Bolton School Girls’ Division Newspaper


Is Mental Health Worsened by The News?

Imagine this…

You are sitting at home after a long day of school and decide to check to the news before starting with your homework. Or, you’re trying to relax before going to bed so you have a look at the news. You check the BBC website. You scroll down, looking for drama or anything you might find interesting.

You click on an article and before long, you’ve finished reading and start looking for another. The related topics spring up.

Before long, you have read several different articles on multiple different websites.


 And before you realise, you have spent half an hour scrolling on the endless amount of news. This is doomscrolling.

We all know about the things that have been happening in the media, like Russia invading Ukraine and Coronavirus. It has been forced down your throat. Me personally, it makes me want to bury my head in the sand. It is everywhere, especially with the internet being so widely accessible nowadays. But is all this news consumption bad for us?

A study in the University of Sussex, run by Graham Davey, a psychology professor, has shown that excess news consumption has a downside.  Other studies have linked poor mental health to news exposure during negative and traumatic events.

In the study, it explains how thirty people were split into three groups. One group was given positive news, one negative and the other a balanced mix. Those who had been given the negative news bulletin returned in an anxious state, compared to those who had been given the positive and neutral news.

The fact that there is news everywhere, on the radio, television, phones, iPads, and newspapers, makes the constant exposure to news very common and very easy.

Blue people

Doomscrolling can promote feeling of anxiety, depression and sadness. Pamela Rutledge, the director of the California-based Media Psychology Research Centre says, “Doomscrolling really just describes the compulsive need to try and get answers when we’re afraid.”

BBC Worklife says that doomscrolling has been a behaviour for humans for a while, but only recently, at the beginning of the pandemic, has it been more commonly heard of.

There is, of course, a solution to the issue of ill mental health in relation to bad news consumption.

Using app and website limits on the technology that we doomscroll on is one option. Apple and Google run devices mostly have built-in software that allows the user to set app limits. Or, you can download apps that allow you to block or set time limits on apps and websites.

Stop sign

Another solution is reading good news websites, such as Glass Half Full, Good News Network and Positive News.

Finally, trying to just stop reading bad news and participating in a hobby, such as playing an instrument, sewing, knitting, crocheting, reading, or going out and exercising.

Yes, too much news can damage your mental health, but in moderation, like anything, it’s okay. And when it gets to be too much, try to remember to stop.

 By Abigail Leaper

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