As of late I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of bad news coming from all over the world. I’m losing sleep over it. Certainly, one could say “At least you’re not losing your life.”. Which, of course, is true. My mere discomfort is really nothing to complain about. I am not alone, however. In this world of fast paced information we can be bombarded with news of mayhem all day long from all corners of the earth. Studies are showing that it is actually affecting our psyche. From a study posted on Medical News Today, it has been proven that watching news on a traumatic event can cause “negative stress reactions or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” in some people (20% of 89 participants). Dr. Ramsden, who conducted the study, concluded:
Acts of violence erode our sense of security and create intense feelings of anger, fear and helplessness. Watching these events and feeling the anguish of those who are directly experiencing them can impact on a certain percentage of individuals causing longer lasting effects.
This is not the only study out there. In fact, the Department of Veterans Affairs in the United States have posted information on their website about PTSD from Media Coverage, what it is, the symptoms and how to deal with it. Imagine, then, the number of stressed, angry, disenchanted, frustrated, fearful people there are in North America alone. Let’s stretch Dr. Ramsden’s study (probably not scientifically sound but let’s do it anyway) to incorporate 20% of 600 million people…that’s a lot of stressed out people! How do you think that affects our communities and society as a whole? Is negative news actually self-propagating?
So this started me thinking. Surely there must be something positive happening somewhere or the world would implode in disaster. I know that in many bad news stories there’s often something that comes out of it that’s positive. For instance a story of a good samaritan, extraordinary bravery, community charity or cooperation, the development of a new law or a leap in medical advances. So I tried surfing the usual news channels for a “happy” news story and came up with very little. Then I discovered the Good News Network but was quickly informed that I’d have to pay for good news. Gee. Bad news is free. Well, now it’s a challenge but I’m up for it. I need a change of scenery, to stop and smell the roses…whatever you want to call it. Do you think an infusion of positive news, at least enough to counterbalance the bad news, might change our outlook, our daily lives, our communities, and perhaps the behaviour of society? I think maybe it might.
So, just to get the ball rolling, I found an article in today’s Globe and Mail on two promising new breast cancer drugs. Studies have found that pertuzumab and afinitor both slow the progression of breast cancer in women who have very advanced cases and have proven to be very safe with only a few moderate side-effects if taken individually. The reaction of doctors?
You don’t see that very often … It’s a spectacular result! ~ Study leader, Sandra Swain, medical director of Washington Hospital Center’s cancer institute
What’s your good news of the day?