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Over-emotional reaction to sad news articles etc. involving children - anyone else experienced this?

(8 Posts)
egmontmummy Tue 20-Nov-12 13:53:56

My first posting on Mumsnet, having been on here periodically for practical info and to read funny threads since my DD was born 15 months ago. I am beginning to get a little concerned about my reaction to sad news stories & sad situations (that have not affected me directly) and wondered if this is normal?!

To try to explain: I've had to stop reading the paper on the morning commute since returning to work as stories involving children being seriously ill, abused, dying etc. really affect me, to the point where I am in tears on the train and can't get it out of my head until I throw myself into work on arrival. Of course I have always been touched by sad stories, but only to what I would call a "normal" degree - I feel that things have changed significantly since I've become a mother. I don't think I am conciously concerned about something bad happening to my daughter (apart from the usual rational worries) - I just feel devasted on behalf of these people that I don't even know. There was a story in the paper in the summer about a granddad and a grandchild being washed out to sea on a family holiday that brings a lump to my throat now.

This has now escalated from simply having to avoid the news; twice this week I have burst into tears in the street after seeing ill/disabled children, and feeling disproportionately sad for them and their parents. Once I get over the bout of crying I then feel bad on the people who genuinely have/are experiencing these situations, as clearly I am extremely fortunate in comparison.

I am really enjoying motherhood and am generally very happy the rest of the time.

I have booked a visit to the GP and think I probably just need some advice on coping mechanisms ... just feel like a complete fraud when the things I'm upset about periodically aren't even my issues.

Would appreciate hearing from anyone who has experienced anything similar!

FergusSingsTheBlues Tue 20-Nov-12 14:06:54

I am the same, just get too upset to get past headlines. And every time I see a disabled child or adult, it break my heart. Part of this is pregnancy though!

Furoshika Tue 20-Nov-12 14:10:31

I found I changed when I had my first dc.
To put it in context though: the papers and the news are a lot more brutal than they used to be. I cannot let dc see the news at 6 or 7, in the way that at the same age I used to snuggle up with my parents and have them explain the Afghan war (with Russia) to me.

Let us know how you get on, I've wondered if there is a point where it's a symptom of something rather than just a by-product of having had children.

PepperPotts Tue 20-Nov-12 14:15:21

I have been the same since having ds1 nearly 7 years ago!

I am the same with happy news, I blink back tears of pride/joy regularly too.

I just assume I'll toughen up again one day!

PeterPointer Tue 20-Nov-12 19:45:20

I went through a phase of being like this, and it was at the same time as a generally anxious/very mildly depressed phase. Obviously, this might not be the case with you, but you GP will hopefully assess that. I think it is an example of letting your thoughts run away with you (like in anxiety sometimes) and/or not thinking as rationally as you might like (again, like some forms of anxiety).

It's really good that you've spotted it, as, in my experience being aware that you react like this is a a first step in "pulling back" that reaction.

I agree it's common to experience this sort of thing after becoming a mother.

I hope the GP gives you some coping mechanisms, but do come back and let us know as they might help others or we might be able to help you further. smile

egmontmummy Wed 21-Nov-12 08:00:14

Thanks to respondents - good to know others have experienced it at least!

Crawling Wed 21-Nov-12 08:27:08

I experience this in my case a sad news report can trigger a episode so i avoid the news mind i still get it ramed down my throat by well meaning people if there is a big story.

comixminx Wed 21-Nov-12 08:35:01

I think it's quite common in pregnancy and recent motherhood (and fatherhood - my DP experienced it too, to a lesser degree). I suppose it could be related to a mild lowness of spirit but I've felt it to be more linked to the fact you're very focused on your child's well-being and tuned into thinks like crying, so anything that's a similar stimulus hits you particularly hard. I wouldn't worry about it myself, though I suppose it could be associated with more difficulties and then be worrying as part of a bigger picture.

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