Today, the news is everywhere. Log into your social media account and there it is. Fun, right?

The idea of what’s possible and out of our control

People tend to think it’s the negative side of the news that makes people with severe anxiety feel worse. But it’s not just about news being bad or depressing. It’s the idea of what is possible. The realization or confirmation of how many things they cannot control or are not easy to control. All those possible scenarios seem even more probable because it was on the news. The possible scenarios can trigger an unnecessary chain of thoughts. Not to mention that traumas can be re-experienced by just watching certain images and videos.

In times of trouble

Let’s be clear, not everyone with a mental health issue will have trouble watching the news. You’ll probably even notice it is situation-dependent. There are many forms of anxiety disorders, phobias, and so on. But there are also so many stages and situations you can be in. For example: when you feel good, physically and mentally, and have conquered your anxiety disorder or learned to live with it, you’ll be able to handle way more than when you are sick or fatigued and slightly more sensitive and in the middle of fighting your anxiety.

When it comes to watching or listening to the news, focus on what you need. Do you need a break from the news? When you feel like avoiding the news temporarily is best for you at a specific moment, do it. What’s wrong with not watching the news and reading the papers for a while? What’s wrong with changing the channel when you hear the news anchor talking on the radio or tv? Despite neglecting those terrible news stories on the media, we still get to know and hear what’s going on, right? It’s everywhere, so why not lessen those ‘negative stimuli’ in times of personal trouble?

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