Other How to deal with the News

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siniang

MyPTSD Pro
I'd been thinking about making this post weeks ago, but then dropped it. But in light of recent events it's very much back on my mind.

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I know many folks with PTSD avoid the News. I can't do that and don't want to do that. It's very important to me to always be informed (in fact, it's actually more stressful having the impression of being left out of important information - talking behind your back kind. Also: only if I know as much as possible can I make informed information. Also: strong desire of knowledge).

However, with the ongoing whacky politics all over the world, all these conflicts, hate, accidents, natural disasters....the News have become a major stressor, at times even triggery, to me. And I don't quite know how to deal with that.

How you do guys navigate the News with its stressor/trigger potential these days?
 

Neverthesame

Not Active
I try to prioritise what is actually important to me and what is actually useful to me.

Trump tweeting something rude? Has little impact on my day to day. Other than something to laugh about with work people later it's not relevant to me personally.

A shooting in a different state?
Sad as f*ck, scary, but not something I really need to know about, It's also unavoidable.
If you have any interaction with people day to day, someone will talk about it.
Why don't I need to know?
Simple.
It's rare, super rare.
You can't avoid hearing about the bullets, the bullets themselves never went anywhere near you.

Mass shootings happen rapidly and without warning. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen, there's no way to avoid it, or prepare for it.
All you can do is be observant of your surroundings. If a shooting starts, everything you can do about it is going to be reactive, not proactive.
This makes what happened at every other shooting prior is pretty much useless to you at that moment. "Don't get hit by the bullets" is the key point of surviving being shot at. I don't know about you, but I don't need to be reminded how bad bullets are for my health. I don't need a lineup of corpses paraded in front of my morning coffee to wake me up in the morning.

A shooting in a different place, different gunman, different crowd, means different tactics to survive.
I don't need to torture myself with other people's suffering.
I need to hear the shots that are going off near me. All the ones fired hundreds or thousands of miles away, don't matter to my immediate survival. The ones that are snapping over my head do matter, those are the ones I need to pay attention to.
I don't need a news anchor to tell me when I'm being shot at.

Natural disasters are another thing that's not helpful to be afraid of. A volcano erupting in the south Pacific, doesn't mean I have to worry about volcanoes. Where I live, if a volcano actually becomes a danger to me, the whole earth is f*cked. So why obsess over it?

Flooding? I can't swim.

Wildfires?
Someone will bang on my door to forcibly evacuate me, if I somehow fail to notice the smoke, glowing horizon, precooked animals and people all running the opposite direction with as many of their belongings as they can carry.

Full scale thermonuclear war?
Who cares? We're all f*cked if that happens.
I remember how to do "Duck and Cover". It's useless but hey, it's something to do while I wait for the last light show on earth.

As for people talking about me behind my back? Pffft... People do that no matter what. If they wanted to get the actual facts, they could just walk over and say hello.
My being aware of it doesn't do anything but make me self conscious, which is not helpful in any situation, so I can't be arsed to care about vacuous people.

How we react to a dangerous situation is of course unique to each person, but there's a few things that universally don't help.
Being burnt out from lack of sleep due to worrying about possibly being shot at, makes you slow to react, quick to panic and more likely to die.
How is that helpful?

The really bad news, you'll hear about it.

The good news is however something I like reading.
My preferred source for filtering out the bad news is a the subreddit "uplifting news". Lots of good stuff in there.
 

Friday

Moderator
For me, it’s a compartmentalization thing. Because there’s a difference between staying informed & giving a damn. A rather huge difference, IMO. Not the least of which is that I don’t view reading about anything as worth much. At best? It’s the broadstrokes of a very narrow view. To truly be informed isn’t reading about someone else’s views on the subject. It’s actually being there, and doing it. And the press always gets that wrong. How wrong depends on the source. So, at best, it’s just a general idea that something is happening somewhere, maybe. To greater or lesser extent than reported. And missing a great deal of vital information, always. That’s the news.

So unless I’m willing to do something about It? Not just read about it but DO something? I don’t care.

If I can’t not care, AND I’m not willing or able to do anything, I don’t read it. Regardless of whether we’re talking a highly curated amalgamation (newspapers & magazines are a good example of type), or industry specific (broadly like science or politics; & narrowly, like archaeology or K&R). The upside, apart from the obvious, is that my “I can’t not care / gut myself over not being willing/able to do anything” is usually narrowed to a few specific loci. Which leaves me the entire rest of the world as my playground. I simply have to hand curate my sources. Which I do, anyways, at least to some extent. I “just” leave whatever happens to be touchy off of my brief, and focus on things that are still interesting without being engaging. IE I don’t feel compelled to do jack shit about.
 
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Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
No, I can't. I understand the jam you're in and I have gone back to it then shut it off, over and over.

But my opinion is, if you watch it you're going to suffer. I don't see any way around that and I've tried everything. There were medications that allowed me to withstand it but all had side effects that made being off meds and not being informed a much better alternative.

If I get triggered by that, depending on what it is, I can be set off for an hour, a day, or a week and it's almost always stuff I can't do anything about.
I just can't afford that.

So maybe, eventually, you'll get sick of being triggered. Until then, you'll just have to put up with it.
 

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
Odd...I was coming to this site after feeling so sad with current events. So it was comforting to read other people’s opinions, feelings as well as thoughts.

For myself, it is a constant mental/emotional gyration to read the news of late. What I have been practicing on is my balance between minimizing the news or catastrophizing the latest disaster or woe. Today, I did not win... momentarily.

I find (as another member mentioned) a need to also read uplifting news. My friends on FaceBook take care as well to feed a nice mix of both, so my information is not skewed to emotionally feed my depression. But honestly after I log out, feeling not so alone in this battle (thank you)- I am counting my blessings. I found gratitude or positive thoughts slowly uplift my spirits.

Thank you for opening this thread and be well.
 

Gs172003

MyPTSD Pro
My town has shootings every single day. Every few days another pedophile is caught. It's gotten so bad people are moving. I don't do anything with the information because I can't. I can't move and I can't change anything. I just have to deal with it. I wish I had an answer for you.
 

Friday

Moderator
a need to also read uplifting news.
All over the world? People are doing amaaaaaaaazing things :sneaky: Phenomenal, incredible, exciting things!

But you have to seek that out.

Bad news is universal, so it sells... but WOW! :woot: is highly personal.

People still publish that stuff... but it’s found in trade mags, special interest websites, professional journals... rather than in stands at every gas stations. I figure the news is a lot like food? I can eat the food at a gas station, but I’d rather seek out better offerings, elsewhere. Curries, and fish tacos, and sushi, and steak, and smokey vegan mac’, and fresh fruit, and tapas, and.... are just things I want made fresh by experts who love what they do.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I get the news on my phone, my computer and on my TV but I don't watch or read it. I elect to get emergency weather reports to know if there is pending weather situation actions I need to take now or in immediate future, to keep me safe. I see the headlines on the magazines, the interesting topics trending, and of course-the trash on the rags at the supermarket. I hear the really important news a day or two later from my neighbor.....and if she doesn't seem to have her facts together....I'll google it. But I don't turn on the TV every day to a station that has news, nor do I seek it out. I think the reason is simply that I need more positive going in my brain, and don't need to add external stressors that will just confound, piss me off, or get me looping in my head. I have enough real stressor stuff in my life to keep me busy there. I'd say, I'm as informed as I need to be, by a variety of sources, to be able to keep myself safe. Besides, most of the stuff on the news....has no relationship to me/my world nor can I control it.
 
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