• Welcome to the Anxiety Community Forum, a friendly space for discussion, help and support with mental health issues. Please register to post and use the extra features available to members. Click here to register.Everyone is welcome!

new here, troubled by endless rumination re: politics

EndlessRumination

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hello, everyone. I’m E.

I’ve been either depressed or anxious (or both) my entire life, off and on. My most persistent symptom has become much more intense in the last five or so years: I can’t stop myself from constantly thinking about current events, culture wars, politics and our stupid discourse.

For context: I’m American. I have a public-facing job where I’m expected to be politically neutral. In practice, this means pretending that I don’t necessarily disagree with whatever conspiracy theory or ludicrously ill-informed opinion is being shared with me (unsolicited, of course) by a member of the public. I just have to smile and say something non-committal.

It’s just as well. I strongly dislike talking or thinking about politics, probably to a fault. I do try to stay informed, though.

Thing is, I’m surrounded (suffocated?) by a media landscape designed to keep me perpetually enflamed by indignation and outrage. I know it’s a trap—a way to keep us watching (or calling attention—positive or negative, doesn’t matter—to) the Bill Mahers and Ben Shapiros of the world, which makes them endlessly wealthy. But I fall for it every time.

I find myself distracted by thought-spirals about something said by one of these professional bloviators. I’ve even engaged with them (or, more accurately, their fans) on Twitter, knowing full well it would accomplish nothing (except bringing more attention to the emotional robber barons of the outrage industry).

I recently deleted all of my social media accounts—except for this one, which I just made. Deleting Twitter hasn’t helped yet. Maybe I’m still detoxing.

In my head, I’m constantly breaking down the dumb talking points of media personalities. It’s like I’m rehearsing for arguments that will never happen.

As a result, I have trouble focusing on things and people I actually enjoy because I’m dwelling on this

Further context: I think I’m a person of (slightly below?) average intelligence; I’m not trying to say I’m a brilliant, expert analytical mind, in other words. I’m none of those things. Thing is, The Discourse is so dumb that a well-trained Pomeranian could logically eviscerate most of it by licking a table leg in Morse code.

I do have opinions in some things, but I’m not a candidate’s-name-on-a-bumper-sticker kind of person. And I have friends with different views—I’m not fanatical or dogmatic about any of this stuff.

Also, I don’t bring this stuff up in conversation—but the rest of the world brings it up constantly. When family members make snide remarks about “cancel culture” or “mainstream media,” I always take the bait and try to point out their double standards even though I know I can never change their minds because their beliefs are not logical—their beliefs fulfill an emotional need. I even find myself arguing (at least in my head) with people when I agree with them, because I don’t think they’re being fair.

Often, I’m just going about my day, trying to enjoy literally anything and then I start haranguing myself over my own double standards, weak arguments, and ignorance. I relive past arguments, or times at work when I accidentally let one of my real opinions slip out. Other times, I think through hypothetical situations where I let other opinions slip out (at work or with my family) and dwell on all the possible directions (none of them positive) that the conversation could go.

Telling myself to not think about it only makes it worse.

This stuff is the first thing I think about every morning and it is what I think about when I’m trying to fall asleep.

And I don’t even find any of it interesting!

This phenomenon is negatively impacting my sleep schedule, my friendships, my focus, and my mood. What I’m describing might seem trivial—and I know it’s nothing compared to the kinds of suffering so many other people face—but I’m emotionally and intellectually incapacitated and I don’t know what to do.

I don’t have health insurance that will cover therapy, and I can’t afford to pay for it out of pocket.

Do other people deal with something like this?

Thank you for listening. I think I needed to vent.

-E
 
Last edited:

MATD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
910
Reaction score
680
Vent away! I do the same thing, I have debates running thru my head a lot. Not specifically political in nature but then there are a lot of other topics up for debate in my not too bright mind. I know and understand this occurs as a result of my own low self confidence. That’s where the rubber meets the road. So I don’t chastise myself for doing it, I accept that it’s what I do for now, and I know that when my confidence gets better than it is right now, I won’t be dealing with this issue as much. What I do find is that with this anxiety habit, it gives me opportunity to think in terms of the bigger life picture. Or in other words, it helps me to gain insight, weigh the pros and cons, change my thinking if necessary or dig my heels in when I know my opinion has merit. It’s like that old saying about turning lemons into lemonade, or making the best out of a bad situation.
 

james81

New Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
14
Reaction score
17
The only issue of importance is that you maintain your own integrity as a person
All the rest does not matter
Try to follow my own motto "Not only will they not tell me what to THINK, they will also not tell me what to THINK ABOUT"
jAMES
 
Top