This is an Inside Science story.

Doomscrolling, a word that describes the act of obsessively reading bad news despite the onset of anxiety, only entered the popular vernacular this year -- but research stretching back for decades has long warned that consuming too much negative news can take its toll.

Studies have linked poor mental health to news exposure during negative and traumatic events such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters; the more news a person consumes during and after these events, the more likely they are to suffer from depression, stress and anxiety. For example, a 2014 study surveyed 4,675 Americans in the weeks following the Boston Marathon bombings and collected data on how much media they consumed. Participants who engaged with more than six hours of media coverage per day were nine times more likely to also experience symptoms of high acute stress than those who only watched a minimal amount of news.

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