Anyone with a Netflix subscription understands how easy it is to spend your entire weekend in one spot, watching episode after episode, until suddenly you realize it’s Sunday night and you have work in the morning; and they also likely understand the guilt and distress associated with doing so.
Gone are the days of waiting an entire week for the cliffhanger to be concluded. Thanks to instant streaming options, we can satisfy our curiosity instantly, and fighting this urge can be a challenge.
Indulging in a few episodes is completely normal and has little to no ill effects. But when we begin missing deadlines for work and school, avoid making plans with friends and family, and let it interfere with our normal sleep cycle, that is when the television binge becomes a problem. This procrastination or even complete failure to complete responsibilities to our self, work, school and others triggers a wide range of negative effects.
Spending an entire day watching a television show really only offers temporary satisfaction. As soon as it ends or as soon as Monday comes, we are forced to face the results of our non-productivity. We may now be rushed to complete an assignment leading to stress and anxiety, or we may feel depressed and lonely from avoiding social interaction for days. The lack of sleep can make symptoms of mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, hard to manage.
Often times watching a series becomes no longer even enjoyable. One hundred episodes and 7 seasons later we are probably no longer watching the show for pure pleasure, but instead out of a newly formed habit.
It is dangerously easy to overindulge on instant streaming television, but it is crucial for women with a history of mental health issues to avoid falling victim to a television binge. Routines, healthy habits, sleep hygiene and social interaction are all important aspects of living with and successfully managing any emotional and mental health disorder.