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Rainbowstar

The Importance Of Avoiding Watching The News.

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Hi everyone,

One useful strategy to help you recover from depression is to avoid watching the news.

The news in the media is overly pessimistic and for people experiencing depression, watching the news can make the depression worse. The news can also make us feel unnecessarily anxious. There is no doubt that negative things do happen in the world, but there are many positive things that do not get reported. The news in the media presents a unbalanced, biased, inaccurate view of the world, that can be psychologically damaging. There is a saying, that what we know affects how we think and subsequently how we feel.

I know from personal experience, that if I spend even a day, not watching the news, my mood tends to be higher than if I do watch the news.

In contrast, reading positive news has the opposite effect. There are positive news networks on the internet (PM me for link). that can make you feel better about the world around you.

I am interested to read about other member's experience of exposure to the news.

Edited by lindahurt

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Yep, I've learned this a while back. Nothing good comes out of watching news, at any hour, and almost any network. They're built to incite you, over-stimulate you, and panic you. That's how they get ratings--the "shock" value. If I enter a room where it is being played I immediately turn it off, or failing that, just leave. It is almost instinctual now.

Edited by spider and i

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When I say to people I Don't watch TV or I don't read newspapers they look at me in a very weird way. I do watch movies. But no news. I don't even own a TV. The only time I read newspapers (and most of them are free!!!) was during the London riots. After that I made the mistake of reading some more. There was this article in three columns. After reading the first one I was very angry. On the second column I was shaking. Then I just stopped. I couldn't finish it. I haven't watched TV for more then 10 years.

Most of my life I (and everyone around me) thought of myself as over sensitive. I don't know what if I'm really that sensitive or just depressed or what but I really need to avoid all those negative news and everything else that can give me a reason to worry. And almost anything for me is a reason to worry.

Maybe it's just me. I don't think most people react the same way. They seem to be perfectly fine with the news and they also seem able to distance themselves emotionally from everything around them.

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I don't watch the news. It is too upsetting.

I have to be careful what I watch, and what I read, because a lot of topics will trigger my OCD, and panic attacks.

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I watch don't watch the news as much now as I use to. I too find it to be quite depressing and discouraging hearing about so many negative things. I will browse the online local channels and read selective new articles. I love reading more about what positive things people are doing to help one another, or look for news on medical insurance, goverment policies, breaking news that isn't about killings and the like, etc.

Lindahurt

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When I say to people I Don't watch TV or I don't read newspapers they look at me in a very weird way. I do watch movies. But no news. I don't even own a TV. The only time I read newspapers (and most of them are free!!!) was during the London riots. After that I made the mistake of reading some more. There was this article in three columns. After reading the first one I was very angry. On the second column I was shaking. Then I just stopped. I couldn't finish it. I haven't watched TV for more then 10 years.

Most of my life I (and everyone around me) thought of myself as over sensitive. I don't know what if I'm really that sensitive or just depressed or what but I really need to avoid all those negative news and everything else that can give me a reason to worry. And almost anything for me is a reason to worry.

Maybe it's just me. I don't think most people react the same way. They seem to be perfectly fine with the news and they also seem able to distance themselves emotionally from everything around them.

I personally believe that it is okay being sensitive. Being sensitive may well be part of our personality. Just as a person with a peanut allergy needs to avoid peanuts, people who naturally more sensitive need to avoid emotionally distressing stimuli. We all have our limitations.

I don't understand why people will think you are weird for not watching televisions or the news. There are many people in other parts of the world such as in rural areas, who don't have access to a television.

I am very impressed with your achievements, no TV for ten years. I am making a new years resolution, that I will not watch the news at all for the year.

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Thank you Spider and I, AquaViolet and Lindahurt for replying.

I believe that the media is partly responsible for the rise in depression in modern societies. The exclusive focus of the news on negative events, the excessive focus on appearances and beauty and the commercials telling us that we could happy if we buy a particular product.

The media can also be ruthless and relentless. Politicians, celebrities and athletes are heavily scrutinized. Every mistake they make is blown out of proportion etc.

I sometimes wonder what the depression rate is of people who live in village rural like communities, where they are not exposed to television or the media.

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It's not totally clear that depression is on the rise - diagnosis of depression may be, and prescriptions, but that doesn't mean that depression itself is rising. (Diagnosis could easily be rising because there has been a huge increase in the number of mental conditions deemed illnesses by the DSM).

