Bad News For Women Is REALLY Bad News (But Men Can Just Move On)

Health Check 5

sad womanAha! For the longest time I've been wondering if the horrific headlines I read every day are wreaking havoc on my mental health, and according to a new study ... they are! Apparently, women are way more disturbed by disturbing news stories than men -- to the point where we're so traumatized, we have a harder time dealing with stressful situations in our own lives. So let's say you and your husband both read the same article about a nightmarish kidnapping or suicide bombing or freak accident one morning before you both leave for work. By the time you guys get home, your husband has completely forgetten every haunting detail of the incident -- while you, meanwhile, wasted most of your day at the office Googling still more haunting details.

Sound familiar? This is serious stuff, too. Sad, scary stories don't just make us kinda bummed out, they put us at greater risk for PTSD.

And here's the weirdest part: In the study, those skyrocketing stress levels didn't show up right away. It was later on that cortisol levels in the women's saliva measured way higher than the men's. Which means ... what?

Researchers aren't sure, but here's my personal theory: We brood. Women brood and mull and turn things over and over again in our minds. Which is not to say that men don't, but most guys seem to be a lot better at sorting incoming info into two piles: Relevant to daily life, irrelevant to daily life. They can dump the irrelevant stuff. But to us, EVERYTHING is relevant. That kidnapped child could have been OUR child! What if it was our house that got swept away by a tornado?!

Anyway. Researchers also aren't sure what we're supposed to do to fix and/or cope with this, which is kind of just like MORE bad news. Sigh. Guess we just need to put more effort into de-stressing.

Do horrible news stories make you upset for a long time?


Image via Tavallai/Flickr

stress, mental health


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eupeptic eupeptic

For me it's sad that there is so much in this world that leads to suffering, but I understand the spiritual basis for everything that occurs on Earth (generally speaking, learning to accept things as they are and be forgiving, as well as learning how to overcome the challenges we experience leads to us [our soul] becoming more enlightened than we would if everything was how we wanted it to be [people who are spoiled often aren't as appreciative for what they have - thus they're more selfish, greedy, intolerant, judgmental, etc. - qualities that don't lead towards a happier, healthier, more productive society]) so it's not too difficult for me to accept life as it is.

For those interested in learning more about why life is as it is and how to better cope with everything that goes on in life, the book series Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch provides a lot of helpful information as well as tips that one can use to become more accepting and forgiving of everyone and everything (and as a result, less stressed out, happier, and more content with life).

PonyC... PonyChaser

I think it comes down to practice. Whether it's a spriritual exercise, like Eurpeptic outlines, or just looking at facts, women need to learn not to internalize everything. We see it ALL the time here on The Stir - a story appears about a freak accident with a stroller, and suddenly women in the comments are callingfor strollers to be banned. Or a child is kidnapped and suddenly ALL children EVERYWHERE are in grave danger and we have to hide them under the beds and lock the doors.

It's well known that men react first with logic, women with emotion. Nothing wrong with that, until you start reacting to everything with the above 'armageddon' mentality.

Start reacting to EVERYTHING with logic and skepticism. Stay calm. When your brain starts to wander to horriffic scenarios, rein it back in with fact. Yes, those girls in Iowa were kidnapped, and for a week after, parents around here kept their kids tethered to their sides. But then we learned more - it wasn't random, it was, very likely, drug-related. Had parents known more about child abductions - that an overwhelming number of cases are done by relatives, we wouldn't have had the massive panic.

Stay. Calm. It's the key.

Caera Caera

More proof that most women are sniveling, whining, drama llamas. Big surprise.

nonmember avatar Zuri

I saw a video about the most horrific murder ever in July. In December, it was the anniversary of the murder and I couldn't sleep. I know I overreacted, but maybe there's some substance to this story.

Lindsay Shugerman

OMG! Yes, this is me! I cannot filter or forget the horror, cannot de-personalize the trauma. But instead of seeing that as a bad thing, I think this story shows that men in our culture have been cut off from their emotions. They should be horrified, not simply dismissing the info and moving on. But as a culture, we still raise boys to not cry, not express emotion. So is it a surprise that when they reach adulthood, they cannot react appropriately to the suffering of fellow human beings? The late Lubavitcher Rebbe once said that the information on the average news show should make any feeling human being run into the street wailing and ripping their clothes in agony and sadness. I think he was right. And that as women, we react more "humanly". I feel sorry for the men, not for us women.

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