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  • Dr Frantz Pierre-Louis & Lloyd Pierre-Louis

News and Health

Updated: May 10, 2020

News are definitely not a new trend; they are actually over decades old: one can easily picture the image dated from decades ago of individuals glued all-ears to an old-fashioned radio. In pretty much all countries around the globe, live information and updates are widely communicated to the public via newspapers, radio, television, and most recently nowadays, via Facebook, twitter, etc.

That being said, having access to the information provided by the news, whether it be good or bad, is somehow important in an evolving world where information is power, knowledge… enabling one to make ‘’informed’’ and calculated decisions susceptible to impact important aspects of life such as health, incidentally.

With the emerging notion of ‘’fake news’’, it becomes more or less difficult to tag a news as ‘’good’’ or ‘’bad’’, given the fact that it is inherently ‘’fake’’. Nevertheless, one can hardly argue the impact of the repetitive effects of incessant ‘’breaking news’’ on the human society.

In a blog[1] published in 2014 on the Huffington post, and entitled The impact of the ‘’breaking news’’ cycle on our health, Michelle Nealon-Woods (president of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology) stated the following:

‘’ Whether we hear the news on our way to work, read it over breakfast, or see it regurgitated and analyzed repeatedly through our online and social media channels, it seems inescapable. And like it or not, it infuses itself into our psyche, taking direct aim at how we feel and react.’’

Indeed, with the high degree of penetration of technology into our daily lives, one can hardly escape hearing the news one way or the other. And there is unfortunately a price to pay for it over the long run:

’ While the cascading effects of bad news do not in and of themselves result in deep-seated mental disorders, they certainly are not good for our health. They can cause anxiety and a heightened sense of vulnerability.’’ (Nealon-Woods, 2014)

That being said, many people have vowed to disconnect from the media stream in an attempt to avoid hearing the news altogether (because, for many, bad news is a never-ending cycle) for the sake of their own mental and even physical health. However, nothing is closer to the reality of our world in this regard than the following statement of Nealon-Woods:

‘’Bad news is never going to go away, but research shows that close social ties — to family, friends, co-workers and community — is a cornerstone of resilience. Each of us can be part of that foundation of strength that gets us through the bad news and helps us create our own positive news cycle.’’

In conclusion, everyone wants to hear good news. However, bad news does exist too, and is therefore inescapable. So, the best bet for the sake of our own health is to learn to accept bad news and find a way to deal with it, while embracing and focusing our energy on our ‘’own positive news cycle’’.


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