Identifying Mood Busters
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I can’t overemphasize the importance of turning off the TV, particularly the news. The world is full of wonderful things, and the world is also full of horrible terrible things. The news never reports the wonderful things.
I get a publication from a national environmental group every few months about all of the wonderful things that they are doing to improve the environment, and I feel good after reading about it. I wonder, Why aren’t those things on the news?
I deal with death, sorrow, other peoples anger, frustration and loss every day. It’s hard for me to shut off the constant battery of negativity when I come home and not let it overwhelm me. I’m thankful for my exposure to hardship at my job because it makes me so grateful for my family, and it gives me the insight to cherish all of the wonderful joyful things in my life.
But, it takes an emotional toll. I can’t do what I do every day and then watch the news before bed and be barraged with 60 minutes of murder, civil war, rape, violence, death, destruction, and economic loss and doom and gloom. I haven’t watched the news regularly in more than three years. That’s not to say that I am uniformed, I read the newspaper regularly, and I read BBC and CNN online. But I choose what I want to read.
Instead of watching the news, I watch children’s shows with my daughter. It’s amazing how much calmer I feel after an hour watching Sesame Street than an hour of CNN headline news.
I truly, deeply feel that that the daily horror, violence, and doom and gloom on both the news and in our “entertainment” TV is drastically affecting people, particularly our young people, and I often wish we could go back to the days of Beaver Cleaver when TV programming was more responsible and less sensational.
—Lisa Campanella-Coppo, MD, a mom of a three-year-old daughter, an emergency department physician, and the Meridian Health EMCARE, in Monmouth, NJ