Depression appears to have been present throughout history, and there is plenty of mental illness in villages and in third-world countries - and often the people who suffer from them are locked in cages or subjected to some form of exorcism.

That's not to say anything about your watching the news or not - if it helps not to watch, that's great - anything we can do to feel better, hey?

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I have to take the news in very small dosages, and rarely watch local news. Also, I MUST turn off the volume during every commercial break or I go crazy. Headache, anxiety, and I just want to throw something at the TV if the volume is on during commercials... drives me NUTS.

I do like to watch some shows (without commercials) on demand or DVR.

I recently moved due to some traveling and just discontinued Comcast Cable. I may not add the service again, just the internet when I return to my home town in a few months.

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You could probably extend this further to include all television in general. At least that's what I think.

And I know exactly what you mean Ronnie, great post

Edited by spider and i

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I personally believe that it is okay being sensitive. Being sensitive may well be part of our personality. Just as a person with a peanut allergy needs to avoid peanuts, people who naturally more sensitive need to avoid emotionally distressing stimuli. We all have our limitations.

I don't understand why people will think you are weird for not watching televisions or the news. There are many people in other parts of the world such as in rural areas, who don't have access to a television.

I am very impressed with your achievements, no TV for ten years. I am making a new years resolution, that I will not watch the news at all for the year.

Good luck with your resolution. I remember why I stopped watching the news. I was very angry because of the very same realization of how negative they are. If something good happens and something bad happens they will just skip the good news. Because the bad news is what sells the newspapers, obviously. Anyway for me was no effort to isolate myself from all those things since they were making me feel so bad. I hope you also succeed in that and it makes you feel good. The only weird time will be when there is a conversation about some big brother show or some war in the eastern world and you have no opinion because you have no idea what they are talking about. At first I was ashamed of admitting those things but then I decided I have nothing to be ashamed of. And I would just state: No, I don't watch Big Brother. And then I felt good of that one difference I had with everybody . Of course I come from a small country where TV is a huge part of peoples lives. The gossip talk and which celebrity did what and married who and so on. I personally find it as repulsive and meaningless as the news!

And thank you for the kind and understanding words.

Happy New Year.

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I agree with you Absent. I, too, don't like celebrity gossip. I couldn't care less about most celebrities.

I guess I've never understood why some people are so obsessed with celebrities.

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I agree with you Absent. I, too, don't like celebrity gossip. I couldn't care less about most celebrities.

I guess I've never understood why some people are so obsessed with celebrities.

Yeah I don't get the cult of celebrity either? I couldn't care less if x and z are getting divorce / having a baby / cheating on each other...we get enough of this cr** in our everyday lives, why do we need it for entertainment?

And as for the news, i'm with rainbowstar, Aquaviolet and others in that watching the news always makes me more depressed at the state of the world (natural disasters, war, politics, religious clashes) or anxious about my future (economic crises, unemployment, political changes) you see so little 'good news' that it's really unbalanced, not to mention full of channel biases. In the UK you can pretty much tell which party each channel supports by the slants on their news coverage; impartiality is right out! I tend to go to news websites and scan for other stuff like 'the day in pictures' or the science journals within the websites for a wider range of 'news'.

I can't avoid watching it completely though. Part of my neuroses include feeling really dumb if I don't know what's going on in the world around me. i need to feel smart so that I can feel better about myself. One of the things that really bothers me about depression is that when I get hit with a really bad patch my ability to process basic information like the news goes out of the window. that way i know that if I can stand to watch the news and understand it, then I know I'm not too bad!

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I agree with you Absent. I, too, don't like celebrity gossip. I couldn't care less about most celebrities.

I guess I've never understood why some people are so obsessed with celebrities.

Yeah I don't get the cult of celebrity either? I couldn't care less if x and z are getting divorce / having a baby / cheating on each other...we get enough of this cr** in our everyday lives, why do we need it for entertainment?

And as for the news, i'm with rainbowstar, Aquaviolet and others in that watching the news always makes me more depressed at the state of the world (natural disasters, war, politics, religious clashes) or anxious about my future (economic crises, unemployment, political changes) you see so little 'good news' that it's really unbalanced, not to mention full of channel biases. In the UK you can pretty much tell which party each channel supports by the slants on their news coverage; impartiality is right out! I tend to go to news websites and scan for other stuff like 'the day in pictures' or the science journals within the websites for a wider range of 'news'.

