Actively follow the news from the world of politics? Scientists believe that perhaps this does not worth it. According to the results of a study published in the journal PLOS One, news from the world of politics can have a negative impact on health. The study showed that 11.5% of U.S. residents believe that the policy is harmful to their physical health. According to 38% of the respondents news from the world of politics are the cause of stress, while every fifth said that can’t sleep because of the endless flow of news.
The age of the information storm
We have repeatedly written about the fact that one of the global problems of the XXI century is an overabundance of information. Often our inability or unwillingness to check the facts, leads to tragic consequences. Such as a mass refusal of vaccination, belief in a flat earth or a conspiracy theory. In this case, the number of different news in the world is growing every day. News about politics, world leaders and their decisions a lot, not only on the Internet — let’s not forget about the TV.
According to scientists, published work is the first study that examines the impact of the news on mental and physical health. Experts note that in the United States during the election season of 2016, the society was divided along political lines. The effect of such a division of opinions on individuals was taken into account by sociologists and researchers in the field of health. Note that a similar division of opinion was observed in Russia in late 2014.
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As it turned out, the political confrontation almost led to a crisis in public health. According to the results of the study 4.1% of respondents admitted that they have had thoughts about suicide because of the recent political events in the country. The scale of the population of the United States is approximately 13 million people.
How politics affect health?
In the study, researchers used data from YouGov — British international Internet company, which is engaged in market research and data analysis. Information was collected during five days in March 2017 — nearly two months after the inauguration of Donald trump. In total, surveyed nearly 800 respondents from the group of 1.8 million people. The study is based on diagnostic tools used in alcoholics anonymous (OAA) and gamblers anonymous (of AAI), and included 32 questions, which can be divided into four categories — physical health, mental health, regret their own behavior and social or living expenses.
You may be wondering: How emotions affect political views?
Along with the negative impact on physical and mental health of Americans, chaotic and often controversial news cycle leads to the fact that people come out of themselves (to 29.3%). The flow of information also contributes to problems in relationships — one in five said the opposite political views have undermined the friendship, and 14.6% said that differences in political views had a negative impact on family relationships.
More than 2.1% of respondents of respondents believe that worry too much about who wins or loses in the elections, and 26.4 per cent admitted that they were depressed when they lost their chosen candidate. Almost a third (31.8 per cent) agreed with the assertion that exposure to media that promote views that are contrary to their beliefs, can drive you crazy.
Interest in politics is bad?
The results of the study indicate that people perceive politics as a harmful factor to health. Stress is a real phenomenon that can have catastrophic health consequences, which we often write on the pages of our publication. Stress is associated with the development of many diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and gastrointestinal disease.
As another source of stress scientists call “environmental anxiety”, or anxiety about the future of the planet because of climate change and the inaction of world leaders. According to a study by the American psychological Association (APA), 58$ of gen Z (people born in the mid-nineties to mid-2000) and 51% of American adults report that they have stress about climate change. News about mass shootings, the rising number of suicides, separation, and deportation of migrant families also provoke stress in residents of the United States.
Note that this study is one of a kind. I hope that in the future scientists will pay more attention to the impact of the news on mental health. And you follow the latest news from the world of politics? To discuss affect you and how you can in the comments and with participants in our Telegram chat.