How do you cope?

I don't read newspapers anymore. I keep track of the most urgent news by talking to people around me, but I can't read the paper. I don't want to hear any more about the daily torture and rape and horrific abuse that people endure every hour of every day. Not to mention the sandbox politics and ridiculous attention wh**es that live just to be in the tabloids. I can't.

I used to be an active blogger, the kind that tried to shed some light on the injustices and stupidities of the world to make people more aware of them. I've always hated how (almost instinctively) we can ignore the crap that's happening around us. Lately I've begun to understand why we're built that way.

I don't know what to do anymore. More and more often, I feel like I can't read an article without getting the urge to crawl into bed for days with only my fluffy cat for company. I get so tired.

How do you handle it?

Very easily, I don't listen to it anymore. Maybe not the best solution but I was knee deep in that stuff for a few years and I felt anger, fearful,depressed,powerless,etc. You know where it got me? Nowhere because there isn't much of anything I can do about it. All I did was waste my time getting all twisted up about it. So I just don't bother it anymore and I feel much better and even when I do hear about stuff I just shrug it off, no sense in getting nuts over something I'll never be able to do anything about or have any say in. The worlds an unfair messed up place and that's how its always been. It's good to stay in the loop a little but at the end of the day I can't stop the things that happen so why bother with them and better yet why go nuts over them. I have enough in my life to give me headaches I don't need more on that pile. My dad still watches the news all day and he just sits there cursing at it and getting furious over events he'll never have any say in. Why would anyone want to be that?

There is a point where you become just too desensitized. If you are really serious about changing things then I suggest doing something locally. i.e. volunteering, donating to local charities etc. You will be able to see the difference you make first hand then.

AWAR:
There is a point where you become just too desensitized. If you are really serious about changing things then I suggest doing something locally. i.e. volunteering, donating to local charities etc. You will be able to see the difference you make first hand then.

This fall I start my studies to become a Red Cross nurse. In the end I know I'll learn some sort of balancing act where you remain human and empathic yet practice some level of distance so as to not break down every time something bad happens. I suppose it's the road to that point that I'm worried about. I tend to suck in everybody else's pain like a sponge (particularly psychological pain), not so much that I bawl in front of them, but enough to make me really exhausted by the end of the day.
I wanted to know how you guys do it. If you need to cope at all.

Lynx:
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There were some instances where the perceived pain and suffering of others was burdening me greatly but it was just horrible to think like that. It's important to learn how to control your emotions and not feel responsible for everyone. It just happens.
Being a nurse you may find ways to rationalize the way you treat each specific patient according to their needs, and not get overwhelmed by your emotions all the time. Not sure if I'm being of any help here, but that's the way I see things.

Lynx:
This fall I start my studies to become a Red Cross nurse.

You are a good person, that much is obvious - I think it's important to realize that you alone cannot fix everything that is wrong in the world. Seek solace in that every single thing you do to help someone else is already more than enough. It makes a difference, however small it is - and that, already, has a meaning in itself. Moreover even such a small fluctuation might be enough to become something greater with time, spiraling out via the chaotic and unpredictable ways of human interaction. But that would be just a bonus. Stick to what you do, but don't expect it to change much. Just be content in that you try to help the world and the people in it in whatever small way you can - and in some instances this will already be enough.

Or in other words: be realistic. The world might sometimes seem as a horrible place and cynicism is what seems as the most logical conclusion - but for every evil thing, there are, well, people like you. People who care, people who try to make a difference, people who create things that transcend our very self, works of art too grand to behold and people who will not be bogged down in the simple lies the tabloids proclaim and instead do good journalism or politicians that try to change something for the better; They are what kills the ultimate cynicism. A bastion of hope and ideals visible all across the land - if we decide to see it, that is.

You sound as you haven't looked upon it for too long and the cynicism got to you. You might want to refocus on those things for a while, say read a good book or watch a good movie - the world is always less black and less white than it seems at times.

Lynx:
I tend to suck in everybody else's pain like a sponge (particularly psychological pain), not so much that I bawl in front of them, but enough to make me really exhausted by the end of the day.

That is a very dangerous road you walk on. I know another person, also a nurse by trade who couldn't bear all that one day. She is a very strong person and yet the pressure, the pain and everything got to her one day and she had a breakdown eventually. She pulled through, but what I wager (mind you I haven't spoken to her yet) is what led her down, is that she eventually neglected herself too much, cared only for the other and worried about them too much. The thing is: your wellbeing is ultimately as important as everybody else's and sometimes you need to take a step back and do something for yourself without worrying for the other. It's a careful balance you'll have to find between your desire to worry about someone else and your own happiness in due time.

Chromatic Aberration:
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Thank you so much for that. You brightened my day significantly.

Too easily and too quickly forgetting my own needs and going straight for helping others is a problem I've had since I was... uh... seven. Old habits die hard, but it's something I'm working on. Perhaps I need to become one of those people who puts up post-its here and there as motivational reminders.

You guys are really sweet, thank you for the helpful responses.

Chromatic was spot on with their advice. (A round of applause and warm cookies for them :P)

You are a good person and that's all that matters. Bad stuff is in the news because it's newsworthy. It's not an accurate representation of every day life. There's no "Man helps old lady with shopping" stories because no one is interested in them. Peoples brains are wired to want to her about misery so that's what the news reporters give them. It may not seem like it, but there's much more good in the world than bad, otherwise we'd all be trawling the streets calling each other twats and stabbing everyone up. Most people lean more towards the light and it's good to remember the world is a few bad scratches on a clean(ish :P) surface.
Don't bother listening to the news when it starts being "A CRAZY PERSON KILLED THEIR PARTNER FOR A BAG OF CRISPS" but only what's important in the world right now so we don't end up ignorant.

We cope because we have to. The world can be grim but as long as we stay positive and surround ourselves with people we care about we can keep smiling. Stay safe, stay alert and remember that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

You can't help the world. But as long as you make at least one persons world a little brighter, that's all you ever need to do.

I should add, I know you're not from the UK but there's a show over here called Russell Howard's good news. If you ever get the chance, watch it. I've had a few happy tears from that show.

Also (Ignoring the "durr, faith in humanity destroyed!" jokey posts) Enjoy! I'd find many more examples but I have to run to the shop for cough medicine before it shuts XD

Hmm, I have got really fed up with all the high profile rape cases coming out the woodwork, I am fully aware that loads of rapes might happen that I don't know about. But still, I feel like every day for the last 2 weeks I've heard about new rapes cases every day in the news. Some go back before I was even born, still aggravates me. It disgusts me and consumes a part of my mind.

Then you hear about a bomb going off in Boston and see all the media around it, and how tragic the situation is. Wait a minute... I think civil wars are rife in another corner of the globe.

One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

Joseph Stalin

If I look at the masses I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.

Mother Teresa

You have no idea how much time I just wasted trying to find that Mother Teresa quote to take away from the fact I'm quoting from Stalin. I would love to take credit for comparing those quotes, but I saw it on a video hosted by Bigthink on youtube, the speaker was Dan Ariely. It is not about this sort of stuff, but I found it interesting, along with many other of Bigthinks videos on youtube. I have put the video below

The way I cope is I think about the statistic of how many incidents happen and know I could never stamp them all out, however I outlet my tormented mind through an art form to relieve my stress.

Knowing that I don't know about all the things that would enrage me is a relief but at the same time, that means I know (think) loads of horrid things occur daily.

My logic is a little off, and bleak. I don't think you can or should shut all the morose news. Find an outlet, so you can cope!

("How about that?" says slovemedia/captcha)

Lynx:
This fall I start my studies to become a Red Cross nurse. In the end I know I'll learn some sort of balancing act where you remain human and empathic yet practice some level of distance so as to not break down every time something bad happens. I suppose it's the road to that point that I'm worried about. I tend to suck in everybody else's pain like a sponge (particularly psychological pain), not so much that I bawl in front of them, but enough to make me really exhausted by the end of the day.
I wanted to know how you guys do it. If you need to cope at all.

Depending on where you're employed being a nurse is probably one of the worst jobs if you're that empathetic. Not to try and discourage you but you definitely should keep yourself motivated to deal with that issue of yours or you'll be out in no time. I've been a paramedic for three years, I've seen a few new colleagues break down because they couldn't handle it.

I suppose I'm lucky that these things naturally don't get to me that much, even that corpse on my second day didn't particularly faze me, yet I could never become a nurse, that is a level of emotional commitment beyond me, so, you know... kudos for that choice.
As for how I deal with it I guess humor is the most important one, that and peers who're in the same boat as you to talk to and do jokes other people wouldn't get. Humorous anecdotes about anonymous patients for example, some on the outside might even call it a violation of confidentiality but believe me, if someone's not telling one over bad coffee it's most likely his first day.

Remember for one bad thing there's ten good ones but good things are less news-worthy, a hobo receiving a tenner is less extraudinary than a hobo being stabbed, a house being built is less spectacular than a house burning down. You're getting a completely skewed representation of events by the news. And also you're a Swede, you live in one of the safest countries in the world!

Quaxar:

Depending on where you're employed being a nurse is probably one of the worst jobs if you're that empathetic. Not to try and discourage you but you definitely should keep yourself motivated to deal with that issue of yours or you'll be out in no time. I've been a paramedic for three years, I've seen a few new colleagues break down because they couldn't handle it.

Yeah, I'm aware of it. I think the fact that I already know about it beforehand gives me an advantage. I'm good at handling emergent situations and people with emotional distress, what I fear might get to me is the inevitable number of injustices I'll see. One thing that weighs up for that "flaw" however is the fact that I'm in no way squeamish about blood, puke or oozing wounds. ;)

And if I find that I can't handle the ER kind of work, there are plenty of other places and specialties I can go for that have a little less death and trauma.

I go through the same thing every day and all I say to myself is: baby steps.

Get out of bed.
Take a shower.
Go to work.
Hang out with your friends.
Go to sleep.

Seems simple enough but it helps. If I stop and think about the crappy world we live in, then yeah, I do feel like crap too. But like someone said, if you ignore it, if you don't let it get through you, then it might help. It's not about ignoring important stuff in the world, it's about learning to ignore the things that really are not contributing to your mood/life.

I don't know, that's the way I see it. I suffer from mild chronic depression so I could be wrong, though.

 

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