Media – the mental health problem?

Media- the mental health problem? If the news simply reported the news and omitted the violence and misinformation, would our mental health improve?

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Phew! Man, I tell ya, what a crazy time we live in. I think one of the most-used phrases in the last few years is “We are living in unprecedented times.” When the pandemic first hit, I think these words were accurate descriptors that reflected our challenges.

But now? The world has gone so mad, I am literally lost for words as to how to best describe it. I mean, what does describe the world at present? Moreover, how do we deal with the fallout from all of these things?

Of course, I’m referring to the pandemic, the war, inflation, and last but not least, the mental health crisis. What’s worse, is that every day I get out of bed, there seems to be another crisis unfolding.

And every day, A thick heavy haze blankets the entire world with yet more angst and more feelings of hopelessness. This is of course not a good thing. but if you constantly inundate yourself with the day’s going ONS, your mental health may suffer. And the epicenter of all of this? The media in all its forms.

In fact, we are seeing unprecedented levels of mental-health conditions. Primarily because we are driving ourselves crazy trying to figure out why we have been led into the darkness with no strong leadership to guide us back out.

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More accurately, it seems like there’s no strong leadership. But the one thing I’ve learned, heroes are born out of the darkest times – times like these.

Perhaps it does no good to analyze everything that has taken place since 2019. However, some things need to be evaluated so we can best improve them. And whilst this will be my opinion, I truly believe regulating the media will improve mental health worldwide.

First off, I must say that I believe in freedom of the press and freedom of speech. What I am proposing here is not to strip the media of its rights to report the news. However, what I am saying is that their freedom of speech doesn’t give them free license to cultivate hate, war, and disinformation. So here it is, Media – the mental-health problem. Let me know what you think.

While freedom of speech is the cornerstone of any democracy, we are living in times where we have to rethink how we deliver the news. I don’t believe for one moment that freedom of the press should include hatred, one-sided narratives, and overly graphic visuals. Moreover, there is very little need to add sound bites of war, of death and of destruction.

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Regardless of what the media will tell you, and this goes for all forms of media, we’re setting ourselves up for the continuing cycle of trauma. Furthermore, as someone with post-traumatic stress, all the constant visuals and noise associated with violence, makes me not want to leave my home.

In fact, because I’ve lived under constant feeling of threat, I rarely venture outside of my residence. To someone with PTSD, the world feels like a threat at the best of times. Now, the entire world seems like a huge critical incident. One which there seems to be no therapeutic relief for.

While I may be talking about my own experience, I am certain that I am far from the only person experiencing the world in this way. It’s precisely this reason that I suggest we need to do something different with the way information is delivered.

Perhaps it’s useful to see it this way; simply because one has a right to freedom of speech, doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a right to infect the globe with mental-health disorders in the name of ratings. In my view, this is where the real damage is being done. Huge ratings mean more money, and in the competitive market of news delivery, sensationalism gets the ratings. So, you see, so far as I’m concerned, the push for ratings is not the same thing as the media’s right to a Free Press.

Moreover, there should always be responsibilities included in any constitutional right. I believe wholeheartedly that media, social media included, has a responsibility to ensure the mental well-being of its listeners and readers. By all means, report the news, but do it in a way that minimizes the psychological damage.

WHOs report on global mental health

Perhaps the media also needs to take an oath to do no harm?

With all this said, we need to ask ourselves some very important questions. And these questions deserve some very serious thought and consideration. Some of the questions we might want to ask ourselves include:


  1. Do we really need to be inundated with so much visual disdain, violence, and national gaslighting?
  2. Why is our mental health being sacrificed for corporate interests?
  3. And if so, should they be legally allowed to knowingly mentally injure and/or contribute to the deaths of the world? (Deaths by suicide).
  4. Should they be held accountable for the mass destruction of humanity’s well-being?
  5. Should news agencies be able to favour one political view or one narrative over the facts?

Well, after giving these questions some very serious consideration, I have concluded that the media does indeed have a right to report the news, but must do it in the least harmful way.

Heading: Simply stated below:

Right: to provide the citizens of the world with accurate and honest news (Truth)

Responsibility: To deliver the news in such a way that must take into account the health and safety of the public.

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See, these are two different, yet equally important things. I feel like strong leadership is needed to finally regulate corporate interests and start to put their nations ahead of profits.

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
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How? Well, admittedly this is easier said than done. However, when we evaluate the severity of where we are in our world today, I believe it is a must. We can no longer let money be used as a justification for every bit of destruction that it ultimately causes. For example, just because an industry makes a billion dollars, doesn’t mean that’s okay because they made a billion dollars. If you’ve made said billions by cutting down trees, there should be no justification if you don’t replant the land which you stole them from. “We don’t have to replant trees, because of the profits we’ve made.”

With that said, the media should not be able to do the same with its resources – real, living and breathing humans.

Finally, they must ask themselves this particularly important question: “Do I myself or anyone I love to deserve to have their mental health destroyed because corporate entities have “the right” to report the news?”

Let’s demand better – #forbettermentalhealth

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Media- the mental health problem

Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Reginald-Nixon Arenburg (Born January 14, 1976) is a Canadian mental health blogger, speaker, and published author. Retired from the fire service and long-term care fields, he has written and self-published an autobiographical account of his life-long battle with anxiety, depression and more recently, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Titled, The Road To Mental Wellness, he wrote it for what he calls “therapeutic release.” He published it in hopes it would help others going through similar mental health conditions. The sales of The Road To Mental Wellness have been steady selling over 300 copies since its release on October 10, 2021(World Mental Health Day). Arenburg has also been involved in a collaborative publication Called Lemonade Stand Volume III, a book featuring 20 authors who bravely tell their stories of PTSD. All authors where from the military and or emergency services. Published by Joshua Rivedal and Kathleen Myers for the i’Mpossible project, a mental health advocacy organization. Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health podcasts including The Depression Files, A New Dawn, and The Above Ground Podcast Arenburg has also consulted with the Government of Nova Scotia and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the Honorable Brian Comer and Candidates for the New Democratic Party of Canada, on improving the mental health care system in Canada. Additionally, Jonathan was recognized in The Nova Scotia Legislature by the Honorable, Chris Palmer, Kings-North MLA, for his Book, The Road To Mental Wellness, his fight to make the mental health care system better. In addition, Chis acknowledged the support he gives to others.

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