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Eco Anxiety: How Climate Change is Affecting Our Mental Health?

Climate change is a critical global challenge, and people are struggling with the impacts of climate change on mental health.  With the growing effects of climate change on mental health, the terms such as eco-anxiety, eco depression, and eco stress have gained popularity in psychological studies and research. Eco anxiety and eco depression refer to the fear of environmental damage. The sense of climate anxiety based on the fear that the current and predicted climate changes would damage people’s health and wellness.

How Climate Change Affect the Health and Wellness of People?

There are two distinct ways that climate change affects mental health. First, people could feel stress by direct exposure to the consequences of climate change as they go through the disaster. The second way climate change could affect people’s health and wellness is through an indirect way. They feel stress when they watch a disaster or read a scientific report about the challenging climate change predictions.

Moreover, different weather variables affect people’s mental health and cause stress and depression. Here, we will analyze some of the variables and their impacts on world health and suggest some health care measures in the wake of changing climatic conditions.

Rising Temperature Fuels Aggression and Violence

Global warming affects the temperature worldwide, and people are now more exposed to the heat. The studies show that there is a linkage between temperature rise and aggressive behavior. High rates of criminality and aggression have been observed during the hot summer months.

Moreover, heat waves are also associated with other mental disorders. A temperature increases, and the heat waves cause anxiety disorders, stress, and mood disorders.

Climatic Disasters and the Stress

Floods, Hurricanes, earthquakes, Tsunamis, and bush fire are some of the most threatening disasters the world has seen during the past few decades because of climate change. People who go through such disasters develop a psychological disaster named Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They developed stress and adjustment disorders.

People who lose the home, loved ones, and social structure in the disasters, suffer from depression and anxiety, affecting their physical health and wellness. As the impacts of climate change are increasing, it is more likely that there will be more disasters in the future that will affect the world’s health.

Drought and the Farmers Stress and Suicide

Climate change causes droughts. Changes in precipitation have been observed that cause floods in some areas and extended drought periods in some other places. Studies conducted in Australia and India show an association between drought and farmers’ stress and suicide attempts.

Droughts are often associated with the long dry and warm season, and the heat waves during this prolonged season cause aggressive behavior among the population. Moreover, the crop failure causes financial difficulties that affect the people’s mental health as they feel stress and depression to meet their ends in struggling economic conditions.

Migration and Stress

Climate disasters such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, and Tsunamis force people to migrate from the affected areas. Migration causes stress in the relocated people. Their health and wellness suffer as they find it difficult to adjust to a new place without resources and jobs.

Economic Changes Associated With Climate Change and Mental Health

Almost all the world economies, whether they are agricultural or industrial, are affected by climate change. The agricultural economies face crop failure face economic challenges. The industrial economies struggle with required production while observing the low carbon emissions. These struggling economic conditions bring stress and depression among the population.

What Needs to be Done to Reduce Eco Anxiety?

To improve world health and to reduce eco depression and eco stress following steps are vital.

  • Reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
  • Promote renewable energy sources.
  • Avoid using fossil fuels for energy purposes.
  • Provide adequate health care facilities to the people.
  • Promote positive mental health attitudes to avoid and minimize suicide and aggression.

There could be many other ways to counter the challenge of climate change and reduce its effects on mental health. However, a systematic and behavioral change is vital to minimize the eco-anxiety and stress.

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