Climate change is linked to poor mental health
Extreme heat waves can impact mental health
New research shows that not only does climate change have serious impacts on the environment, but it can also impact a person’s mental health. Scientists speculate that sudden changes in climate, with the devastation it can cause to wildlife, can have bad mental outcomes, including making people nervous and negatively altering their general mental well-being over time. The new study specifically analyzes the impact of the record-breaking heat waves that hit British Columbia in 2020, and it was published in the Journal of Climate Change and Health.
Between June 25 and July 1, 2021, “British Columbia experienced a heat dome, a high-pressure weather system that traps heat, with record high temperatures reaching up to 49.6°C across the province” , according to the study. Heat waves also affected northern California, Idaho, western Nevada, Oregon and Washington in the United States. At the time of the event, an international team of environmental scientists found that the intensity of the BC Dome was 150 times more likely and impossible without human-induced climate change. In other words, it was caused by human impact on the environment, the changes it caused.
The researchers found that those living in the westernmost province “were more worried about climate change after the heat wave than they were before”.
“Climate anxiety is increasingly on the radar of therapists, who have had patients report environmental concerns,” said study co-author and social epidemiologist Dr. Kiffer Card from Simon University. Fraser at CTVNews.ca. He added that climate anxiety can “disrupt someone’s mental health by interfering with their daily life”.
“A big part of the attitude towards climate change and poor mental health is that we will wait for those effects to happen. But I think studies like these tell us that these things are happening now and we’re seeing real effects in the lives of real people today and therefore the time to do the research was yesterday,” Card said. .
Previous studies have shown that cold weather can also cause poor mental health, contributing to anxiety and depression. Seasonal affective disorder (commonly known as SAD) is a type of depression that can disappear as soon as things start to unravel. The technical name for SAD is Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern. People with SAD experience mood changes and symptoms similar to major depressive disorder. However, unlike SAD, which typically results from natural environmental changes and upsurges when these natural changes occur, climate change-induced anxiety is related to the unpredictability of human-caused events that have, sometimes permanently , weathered air and water. There is an element of uncertainty related to the duration of the impact.
Research published in the journal PLOS Climate states that more than half of the surface of the world’s oceans has exceeded extreme heat thresholds consistently since 2014. The authors of the study say that “these extreme heats are caused by climate change and can have on critical marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, sea grass beds. and kelp forests.
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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?