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Questions for the Experts: How do I stop doomscrolling?

Questions for the Experts: How do I stop doomscrolling?

We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they hear from their patients. Read Cheryl King's, LPC, answer to:

There is so much bad news these days. How do I stop from constantly scrolling through bad news on my phone?

Answer: What you’re doing now has a name, “doomscrolling”, established during the pandemic. The consumption of negative news can cause fear, stress, anxiety and sadness. On a biological level, it can exhaust your brain and body, and result in difficulty falling asleep, sleeping well and even contribute to the onset of panic attacks.

How can you reduce the urge to scroll?

  • Set a timer of no more than 20 minutes a day, and cap the number of sites you visit at a time or in a day. Unfollow negative news sources or those that tend to make you anxious.
  • Rather than scrolling quickly, give yourself time to concentrate and focus. Read full articles, rather than headlines or summaries.
  • Notice how your body and mind react and pay attention to your anxiety levels.
  • Think about why you are doomscrolling. Do you need to talk to someone? This is where a counselor or therapist may be able to help.
  • Don’t assume the worst. A worst-case scenario may be possible, but probably not very likely. It is possible to change this type of thought pattern. Again, this is where a counselor or therapist could help.
  • Finally, put down your device and walk away. Even just a few minutes of exercise can help.

If you are in crisis and need to talk to a counselor, call 307-688-5555.

Read more about doomscrolling in this article by Cleveland Clinic: Everything You Need to Know About Doomscrolling and How to Avoid It.

Counseling, mental health services in Gillette, Wyoming

Cheryl King is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with Behavioral Health Services located on the fifth floor of Campbell County Memorial Hospital, 501 S. Burma Avenue in Gillette, Wyoming. Campbell County Health Behavioral Health Services provides the Northeastern Wyoming community with compassionate, confidential and comprehensive treatment and counseling of behavioral disorders, mental illness and substance abuse treatment following detox. Call 307.688.5000 for an appointment. Learn more at www.cchwyo.org/bhs.