News coverage touching off emotional disorders

People who are tuning in most often to reports about the terrorist attack and its aftermath are more likely than others to be experiencing stress, depression and other emotional disorders than those who have maintained their usual viewing habits, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

“Even though we tell people not to watch it obsessively, most people who do so get extremely involved in it, and I think it may reinforce their feelings of depression,” Carol Goldberg, a Long Island-based clinical psychologist, told today’s Boston Globe in an article about the Pew report.

MSNBC executive producer Ramon Escobar added, “I think people really need a lot of help. … For several months, if not for the next few years, it’s going to be on the top of the minds of a lot of people.”

The Pew survey found that 95 percent of the people are following the news closely, with 85 percent calling the coverage good or excellent.