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Bad News Can Make You Sick: Report

Bad News Can Make You Sick: Report

(Ruslan Huzau/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 04 June 2018 07:10 PM

Too much bad news doesn’t just take a toll on your mental health, it can make you physically sick as well, a psychotherapist told CNN.

Americans have seen their share of bad news during the last 12 months: The country has been ripped apart politically. There are frequent school shootings. Environmental disasters abound, from California wildfires spreading to a Hawaiian volcano erupting and hurricanes leaving many still struggling.

So what does that do to us? Before returning to its normal restful state, our brains react to bad news and stress by reverting to a "fight, flight, freeze" mode, according to Susanne Babbel, a psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery, CNN reported.

But confrontation with a long string of stressful situations tends to sabotage our ability to return to a normal state.

"Every time we experience or hear about a traumatic event, we go into stress mode. We might go numb or have an overactive fear response to the perceived threat," Babbel said, CNN reported. “Our physiology is triggered to release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.”

The problem comes when we’re repeatedly exposed to stressful situations — or news.

"Over time, when we experience this process again and again, our adrenal glands can become fatigued. Adrenal fatigue can lead to being tired in the morning, lack of restful sleep, anxiety and depression, as well as a multitude of other symptoms," Babbel said.

A review of previous studies called “Stress and Health: Psychological, Behavioral, and Biological Determinants” supports that bad news could make you sick.

"Acute stress responses in young, healthy individuals may be adaptive and typically do not impose a health burden,” the review said. “However, if the threat is unremitting, particularly in older or unhealthy individuals, the long-term effects of stressors can damage health."

Babbel suggests that the best way to cope is to tune out.

"One way of coping to this continual exposure is not getting overloaded with the news and pacing yourself with your consumption. Everyone has a different limit, and you have to find out what your limit is," Babbel told CNN.

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Too much bad news doesn't just take a toll on your mental health, it can make you physically sick as well, a psychotherapist told CNN.
bad, news, sick
Monday, 04 June 2018 07:10 PM
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