Binge-Watching TV Programs? You might be depressed, lonely, say researchers

Binge-Watching TV Programs? You might be depressed, lonely, say researchers

Binge-Watching TV Linked to Depression? Bad news if you have been because new research claims that doing this is linked to feelings of loneliness and depression.

The study, conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, saw researchers survey 316 people aged 18 to 26. They asked them questions about how frequently they watched TV, regularly and then in binge-watch terms, as well as asking them how often they had feelings of loneliness, depression and self-regulation deficiency (essentially, feeling like you’re out of control, or can’t help doing things that you know are bad for you).

The results shows a clear correlation between these negative feelings and binge-watching TV. While a cause and effect relationship isn’t clear – do we binge-watch because we’re sad, or is binge-watching making us feel bad about ourselves – the researchers have concluded that people tend to use binge-watching as a way to move away from their negative feelings.

“Even though some people argue that binge-watching is a harmless addiction, findings from our study suggest that binge-watching should no longer be viewed this way,” says Yoon Hi Sung, one of the researchers. “Physical fatigue and problems such as obesity and other health problems are related to binge-watching and they are a cause for concern. When binge-watching becomes rampant, viewers may start to neglect their work and their relationships with others. Even though people know they should not, they have difficulty resisting the desire to watch episodes continuously.”

Which explains why it’s so damn hard to resist the ‘just one more episode’ urge. But if we’re not allowed to watch four hours of New Girl anymore, how the heck are we going to deal with the emotional stress of this study’s findings? And all the other general emotional trauma of daily life? *Turns on TV*