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by Abigail Van Buren

Tragedies in News Headlines Weigh More Heavily on New Mom

DEAR ABBY: I've always been sensitive, but it has gotten worse since I became a mom a year ago. I dread watching or reading the news for fear of seeing a child, parent or animal has been hurt or mistreated. I'm a religious person, and I find myself asking God why bad things happen.

I know the tragic stories tend to make the headlines, but how would you suggest I learn to still see the good in the world? I can't quit seeing the news. We are inundated. I just wish the negativity of the world didn't get to me like it does. Advice, Abby? -- SUPER SENSITIVE IN KENTUCKY

DEAR SUPER SENSITIVE: That you have recently become a mother and are responsible for a helpless little person may have something to do with your feelings. But please don't judge the whole world or the people in it by the horror stories featured in the headlines, because they are misleading. Many people do positive things to help their neighbors and their communities that don't make the news. Consequently, we hear less about them.

I combat feelings like those you are experiencing by taking a "vacation" from reading or watching the news for a few days or a week when I think it is affecting me emotionally. I suggest you try it. Also, while your schedule as a new mother may be a busy one, if you can make the time, consider volunteering at your local library or a senior citizens' center. If you do, it may help you feel less helpless, knowing you are not only doing something positive but also making a significant difference in someone else's life.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Mental Health