down about the state of the world too. It was a conscious decision so that I was able to function in my own life and be the best version of me for the sake of those around me and my responsibilities. I still check the news every so often and, being on social media, you quickly find out about any really important news stories so you can check them out them. But I definitely feel better without the slow drip-feeding of distressing stories. I hope you find a solution that works for you too #brillblogposts

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  4. Katherine De Riera

    I quite agree with you, watching/reading the news is depressing and I'd swap your nightly news read for a novel or something else non news related! I definitely wouldn't read the news before bed, its mostly the stuff of nightmares!!!

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  5. Sidrah Ahmed

    It does make me rather sad as it all very saddening things in the news and not much which can make you smile

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  6. Mark Whittaker

    I have spent my life trying to be well informed about the world , usually devouring every news source I can find , yet over the last couple of years I have found that knowing things has led to a real change in my mood .There has always been bad news , but at the moment with so many sources of information it feels unrelenting. I end up angry and frustrated , though its perfectly possible it could be depression presenting in that way . I suppose the biggest danger is that where before I was involved in a variety of charities and local groups I end up feeling impotent to affect anything: a social media tragedy fatigue. Think I need to focus at what can be done , whether that is raising funds for something , volunteering for local schemes or campaigning for specific goals . That way amidst all of the gloom , there can at least be some positives I can point to .

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  7. Ren Taylor

    I don't watch the news anymore as it is stressful! I can't help it all popping up on my Facebook though :(

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