why didn’t someone tell us this before?

For more than 30 years, Dr Joseph Reser, of the Australian Psychological Society, has been studying how people respond to environmental and natural disasters.

Over the past year, he has been in charge of studies relating to the psychological impact of climate change. Reser says research has found that saturation coverage of the issue in the media is causing some people to suffer a range of negative emotions, such as distress, frustration and anger.

“Many psychological and social science studies have been written about media overload. there’s so much discrepant information that people find it very difficult to make sense of it all,” he says.

The Australian Psychological Society says there are strategies people can use to overcome feelings of anxiety about the future. Perhaps the most useful advice it gives is to simply take a “news break”.

Switch off the radio and TV and avoid reading the newspaper for a few days. A tip that’s so obvious yet many of us forget that we have the power to do so.

The Age, 14 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website