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Tuesday, July 8,2014

Ask Dr. Happy

By Dr. Bob Nozik, MD  

Dear Dr. Happy,

I am a 23-year-old married woman with a two- year-old little girl. I was a really happy gal when I was a kid but no longer, not since I started watching cable news. All they report is war, terrorism, children being abused and raped, poverty, hunger, and all kinds of other terrible things. I didn’t realize so much of this was going on when I was a kid. I guess it’s true that ignorance is bliss. Dr. H, how can any informed person be happy in the face of so much misery going on in the world?

Sadly Informed

Dear Sadly,

You raise at least two good issues with your question. The first relates to why it seems 90% of the news is so negative. Actually, there is an almost 50-50 between good and bad in the world. However, the media has discovered that people seem mainly to be interested in hearing about bad news, and so that’s what they report. The second concern from your question has to do with your choosing to be unhappy; and, yes, I said choosing. After all, has being unhappy in any way helped reduce any of the bad stuff? Of course not. In fact, because it is enervating, unhappiness would make it harder for you to actually do anything to help relieve any of the bad stuff. I’d recommend you consider significantly reducing your cable news watching. Trust me, you will hear about anything important anyway. You are not alone in having your mood dragged down by the barrage of negativity coming out of your TV.


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