Glamour – Why Our Obsession With Epidemics Is Actually a Good Thing



A new study finds that media coverage of epidemics can actually help curb their impact, begging the question of why. I was asked by Korin Miller for Glamour how our obsessiveness with epidemics could actually help us. I was very pleased to offer a few thoughts on how anxiety can pay off.

To read the full post at Glamour, CLICK HERE.


But why do we become so obsessed with epidemics in the first place? Licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., says it’s because they remind us that we’re vulnerable.


“Our curiosity about life and its fragility is seemingly insatiable,” she says. “Following the news of epidemics allows us to understand their scope, their danger, and ultimately their threat to us.”


Of course, there’s a fine line between following the news of an epidemic closely and freaking out over it. To keep yourself in check, Clark recommends zeroing in on meaningful and helpful action that you can take to protect yourself. With a flu outbreak, get vaccinated, practice good hand hygiene, and take care of yourself—that’s really all you can do.


Then, take a break from all the media coverage and focus instead on what’s happening your own life vs. what might happen. “While it’s important to stay informed so you can protect yourself, our bodies and minds can only absorb so much” says Clark. “Be gentle with yourself and beware of overexposing yourself.”


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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD