I experienced a traumatic birth with my first daughter. When I came home, I ever so brilliantly watched CNN Headline News most of the day when my husband was at work. I also watched a lot of movies and Star Trek: The Next Generation but the CNNH was my default setting.
For the most part, it was background noise.
Until the reporter would start talking about something absolutely horrific. Or they would show graphic pictures. Or they would obsess over the same negative news for hours at a time. Which, let’s face it, happens a LOT on the news these days.
I remember Hurricane Katrina. I was depressed, pregnant with our second daughter, and more than likely should not have turned on the Television. But I did. BAM. Triggered.
After the birth of our second daughter though, I turned off the news. I turned off any medical dramas. She spent almost an entire month in the NICU. For me, my life turned INTO a medical drama. Without the appearance of George Clooney or Goran Visjnic, unfortunately. I did not need to leave the hospital to come home and watch ER or Grey’s.
I limited my exposure to news. I did not go to CNN’s website or watch their channels. Same with Fox, MSNBC, local news, etc. I was safe.
But then I found Social Media.
On Social Media, it is HARD to ignore current events. Especially on Twitter where the majority of stories take off before any news outlet even picks them up.
I follow one news outlet on my feed. Only one. I may even drop them. If my Twitter feed is blowing up with news I find triggering, I close my laptop, shut off my Twitter app on my phone, and focus on the kiddos, myself, and laughing. Sure, I could let myself drown in the speculation, the negative spirals downward, and the ebb and flow of drama. But I choose not to do so. It is not because I do not want to be informed. I very much want to be informed. I just want to be informed on my terms, not on the terms the news outlets seem to think I need to be informed upon.
Much of the time, news is sensationalized in order to turn a profit. It’s meant to make you gasp, elicit an emotional response, and stay glued to your TV or buy the newspaper. There is a reason you do not see happy, non-sensationalized news very often. It is because frankly, it does not sell papers.
If news and current events trigger you, turn off your TV. Cancel your newspaper subscription. Think of other positive things you can do with the money you’re spending on that paper subscription – like a massage or even therapy!
If you MUST read news, go here: http://www.happynews.com/
Think of turning off the news as a necessary step in self-care as you move toward recovery from your Postpartum Mood Disorder.
What other triggers do you find you need to protect yourself from? Share your trigger and coping method below!
I don’t watch (or read) fictional violence bc I get so upset and riled up about it. That cuts out a lot of movies and tv for me. I have a hard time drawing a line on the news because I value being an informed but I also try to pay attention to when it is triggering for me and step back and just breath and let other people be informed for the day or the week or the month. (Or for large chunks of the past few years of struggling with ppd.) I realized recently that it isn’t just violence that is a trigger for me…I was watching Grey’s Anatomy and for almost 2 days afterward I was completely anxious (in an over-the-top, the world is a dark place kind of way). I realized that had happened before and that since the little bit of tv I do watch is supposed to be fun/relaxing, I need to get a little pickier.
I totally remember not being able to watch the news and medical drama shows before and after my daughter was born. After she was born I had to stop watching Law and Order and even Forensic Files. It took a very long time for me to be able to watch those shows. I guess most of TV became a noise for a while. Funny how I never really considered that until now.
Oy, where do I start….
I work in a Children’s hospital and we get the sickest of the sickest children in the state. We also get some very heart wrenching stories of abuse that shakes me to the very core. It is so hard to remove myself and remove my son’s face from their stories. It haunts me some days.
I really don’t know what to do about it since I need to work there. I try not to take part in the “Nursing water cooler” when nurses talk about the different cases…more specifically the ones of abuse.
Sigh, if I didn’t have to work there, I so wouldn’t.