I can't avoid watching it completely though. Part of my neuroses include feeling really dumb if I don't know what's going on in the world around me. i need to feel smart so that I can feel better about myself. One of the things that really bothers me about depression is that when I get hit with a really bad patch my ability to process basic information like the news goes out of the window. that way i know that if I can stand to watch the news and understand it, then I know I'm not too bad!

Hi Lostingothicmusic (Your username is very creative),

I suspect people gossip about celebrities to make themselves feel better about themselves. Some people feel jealous of celebrities because most of them have fame and money and subsequently, we talk about the negative aspects of the celebrities of lives, to make ourselves feel better because we don't have the problems the celebrity is experiencing. It is a form of jealousy. Feeling good when other people especially those we envy are doing badly.

Another problem with the news which your post made me realize is that much of the time, they use emotive exaggerated words to describe situations that aren't that bad.

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Hi Lostingothicmusic (Your username is very creative),

Another problem with the news which your post made me realize is that much of the time, they use emotive exaggerated words to describe situations that aren't that bad.

Thank you!

I too find the news channels SENSATIONALISE! EVERYTHING! It seems that normal news is too BORING! without it. !!!!!.

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I don't watch the news either! I don't have cable, and I don't watch any regular TV programming. I only watch old movies on my DVDs or Netflix. I check out the headlines on Yahoo News or something like that and read very selectively.

I hate the TV in general, I think it is a wasteland, and contributed to the breakup of my marriage. That and alcohol! My former husband never did anything but watch the stupid TV and drink. What a waste of an intelligent person!

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I don't watch the news either! I don't have cable, and I don't watch any regular TV programming. I only watch old movies on my DVDs or Netflix. I check out the headlines on Yahoo News or something like that and read very selectively.

I hate the TV in general, I think it is a wasteland, and contributed to the breakup of my marriage. That and alcohol! My former husband never did anything but watch the stupid TV and drink. What a waste of an intelligent person!

Hi LibraryLady,

I am sorry to hear about the break up of your marriage. It must have been a difficult experience. I hope things get better soon.

I agree that excessive TV as well as alcohol can be harmful to relationships. I sometimes, wonder what life would be like, if there were no TVs and we are lived in a tribe like community.

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TV makes me sad. Everything is so depressing at times, I lose interest quicker then a fly who smells dung. The only thing I really liked was manga and anime and sometimes there were depressing series, but for the most part, I found anime (from the ones I watched) to be... fluffy... happy. Although one thing I can point out for myself, is you do need a low valley to reach a high peak. It makes the ending positive and more cheerful. But if the pessimism / darkness overpowers the positive qualities, then I just could careless. Most live action shows do. Most notably for me, the TV show "The O.C."

It was my kryptonite when I was younger. Actually I've never seen or heard anything as depressing as The O.C. ... that is to my knowledge since I don't watch TV since... 5 years , give or take.

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TV makes me sad. Everything is so depressing at times, I lose interest quicker then a fly who smells dung. The only thing I really liked was manga and anime and sometimes there were depressing series, but for the most part, I found anime (from the ones I watched) to be... fluffy... happy. Although one thing I can point out for myself, is you do need a low valley to reach a high peak. It makes the ending positive and more cheerful. But if the pessimism / darkness overpowers the positive qualities, then I just could careless. Most live action shows do. Most notably for me, the TV show "The O.C."

It was my kryptonite when I was younger. Actually I've never seen or heard anything as depressing as The O.C. ... that is to my knowledge since I don't watch TV since... 5 years , give or take.

Thank you so much for replying =).

It is great to know that you love manga and anime. Having something that you are interested in is a powerful way to recover from and prevent depression. I agree with you that television can sometimes be depressing. The news shows too much human suffering and there is too much sex and violence in movies.

I love your quote about how a high peak can only be created by a low valley. It is so true! We can only know happiness if we have experienced sadness.

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TV makes me sad. Everything is so depressing at times, I lose interest quicker then a fly who smells dung. The only thing I really liked was manga and anime and sometimes there were depressing series, but for the most part, I found anime (from the ones I watched) to be... fluffy... happy. Although one thing I can point out for myself, is you do need a low valley to reach a high peak. It makes the ending positive and more cheerful. But if the pessimism / darkness overpowers the positive qualities, then I just could careless. Most live action shows do. Most notably for me, the TV show "The O.C."

