(WHTM) — From podcasts to tv series, the true crime genre has taken off in popularity.
But how can too much true crime impact our mental health?
“It can increase our anxiety because we become hypervigilant. We’re always looking for the bad person – every white van becomes the van of a killer or a murderer,” Dr. Chivonna Childs, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said.
Dr. Childs says your view of the world can easily change if you’re constantly consuming grisly murder stories.
Watching too much true crime may cause you to become overly wary of others – even people you’ve known and trusted for a long time.
At home, true crime fans may find themselves triple checking their locks at night and not being able to fall asleep.
Dr. Childs says these feelings of heightened anxiety can lead to isolation, which is not good for our overall mental health.
She stresses moderation is key when it comes to true crime, and it’s important to recognize if you need a break.
“Notice when you’ve had too much,” she said. “If you’re more than hypervigilant, if your anxiety is increased, if you’re fearful of leaving your home, if you start to isolate and you’re thinking more about the true crime than you think about anything else – it’s time to take a break.”
Dr. Childs urges people to explore different genres as well as other activities and hobbies to help them limit true crime content if needed.