Unsettled by World Events? A Simple Strategy to Help

Unsettled by World Events? A Simple Strategy to Help

Ken Goodman, LCSW

Ken Goodman

Ken Goodman, LCSW, treats anxiety and OCD in Los Angeles. He is the author of The Anxiety Solution Series: Your Guide to Overcoming Panic, Worry, Compulsions and Fear, A Step-by-Step Self-help Audio Program, Break Free from Anxiety, a coloring, self-help book for anxiety sufferers, and the Emetophobia Manual, for those who suffer with the fear of vomit.  Ken Goodman is an ADAA board member and Clinical Fellow. Visit Ken's website.

Unsettled by World Events? A Simple Strategy to Help

Share
No

The news of the world can be scary for children and teens (and adults for that matter). Whether it’s rioting in the U.S. Capitol, looting in the streets of Portland, or people dying of COVID in the hospitals of New York, images of out-of-control behavior and death can be terrifying. When my son was a young teenager, he loved to watch horror movies but dashed out of the room at the first sight of the nightly news. He understood that it was real and it scared him because he imagined that someone else’s reality could extend into his world. 

Children, teens, and anxiety sufferers tend to personalize what they see.  News footage can capture one’s imagination and when the same story is repeated countless times, it is amplified. Viewers can worry that what they see on the screen can happen to them. And it could! But the vast majority of time it does not.  

Worry requires content; something to feed the imagination. If you or your child tend to worry, the news is an endless source of material. Like removing oxygen from a fire to extinguish it, the quickest way to reduce anxiety is to stop watching what makes you anxious. If the news triggers your imagination, turn it off! To protect your children from needless fear, do not watch the news in common areas of the house. If there is nothing to be achieved by consuming the news on social media, be mindful of what you watch and the amount. 

If your child sees news on social media and seems upset, talk with them about what they saw and what is worrying them. Validate their feeling - “that is very scary.” Reassure them that they are not in danger of what they watched. Tell them that what they imagine will happen is unlikely. And then insist they stop watching. Just like you would advise your child not to watch a horror movie that might cause nightmares, tell them not watch the news.

Ken Goodman, LCSW

Ken Goodman

Ken Goodman, LCSW, treats anxiety and OCD in Los Angeles. He is the author of The Anxiety Solution Series: Your Guide to Overcoming Panic, Worry, Compulsions and Fear, A Step-by-Step Self-help Audio Program, Break Free from Anxiety, a coloring, self-help book for anxiety sufferers, and the Emetophobia Manual, for those who suffer with the fear of vomit.  Ken Goodman is an ADAA board member and Clinical Fellow. Visit Ken's website.

Use of Website Blog Commenting

Use of Website Blog Commenting

ADAA provides this Website blogs for the benefit of its members and the public. The content, view and opinions published in Blogs written by our personnel or contributors – or from links or posts on the Website from other sources - belong solely to their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ADAA, its members, management or employees. Any comments or opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors only. Please remember that the open and real-time nature of the comments posted to these venues makes it is impossible for ADAA to confirm the validity of any content posted, and though we reserve the right to review and edit or delete any such comment, we do not guarantee that we will monitor or review it. As such, we are not responsible for any messages posted or the consequences of following any advice offered within such posts. If you find any posts in these posts/comments to be offensive, inaccurate or objectionable, please contact us via email at [email protected] and reference the relevant content. If we determine that removal of a post or posts is necessary, we will make reasonable efforts to do so in a timely manner.

ADAA expressly disclaims responsibility for and liabilities resulting from, any information or communications from and between users of ADAA’s blog post commenting features. Users acknowledge and agree that they may be individually liable for anything they communicate using ADAA’s blogs, including but not limited to defamatory, discriminatory, false or unauthorized information. Users are cautioned that they are responsible for complying with the requirements of applicable copyright and trademark laws and regulations. By submitting a response, comment or content, you agree that such submission is non-confidential for all purposes. Any submission to this Website will be deemed and remain the property of ADAA.

The ADAA blogs are forums for individuals to share their opinions, experiences and thoughts related to mental illness. ADAA wants to ensure the integrity of this service and therefore, use of this service is limited to participants who agree to adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Refrain from transmitting any message, information, data, or text that is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, that may be invasive of another 's privacy, hateful, or bashing communications - especially those aimed at gender, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, religious views or disability.

Please note that there is a review process whereby all comments posted to blog posts and webinars are reviewed by ADAA staff to determine appropriateness before comments are posted. ADAA reserves the right to remove or edit a post containing offensive material as defined by ADAA.

ADAA reserves the right to remove or edit posts that contain explicit, obscene, offensive, or vulgar language. Similarly, posts that contain any graphic files will be removed immediately upon notice.

2. Refrain from posting or transmitting any unsolicited, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain mail," "pyramid schemes" or any other form of solicitation. ADAA reserves the right to delete these posts immediately upon notice.

3. ADAA invites and encourages a healthy exchange of opinions. If you disagree with a participant 's post or opinion and wish to challenge it, do so with respect. The real objective of the ADAA blog post commenting function is to promote discussion and understanding, not to convince others that your opinion is "right." Name calling, insults, and personal attacks are not appropriate and will not be tolerated. ADAA will remove these posts immediately upon notice.

4. ADAA promotes privacy and encourages participants to keep personal information such as address and telephone number from being posted. Similarly, do not ask for personal information from other participants. Any comments that ask for telephone, address, e-mail, surveys and research studies will not be approved for posting.

5. Participants should be aware that the opinions, beliefs and statements on blog posts do not necessarily represent the opinions and beliefs of ADAA. Participants also agree that ADAA is not to be held liable for any loss or injury caused, in whole or in part, by sponsorship of blog post commenting. Participants also agree that ADAA reserves the right to report any suspicions of harm to self or others as evidenced by participant posts.

RESOURCES AND NEWS
Evidence-based Tips & Strategies from our Member Experts
RELATED ARTICLES
Block reference
Other New Content
Block reference
Blog

Parenting is an increasingly complex job. It’s layered with important responsibilities one of…

Webinar
As restrictions are lifting, uncertainty is causing many people to experience anxiety. This free…
Article
ADAA is very fortunate to receive many stories and to be the beneficiary of many school projects…
PERSONAL STORY

As a musician, my life is normally spent on the road performing, making music with people, and…

Advertisement