When the News Triggers Your Self-Harm Urges

July 28, 2022 Kim Berkley

It's important, for a variety of reasons, to keep in touch with the events of the world around you. But what do you do when the news triggers your self-harm urges?

News as a Trigger for Self-Harm Urges

"No news is good news," as the saying goes. The news we see on TV is often bad. Sometimes the stories are relatively small in scale—personal tragedies that directly affect only a few people, often people we have never crossed paths with. Sometimes the stories are much bigger—war, natural disasters, or deadly pandemics. One thing is constant—there is always a lot of news, and a lot of the news is depressing, frustrating, and even horrifying. It can get pretty overwhelming and pretty quickly if you don't have some solid self-injury coping techniques up your sleeve at all times.

Taking all this into account, it's no wonder that taking in too much news can drag you down. Especially if you have a history of self-injury—but even if you don't—it's completely understandable that the news might trigger the urge to self-harm.

Coping with Self-Harm Urges Triggered by the News

The solution isn't to become a hermit and go off to live in the woods where the news can't reach you, tempting though it might sometimes be. (I know I daydream about this quite often.) For one thing, no matter how disconnected you may be—physically or emotionally—from the rest of the world, you are still in it. You are still a part of it.

And believe it or not, that's not always a bad thing.

Staying connected is important. Keeping up with what's going on keeps you abreast of dangers you'd do best to avoid—like a hurricane headed your way—and can help you stay as safe as possible in situations you can't entirely avoid, like the pandemic. And if you're able and willing to give back now and again, staying informed will let you know where your help will do the most good.

But you don't need to stay in contact with everything, everywhere, all the time. It's okay to put your phone down, turn off the TV, and carve out a place and time for yourself to just be. You are part of the world, but you are also your own person. And you need your own care and attention, too.

So if the news is triggering your self-harm urges, take a step back and take a breath. It's time to find a new balance.

Do you have any additional tips for coping with self-harm urges that are triggered by the news? Let me know in the comments.

APA Reference
Kim Berkley (2022, July 28). When the News Triggers Your Self-Harm Urges, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Kim Berkley

Find Kim on Instagram, Facebook and her blog.

Leave a reply