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Doom scrolling and its effects on our Mental Health

Ever since the advent of mobile phones and access to the internet, we have a tendency to look for information online. This tendency to constantly surf the Internet is not necessarily a good thing at all times. When people feel low, they may turn to digital platforms as a distraction.

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Many studies have revealed that social media has a harmful impact on mental health. It can increase feelings of worry and despair as well as loneliness. It can also cause us to engage in harmful comparisons with others. When considering the type of information people look up, there exists a general habit to look for bad news online constantly. This habit is known as doom scrolling. It can be defined as the excessive use of screens and the internet for scrolling mainly through bad and negative news. It is also known as doom surfing. Ever since the beginning of COVID-19 and the pandemic, people have been increasingly engaging in doom scrolling. People often check their phones and try to find new news and are generally unable to stop reading or watching news.

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Why do we doom scroll?

As humans, we are wired to gather more information. We are curious and have a general thirst for knowledge. This can be a reason why we tend to doom scroll. It might be tempting to follow the unexpected twists of bad news. Often people start off by searching for optimistic news, but end up reading more pessimistic ones. Moreover, we tend to search for information that goes along with our beliefs. So, if the belief that we have leans slightly towards the negative side, it can cause us to doom scroll while trying to find information congruent with our views.

Doom scrolling is a tendency that individuals with mental health concerns are especially engaged in. When individuals are in a low mood, it can increase the chances of the person consuming inaccurate or incomplete information.

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But why is doom scrolling bad for our mental health?

Doom scrolling reinforces as well as increases the negative feelings and thoughts people have. The visuals are feeling down and negative, it is natural for them to look for information that is congruent with those feelings. This creates a loop of negativity as each time you look at negative news, it increases the negative and uncomfortable feelings inside people. Additionally, it can also aggravate mental health disorders or concerns that already exist in the person. Constantly being on the lookout for negative news can also increase feelings of anxiety and fear. This increase in anxiety and fear can also potentially lead to panic attacks. Online therapy provided by Kaizen Wellbeing here in Dubai, UAE can help you with anxiety and panic attacks. For some people, doom scrolling may affect their sleep as it increases tension due to them checking their social media at night just before bed. Moreover, it can lead to hopelessness and negative views about the future.

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Ways to stop doom scrolling

  1. When it is time for bed, keep your phone away.

  2. Mental Health Professionals, Psychologists. Therapists at Kaizen Wellbeing will help give you empirical information for your concerns, nip the fear in the bud by getting legitimate information from qualified therapists in Dubai.

  3. Engage in regular exercise as it helps in producing feel good neurotransmitters, with the added benefit of being fit.

  4. Yoga and meditation can help in reducing some of the pent up tension in an adaptive way. Dubai therapy, therapy online, psychologist Dubai, mental health help

  5. Be aware of how often you doom scroll and stop yourself when it starts to affect you.

  6. Limit doom scrolling.

  7. Check if the source of the information is legitimate and cross check the information.

  8. If you are unable to stop yourself from doom scrolling, make use of technology, download an app for restricting time spent on social media and news platforms per day, or turn off your phone for a while till you de-stress.

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Not only does individual and personal factors influence doom scrolling, external factors that are out of the individuals control can also influence it. As there is much misinformation, inaccurate and incomplete information portrayed in a very believable and eye watching manner, it is easy to fall prey to information that is not true and is often negative. The algorithms on the internet may also aid the tendency people have to doom scroll. Once we read a negative or a certain type of news, the algorithms serve us similar types of information, which can increase doom scrolling.

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Kaizen Wellbeing is an online therapy platform in Dubai, UAE that caters to South Asian community. There is a dearth of good therapy establishments that accommodate the mental health needs of the brown community. We aim to bridge that gap by providing you quality and affordable care by qualified and warm therapists. Reach out at or +971 50 961 8796 and book your first session towards understanding yourself and other’s better.

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If you have any queries please put them down in the comments section and we will try our best to answer them and help you out.


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