Presented by BetterHelp.
Since 2020, people have been experiencing a huge influx of scary notices from news channels and the government all over the world. Learning about current events may have once been a fun school project for teens, and now it seems to be all we can do and all we hear about.
In 2022, we have to think about how to stay safe while traveling during a global pandemic that is still raging in many countries. We may also feel anxiety to see posts about a possible war and new government leadership.
Here are five ways the news and checking up on posts about current events can impact your mental health and how to get help.
Frequent Posting Causes Anxiety
In situations where something is happening worldwide, many people take to social media. It has become a comfort to post and get validation from other humans around the world about what we’re going through.
Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, people went into quarantine and were not as social as before. Social media has become a big part of most people’s lives. However, what no one addresses is that frequent posting and reading of posts about current events causes anxiety.
During the pandemic, the anxiety and depression rates of teens increased by a large percentage. Social media use also increased. Being exposed to negative media constantly can be scary for an adult mind, let alone a developing one.
News Stories Are Often Exaggerated or Made to Look Scary
News networks are media corporations. Their job is to get as many views and interactions as possible. Major events are great for news sites and networks because they can use them daily to get more views. Although many statistics reported are true and real, many are exaggerated or even false.
It’s best to do your research with government sites and databases when it comes to something like mental health. If you are feeling scared by a news story, know that the news site probably made it appear scary to get reactions out of people. Even though these global events are traumatizing and scary, we can lessen the impact of a news story by taking care of what we view and what we let our children view.
Health anxiety has also increased since the beginning of the pandemic. This type of anxiety is characterized by an intense fear of mental health problems. It is common in those who have already experienced Covid-19 as well due to the trauma that is experienced with a severe health condition.
If you are experiencing mental health issues or anxiety, there is hope. Many therapists offer services for mental health, anxiety and phobias.
Phobias have also started to develop due to current events. These could include mental health phobias, phobias about leaving home, or phobias about war. Whatever they are, a phobia is a fear that takes over the mind and impacts your day-to-day life.
An example is a phobia of spiders, which we may know someone with. The person may have so much fear of spiders that they cry even at the thought of one and avoid dark rooms.
How to Get Help
If you are experiencing one of the above results of watching the news or checking in on current events, don’t worry. There is help available for you.
Many therapists have moved online during the pandemic, which means you can find help through a chat platform, over the phone, or on video chat. You don’t have to get out of bed and drive to an office if you’re afraid to.
You may want to also limit your intake of information on current events. Watch or interact with one thing per week to stay updated. However, if you find yourself having a panic attack after watching the news, it may be best to avoid it and get help first.
If you do want to learn more about current events in relation to mental health, check out this excellent advice column here.