Can world news cause personal depression?

Conspiracy_Monger's picture

I am so very sad. With everything that's going on in the world, how can people just act like nothing's happening? Iraq, N. Korea, Lebanon and Israel? I feel so down. I feel helpless. I feel like somewhere someone threw all these balls in the air, and we're just waiting to see where they land. Do current events impact me more than the average person? When September 11th happened, I had these crazy bouts of spontaneous crying that continued for a month, maybe longer! Does this happen to anyone else?


mrs. sauce's picture
Submitted by mrs. sauce on

yes. I have actually tried to avoid a lot of news with this pregnancy just because I didn't think I could handle it.

Some news haunts me for the rest of my life. It is important to stay connected to the ultimate reality while watching the news or you can go right off the deep end.

* I'm all fight and no flight *

IGGY's picture
Submitted by IGGY on

i think that if you're prone to depression anyway, world events can push you over the edge, but i don't think it causes true depression.

however, a lot of people around my neck of the woods suffered real tauma from 9/11. a friend of mine didn't sleep for months, and it didn't seem to matter whether they were personally close to anyone who was lost on that day. people who lost no one are suffering PTSD. i know that for myself, it was a surreal experience that affected my mental health permanently in a way i lack the vocabulary to explain. not a huge deal, just in a way that's hard to put into word. i bet there are psych terms that would describe it. it also changed how i view the news and relate to people living in warzones. anyway, there are all these billboards and posters hanging in subways reminding new yorkers that 9/11 is not over and it's ok that they're still affected, and if you have x y z symptoms, call this number and they will get you a shrink.

i think that when things like israel/lebanon happen, it can shatter our illusions of control over what goes on in the world. sometimes we react by dissociating, sometimes feel overwhelmed. i don't think that if we took the time to really consider all of the atrocities going on in the world with full gravity, we would be able to function at all. i mean, just think of rwanda and darfur.

i'm sorry you're sad. i see this conflict unfolding really badly too. i don't know what could possibly be done about it, that wouldn't make some other situation worse, and i have no faith in my government right now, so i can't delude myself that at least the U S will be an ambassador to peace.

and, i don't think it's about hostages.

"All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure." --Mark Twain

"You know, i could write a book. And this book would be thick enough, to stun an ox." -- Laurie Anderson

zannaL's picture
Submitted by zannaL on

World news can certainly aggravate the hell out of personal depression. What's going on in the world is, simply, depressing.

This might sound odd, but you might want to go on a news fast -- no media outlets of any kind, television, net, newspaper, magazines, nothing -- for a while, until you get your perspective back. After that, be mindful of what you take in.

I'm not advocating separating yourself from the world -- that's a bad idea, IMO. But there is a limit, different for each person, to what you can tolerate when there is nothing you can do about it. You want to find a happy medium between being informed and being unable to cope.

If you are still feeling bad after a week or two, consider counseling. You don't have to have a "reason" that you can point to, other than the fact that you are depressed. The counseling will help you to process whatever's bothering you, so that you can cope.

Hope you feel better soon.

motherfluffer's picture

i believe it can. it has happened to me several times. most recently, following hurricane katrina. i recommend the media fast.

Ruby of the Moon's picture

I know people that don't watch the news for this very reason. Seeing all the bad news and rarely any good news can be very depressing and lead us to question things that are happening in our personal lives.

"If I could tell the world one thing, it would be we're all okay"-Jewell

whatjusthappened's picture

The news is disturbing enough without the visuals, and the constant commentary is enough to drive anyone mad. I didn't own a tv when 9/11 happened. I heard the dj on the radio flip out when he saw it and called DH at work to see if it was a bad joke. I was completely freaked, but at least I didn't have a visual of that to haunt my dreams at night.

I haven't watched coverage of any disaster since Desert Storm '91. I realized that tv coverage was being used by the powers that be to cause fear and distress. People who are afraid can be controlled.

I get my national and local news from PBS, because I find it to be very dry. "Here's what happened." I don't want to be told what to think about the news. I catch breaking news on NPR if there's something that happens when I happen to be listening. It's not that I'm an ostrich, it's just that I have to take care of what is directly in front of me and I can't do that if I'm freaked out by what is on the tube or airwaves.

IGGY's picture
Submitted by IGGY on

that sounds like a healthy attitude. there's a difference between being aware of what's going on in the world so you at least have the opportunity to act if you choose, than immersing yourself in it. sometimes i feel like people who immerse themselves in it (me at one time) sort of do it as a substitute to awareness. it's almost like, "well, no, i don't do anything or change the way i live at all, but at least i subject myself to punishment daily and that counts right?" you know? i can almost get reduced to gossip. "did you hear about the terror plot in new york?"

you're right, it's all about fear. and not just terror related shit, but even when there's nothing going on it's "what secret life threatening danger is in your child's drinking water? find out at 6."

"All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure." --Mark Twain

"You know, i could write a book. And this book would be thick enough, to stun an ox." -- Laurie Anderson

GOann's picture
Submitted by GOann on

I agreewith some postings. Reading watching the news stirs ALL kinds of emotions. I too try not to watch or read the news at times. I feel like I am isolating myself at times or not educating myself at times. I don't let my kids watch the news especially since they are very young. It is hard at times MY DH is a News Junkie. The TV,paper, adn computer. Very well read I must say. he tends to get absorbed in it while I take care of the kids. Especially when he reads the papers on the computer. Drives me crazy. he often says..You know what I read....For example he just read an article about metal/aluminum bats in baseball for kids - very dangerous.

I think media/news is out of hand and the crap they write about. Over exposure of everything! I say if the news is really depressing you and you do feel a need to do something try and pick one topic and make a change, small steps can make changes. Try not exposing yourself from too much news.

I just bought a t shirt for my husband that says "live simply" . Try it Try just listening to the radio for the news. I think there are too many distractions in the world today.

Trula's picture
Submitted by Trula on

worls news can cause personal depression. I find I get more depressed watching news of what's going on in this country. Or rather what's not going on. American commercials especially depress me. People are dying, people are starving while americans, to go by the commercials, are only concerned with making sure their houses smell like artificial flowers, their kids are fed nasty pre-packaged food that comes in colors nature never intended, and they have the biggest, baddest, car, television, house, stereo system, whatever.

My husband bought some 'crustables' yesterday and I thought my head would explode, I could not believe it.

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