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Americans Are Being Pushed to the Brink of Anxiety & Substance Abuse Relapse by Continual Aggressive Political Rhetoric From News Media

a person watches the news

Summary: What’s informally known as “headline stress disorder” is now affecting millions of people and causing the rates of anxiety and substance abuse relapse to spike across the nation. 

San Diego, CAA quick glance at APA’s Stress in America™ Survey will show that stress levels across the nations are soaring to an all-time high. The connection between high stress levels and high rates of anxiety and substance abuse disorders has always been clear. But what is more interesting is the cause of such high self-perceived levels of stress: concerns about the future of the nation.

As these feelings continue to propel a nationwide mental health epidemic, there is the main culprit behind all this – one that carries on adding fuel to the fire: the news. 

If watching the news is key to keeping up to date with the world’s events, today’s overexposure to 24/7 news feeds and media makes it all the harder to strike a balance between being informed and safeguarding mental health. 

As people across the nation continue to suffer the detrimental effect of continual and aggressive political rhetoric, San Diego-based APEX Recovery centers act as protectors and torch bearers, intending to safeguard the nation’s mental health and emotional well-being.

The Impact of Continual Aggressive Political Rhetoric on Mental Health

Having access to the world’s news on an ongoing basis can certainly be a double-edged sword. 

Unbiased, real-time information can help people around the world feel connected, up-to-date, and more able to make better-informed decisions. On the other hand, news feeds are packed with headlines reporting political unrest, public health threats, climate change crisis updates, and other stress-inducing facts. 

In turn, when looking at what causes high stress levels in people, surveys have shown that national and global issues have become just as prevalent as money and relationships. And, that is also why therapist Steven Stosny, Ph.D., in a Washington Post opinion piece, refers to what is commonly called “news anxiety” as “headline stress disorder”. And, he did so just as the 2016 presidential election approached. 

But, even more importantly, a 2008 study has proven the connection between high levels of stress or chronic stress, and drug use and vulnerability to addiction, thus offering a glance into what news-induced stress can cause. 

Although women are more prone to remembering negative facts and events, this disorder can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, or preferred media channel. What’s more, high levels of anxiety and substance abuse relapse are only bound to increase as practices such as doom-scrolling become more widespread.


The Anxiety and Substance Abuse Red Flags To Watch Out For

Certainly, the ongoing aggressive political rhetoric portrayed by the news and headlines can make it all the harder for people struggling with high stress levels to maintain a positive outlook on life. Nonetheless, anxiety disorders and substance abuse relapses can be prevented when the early signs of a mental health disorder are promptly addressed. 

That is why it is crucial to learn to recognize early symptoms or identify the signs that might lead to mental health disorders in the long term. 

These often include unhealthy behaviors such as doom-scrolling and doom-surfing, constantly checking the phone or the news, lack of socialization, isolation, and a generalized feeling of hopelessness. 

People who have a history of substance abuse might be heading towards a relapse if they are showing signs of elevated stress, drastic changes in attitude, denial, withdrawal, social breakdowns, lack of a structured routine, and loss of control or judgment. 

If a person also has a history of anxiety and mental health disorders and shows changes in behavior such as smoking and self-isolation, it is important to immediately consult a mental health professional. 

Preventing Substance Abuse Relapse With Apex Recovery

For many people working towards sober living, relapses are a part of their recovery journey. However, substance abuse relapses can be prevented, especially if they stem from watching daunting or stressful news. 

In this case, the first step to take is to partner with specialized mental health professionals. 

At the San Diego-based Apex Recovery centers, the specialized team of therapists looks far beyond substance rehab treatments and aims to provide patients with all the tools and support needed to avoid relapses and pitfalls. 

Working with a specialized professional can also help people recovering from substance use disorders understand how to focus on what can be controlled and how to handle the stress deriving from dooming and aggressive news. 

This toolkit is crucial to avoiding dangerous pitfalls and triggers while also supporting the recovery journey by accessing unbiased and factual headlines.

Safeguarding Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

For those people struggling with substance abuse disorders, finding specialized help is key. But for those who aren’t struggling with addiction or severe mental health disorders, finding a therapist they can trust is just as important. 

At the Apex Recovery centers, the focus is all on prevention. The specialized team of therapists utilizes a wide range of techniques, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness-based therapies, sound baths, and pet therapy.

These techniques, when paired with a peaceful environment for healing, can help patients safeguard their own mental and emotional health and avoid falling victim to aggressive headlines and news feeds. 

Ultimately, maintaining and regaining optimal mental health is an ongoing journey that requires continuous effort and commitment. 

Partnering with a team of experts can support the process toward sober living and better mental health, especially when a daunting news feed tricks you into thinking that there is no hope left for tomorrow. 

If you or a loved one have been struggling to deal with and process news, make sure to contact a professional at Apex Recovery and take the first step towards rebalancing your outlook on life.  Learn more about APEX Recovery’s mental and emotional health services through the center’s website at Alternatively, additional information requests and press inquiries should be directed to Matthew Bruhin, who can be contacted by phone at (877) 881-2689, via email at, or by post at 2810 Camino del Rio S, #106, San Diego, CA, 92108.

Call Our Toll-Free Hotline 24/7 at 877.881.2689