In today’s society, it’s nearly impossible to escape national news, which is more often than not rife with tragedy. Yet, as we’re frequently made aware of these tragic news stories, be it through TV or social media, we’re less aware of the effects constant consumption has on our mental health. A new study from the Netherlands may help to bridge this gap.

Researchers were actually in the middle of a study on the prenatal and postnatal mental health of women in the Netherlands when they noticed women were “measurably more depressed” following the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash, Live Science reported. At this point, women began to list tragedy as a “major life event” they had experienced during their pregnancy. Victor Pop, study author and researcher at the University of Tilburg, said this became “a side note of the project."

"We realized that possibly we could have very interesting data in our hands, because we had women who had completed the [same] questionnaires in 2013," Pop told Live Science.

These questionnaires required women to measure their levels of depression on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most depressed. When comparing the two groups’ answers, Pop and his team found an increase in depression among women involved in the study in 2014, the year the plane crash took place. These women had an average score of 5.21 on the depression scale compared to an average score of 4.11 among the women who filled out the questionnaire in 2013.

The spike in depression, however, was temporary. Researchers found by one week postpartum, women who’d been pregnant during the plane crash were no more depressed than women who’d given birth the year before. Live Science added “there were very few women with full-blown depression in either group.”

For now, Pop can’t say for sure if “pregnant women are more or less vulnerable to the emotional effects of a national tragedy,” but he does cite similar studies done on 9/11, in which Americans were found to have “a similar temporary spike in mental health problems.”

It stands to reason then a constant flash of tragic news and headlines will no doubt have an impact on our emotions. Dr. Mary McNaughton-Cassill, an associate psychology professor at the University of Texas-San Antonio, has previously said we live in a time now where we’re surrounded with more media and more information than at any other point throughout history.

Psychology Today cited separate research that found people who watched negative news bulletins would spend more time thinking and talking about what worries them and were more likely to catastrophise their worry compared to people not watching as much news. These findings demonstrate how both news makes viewers and readers more sad and anxious, but it also "exacerbates their own personal worries and anxieties."

These effects are relevent no matter which country a plane crash or terrorist attack occurs in — they're universally perceived as threatening situations. And when our brain registers that kind of situation, the body starts to produce stress hormones. After all, it's what they're hardwired to do.