A recent study seems to indicate a link between not only the negative effects of "media addiction" on mental health but also on our physical health.
This may come as no surprise for our loved ones or those of us who try to "keep up" on the latest news. In this study, they reported, "those who have a high-levels of news addiction reporting 'significantly greater physical ill-being'."
The cycle of fear created by sensationalized and legitimately sensational news can trigger our defensive arousal, which will increase our fear, tension, and immune system response.
These fears can create a cycle where we feel compelled to look more at the news to make sure things are "safe" but which generally contains new and compelling information. "The results [of this study] revealed that 16.5% of people surveyed showed signs of ‘severely problematic’ news consumption. Such individuals frequently became so immersed and personally invested in news stories that the stories dominated the individual’s waking thoughts, disrupted time with family and friends, made it difficult to focus on school or work, and contributed to restlessness and an inability to sleep."
If you or a loved one finds themselves looking at the news, feeling mentally or physically ill from doing it, seek help to learn how to manage these behaviors and emotional reactions.