Bad news obsession has a name

Why is human being obsessed with bad news? This is the question that arises, which is the result of a deep reflection that was born more than twelve months ago. It was, in fact, more than a year ago that, every day, the news began to reveal the number of dead and infected by the coronavirus, in addition to the tragedies, homicides, betrayals and cases of corruption that they usually reported. The big problem is that there are people who feed on it daily.

In the morning, as soon as they open their eyes, they go after this information… they are having lunch and listening to this type of news… at night, at dinner, the scenario repeats itself and the question that arises is: what does it causes in the brain?


Just by swiping your finger endlessly across the screen, you already realize that the news is worrying. One worse than the other. However, something holds you to that activity, and even if the sensations are unpleasant, you continue to read each news item. Did you identify yourself? Turns out you’re not alone. In this period of pandemic, this practice has been increasingly common, and Americans have called it doomscrolling


The term gained popularity right at the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, when the American Kevin Roose, from The New York Times, did a report on how to follow the news about Covid-19. “I’ve been doing a lot of this kind of doomscrolling lately, to the point of physical discomfort, erasing any hope of a good night’s sleep. Perhaps you have done this too. There’s nothing wrong with staying informed. But we need to practice self-care and balance our consumption of bad news with gentler types of stimulation, for our health and the sanity of those around us,” he wrote at the time.


Like a recurring behaviour that translates into an addiction, consecutive bad news tends to make the consumer always want to know more and in more detail. And, in fact, the flood of worrying news around Covid-19 has been one of the main points responsible for the impact that the pandemic has had on mental health. The main conclusion reached through different studies was that obsessively consuming negative information leaves a mixture of sadness, helplessness and fear in the viewer.