Health Watch -- Coping Skills: Bad News

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about coping with upsetting or stressful situations. It’s almost impossible to turn on the television or read a newspaper these days without seeing a lot of bad news. There’s war, terrorism, natural disasters and the bird flu, to name a few things that may make you feel stressed.

Patrick Tiner, a disaster response expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says knowledge and information are important for helping you overcome fears of the unknown, but it is possible to overdose on bad news to the point it upsets your life. He suggests scaling back on watching news coverage. Stay informed, but don’t obsess. Talk about your stress and your feelings about world events with friends or family. Use exercise instead of drugs or alcohol to help you manage the stress. Having a disaster-response plan for your family may also help you feel more in control of your life.


April 2006

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