Depression is a serious mental illness that can profoundly impact every aspect of a person’s life. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression affects more than 16 million adults in the United States annually.
There is growing evidence that depression is linked to television watching. A large body of research has found that people who watch a lot of television are more likely to be depressed than those who don’t watch as much.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, it’s essential to seek professional help. The Promises Right Step behavioral treatment center can provide the support and resources you need to overcome this debilitating condition. Contact us today to learn more about our depression treatment program.
Recognizing Signs of Depression
It’s no secret that mental health is essential to our well-being. Mental disorders, such as depression, are common and can have a debilitating effect on people’s lives. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy activities you once found pleasurable.
Many people don’t realize that depression can be triggered or worsened by seemingly innocuous things, such as watching too much television. A recent study found a strong correlation between depression and television viewing.
The study, which was conducted by the University of Glasgow, looked at the viewing habits of over 3,000 adults and found that those who watched more than four hours of television a day were more likely to be depressed. The findings held true even after controlling for other factors, such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, and physical health.
So why is there a link between depression and television viewing?
Learn How Watching TV Leads to Depression
There are a number of possible explanations.
- Lack of activity – TV viewing is often a sedentary activity, and research has shown that inactive people are more likely to be depressed.
- A lonely pastime – TV viewing can lead to social isolation, as it takes away time that could be spent interacting with others. This isolation can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are common symptoms of depression.
- Full of distress – The content of what we watch can also affect our mood. Studies have found that watching television can increase feelings of anxiety and fear, as well as reduce self-esteem. These feelings are especially prevalent in women, who are more likely than men to internalize the messages they see on TV.
If you’re struggling with depression, it’s important to be aware of television’s role in your symptoms. Making a concerted effort to reduce your TV viewing can help you take an important step toward improving your mental health.
Breaking the Link Between TV and Depression
If you’re concerned about the impact that television has on your mental health, you can do a few things to break the link.
- Limit viewing – Try to reduce the time you spend watching TV. Limit yourself to no more than two hours a day if you can. This limitation may seem like a lot, but it’s important to remember that TV viewing is often a passive activity. You can easily find yourself watching for much longer than you intended.
- Get up and move – Make an effort to be more active. Taking a walk, running, or even getting up and moving around during commercial breaks can help offset the adverse effects of sitting in front of the TV.
- Mind the content – Pay attention to the content of what you’re watching. Avoid shows that are violent, depressing, or otherwise likely to affect your mood negatively. Instead, choose uplifting programs that make you feel good about yourself.
By taking these steps, you can help reduce the risk of depression and improve your overall mental health.
Depression Treatment at The Right Step
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, The Right Step can help. We offer a variety of evidence-based treatment options, including individual therapy, group therapy, and medication management. Our goal is to help you find the path that leads to lasting recovery.
Our mental health treatment includes:
- Individual therapy – In individual therapy, you will work one-on-one with a therapist to identify the underlying causes of your depression and develop a treatment plan.
- Group therapy – Group therapy provides a supportive environment where you can share your experiences with others who are struggling with similar issues. This can be an important step in your recovery.
- Medication management – If you are struggling with depression, medication may be an option. Our team of psychiatrists can work with you to find the right medication and dosage.
The Right Step offers a variety of other mental health services, as well. We can help you develop healthy coping skills, overcome substance abuse, and find the support you need to make lasting changes in your life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please reach out to us. We are here to help.