Global warming linked to mental health, causes depression and anxiety in people

Apart from pushing the world towards apocalypse, climate change also affects mental health

climate change
Global warming representational image YouTube

Climate change has now crossed over from the environment and entered people's minds. A recent US research states that global warming or climate change is having an effect on the mental health of human beings. It also says that people who are most worried about this phenomenon are affected by stress, anxiety and sometimes depression.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Arizona, examined how people's perception of global warming affects their mental state. They explored three kinds of feelings in the individual mind. Egoistic concern is the worry about effect of climate change on an individual, altruistic concern is worry about humanity and biospheric concern is worry about nature and all living things.

In the study, published in the Global Environmental Change journal,342 mothers of young children participated in an online survey. The results indicated that people having high levels of biospheric concern felt most stressed about global climate phenomena and showed more possibility of suffering from depression. On the other hand, people displaying altruistic and egoistic concern do not care enough about climate change to have stress or anxiety.

"People who worry about animals and nature tend to have a more planetary outlook and think of bigger picture issues," said UA researcher Sabrina Helm, "For them, the global phenomenon of climate change very clearly affects these bigger picture environmental things, so they have the most pronounced worry, because they already see it everywhere."

However, people who are concerned only about mankind or themselves, in particular, do not realize the full impact of the impending global catastrophe. Yet, altruistic individuals engage in some environment-friendly work and behavior, which is largely lacking in ones with egoistic concern only.

Climate change
Changes in annual maximum air temperature in 2060–2080 relative to 1985–2005 Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Scientists have said that sea levels are rising greatly, sea floors are sinking and gigantic glaciers are melting due to global warming. Apart from that, methane emission has increased in the air and experts have predicted a possible mini ice age that can engulf the planet in the near future.

Oceans are most harmed due to rising pollution as they absorb most of the world's waste and also are the primary source of oxygen. However, it has been recently observed that oceans are undergoing high rates of oxygen depletion that can kill many marine plants and animals. Perhaps it is high time to think about climate change seriously as the world seems to be on the brink of devastation.

However, global participation in environment-saving efforts seems hindered by world leaders like US President Donald Trump who believes that climate change is not real. Although many countries pledged to work towards reducing emission of greenhouse gases and controlling global warming in 2015, the United States has said that it may withdraw from the initiative.

This article was first published on January 20, 2018
Related topics : Depression