I Feel Guilty About Avoiding the News
Sadly, the news these days is headline after headline of troubling times and struggles for people—and I feel guilty about avoiding it. It’s a conundrum wherein I want to stay informed but must equally do what I can to protect my mental wellbeing. Another conundrum: watching the news can trigger anxiety, depression, and even obsessiveness in me, but avoiding the news triggers guilt.
Avoiding the News Might Help My Mental Health
It’s perhaps ironic considering I was a journalist once upon a time, but I either find a news story and need to consume as much of it as I can, or I don’t pay attention to it. For instance, with the recent issues in Canada regarding the so-called “Freedom Convoy,” I would get lost in Twitter feed after Twitter feed about it. Seriously, I would click on a hashtag and be consumed.
My partner can probably also attest to how I get when a news station is on that rotates headlines or news bites along the bottom of the screen while newscasters talk. I’ll read every single news bite and even read some to him. I did this with the Freedom Convoy and do it now with the news about Ukraine and Russia.
And in engaging in these sorts of obsessive behaviors, I get anxious and depressed about what’s going on. So then I withdraw and try to avoid the news. But in doing that, I get anxious about not keeping up with the news and feel guilty about not being informed. I feel guilty about avoiding the news despite its negative impacts on my mental health because that struggle feels minuscule compared to what’s going on in the world. In a way, this is self-stigma.
Note to Self When Feeling Guilty About Avoiding the News
So, what do I do with this conundrum? Do I stay stuck in this spiral of obsession and depression and anxiousness and guilt? Well, I’d rather not, but it is admittedly difficult to break out of. In the video below, I go over a “note to self”—something I try to remind myself of—in these situations.
Barton, L. (2022, March 19). I Feel Guilty About Avoiding the News, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, January 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2022/3/i-feel-guilty-about-avoiding-the-news