The constant media coverage of the terrible events that have been happening around us could cause emotional distress and anxiety. For some, it could trigger active symptoms of an emotional issue.
Many of my patients have complained of such symptoms. Some have been experiencing feelings of sadness and depression and occasionally the worsening inability to cope with the stressors of daily life.
Many have attempted to avoid watching TV and news altogether. But the fact is, in our hyper-connected world, it is very difficult to isolate oneself.
Here are some suggestions to balance our life and the media:
- Manage your access to media and social media by scheduling TV time or reading news.
- Avoid extreme self-restricting or media binging at a time of an adverse event.
- Talk to friends or significant others about the feelings you experience. This helps to cope with the anxiety. There is a trend to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to share thoughts. However, I recommend face to face interactions.
- Sometimes the experience of an old trauma triggers sudden onset of negative symptoms years later. This could be triggered when the flow of the overwhelming news reminds the person of the past.
- If you notice any major changes in your sleep, or experience nightmares that persist over two weeks, extreme avoidance of triggers or a consultation with a mental health care provider is necessary.