It was my kryptonite when I was younger. Actually I've never seen or heard anything as depressing as The O.C. ... that is to my knowledge since I don't watch TV since... 5 years , give or take.

I liked the o.c as well. I really liked ryans character.

I dont watch the news because most of it is negative and has nothing to do with each individuals life. I like checking up on the weather, but its now on the internet. Most mainstream newspapers are bland and have very little depth. I dont like gender based lifestyle magazines as they crush your self esteem and it seems to make each individual not as an individual.

However, I like 60 minutes and always have from an early age. Oh and lets not forget how great it was when barbara walters flamed the kardashians. Thats about the only thing i have found amusing in popular culture these days. I just wonder about the future and t.v and what impact it will make on the world. We have so many alternative resources.

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TV makes me sad. Everything is so depressing at times, I lose interest quicker then a fly who smells dung. The only thing I really liked was manga and anime and sometimes there were depressing series, but for the most part, I found anime (from the ones I watched) to be... fluffy... happy. Although one thing I can point out for myself, is you do need a low valley to reach a high peak. It makes the ending positive and more cheerful. But if the pessimism / darkness overpowers the positive qualities, then I just could careless. Most live action shows do. Most notably for me, the TV show "The O.C."

It was my kryptonite when I was younger. Actually I've never seen or heard anything as depressing as The O.C. ... that is to my knowledge since I don't watch TV since... 5 years , give or take.

I liked the o.c as well. I really liked ryans character.

I dont watch the news because most of it is negative and has nothing to do with each individuals life. I like checking up on the weather, but its now on the internet. Most mainstream newspapers are bland and have very little depth. I dont like gender based lifestyle magazines as they crush your self esteem and it seems to make each individual not as an individual.

However, I like 60 minutes and always have from an early age. Oh and lets not forget how great it was when barbara walters flamed the kardashians. Thats about the only thing i have found amusing in popular culture these days. I just wonder about the future and t.v and what impact it will make on the world. We have so many alternative resources.

Hi Anchor,

I like your comment about gender based lifestyle magazines. One cause of low self esteem and subsequently depression is the unrealistic images of bodily perfection that these magazines convey to us. Also, the superficial gossip focused nature of these magazines can cause people to become shallow.

About the future of television, I somehow feel that one day television sets may become extinct because more and more people on watching television on their computer screens.

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Hi,

Well I watch the News for 10 mins in the morning, and the next day is mostly the same. Living on a small Indian Ocean Island like Mauritius take you so far away from real life.

Jim Bow

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I do watch the news and take an interest in politics (although this drops off along with everything else when severely depressed). But I think it is totally right to know your own triggers and to decide not to do those things. I find other things triggering, that other people might enjoy, like violent movies or certain kinds of music. I think some people take offence if I say I can't listen to Radiohead or Leonard Cohen because they depress me too much, but it is true. I'm not saying it is their fault, or that they should stop making music, they just spark something in me that isn't good.

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I do watch the news and take an interest in politics (although this drops off along with everything else when severely depressed). But I think it is totally right to know your own triggers and to decide not to do those things. I find other things triggering, that other people might enjoy, like violent movies or certain kinds of music. I think some people take offence if I say I can't listen to Radiohead or Leonard Cohen because they depress me too much, but it is true. I'm not saying it is their fault, or that they should stop making music, they just spark something in me that isn't good.

Hi Shyboots,

Thank you so much for reply =). I agree with you. Everyone is unique and therefore, what works for one person may not work for another. For some depressed people, watching the news may have no detrimental effect on them and maybe beneficial. For others, the news can be a source of misery.

Your post also reminded me of how advice that experts give us on how to cope with mental illness may not work for everyone. Everyone is different and subsequently, the advice that experts give is not universally applicable. It is important to find out for ourselves what works and what does not. It is unfortunate that life is sometimes unnecessarily complex.

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I do not watch the news although I do check CNN online occasionally. When I am very depressed, there is only certain content that I can view. I really don't need to be reminded how depressing the state of the world is. Actually, I dropped cable all together and now I watch streaming TV shows online. That way I can control the content of what I watch.

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