0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

In This Article

5 things to know about climate change and mental health
55

5 things to know about climate change and mental health

The intricate connection between mental health and climate change
climate change and MH
Representational image | Shutterstock

Climate change is not just an environmental challenge, it is a complex issue that permeates various aspects of our lives, including our mental well-being. From unprecedented natural disasters, global warming, and unexpected rains to an endless barrage of eco-disasters in the news, what happens in the outer environment affects our inner environment.

Happiest Health explores aspects you need to know about climate change and mental health.

Weather and hormones

Deboshila Bose, counselling psychologist at Fortis Hospital, Kolkata, speaks about the physiological connection between climate change and mental health. “The change in weather brings certain changes in your hormones, and that leads to changes in mood,” she explains.

Whether it is the deprivation of sunlight during winter or the extreme heat of tropical summers, these variations can lead to mental exhaustion and difficulties in maintaining energy levels.

According to a 2020 research study published in Frontiers Psychiatry, mental health outcomes of climate change range from minimal stress and distress symptoms to clinical disorders. This ranges from anxiety and sleep disturbances to depression, post-traumatic stress, and suicidal thoughts.

Seasons and mental health

Discussing the seasonal aspect, Bose draws attention to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition where individuals experience depression in a cyclical pattern. “Especially during winter, when the season reoccurs, we see a cycle of depression,” she notes. Lack of sunlight and dry weather during this period can trigger changes in the body, contributing to depressive symptoms.

With climate change and the weather becoming more erratic, and winters becoming harsher, this can significantly contribute to mental health related concerns.

Eco-anxiety

Eco-anxiety, as Bose defines it, is the anxiety stemming from the degradation of the environment. “Somebody who is experiencing eco-anxiety is sensitive to the changes in the environment happening around them,” she points out. With increased awareness of the consequences of human activities on the planet, many individuals grapple with the anxiety of witnessing environmental decline.

How to cope

Bose offers valuable insights into coping with eco-anxiety. She encourages staying informed about both the challenges and positive steps being taken to protect the environment.

“When you get news about harm done, it’s important to search for news where certain steps are being taken to protect the environment,” Bose advises.

Additionally, she highlights the importance of individual action. She suggests that making small eco-friendly changes in daily life can contribute to a sense of purpose and alleviate anxiety.

“The uncertainty of what holds the future given the way we are exploiting our environment may give rise to feelings of helplessness. It is important to reflect on our areas of control and work on it while we try not to brood over what we cannot control,” she says.

Fostering environmental consciousness

Acknowledging that environmental consciousness is growing, Bose says, “The next generation is much more aware, educated, and sensitive to the environment.”  This positive shift in behaviour and habits offers hope for a more sustainable and mentally resilient future.

As climate change continues to shape our world, it is imperative to recognise the profound effect it has on mental health. With awareness, taking positive actions, and encouraging sustainable behaviours, we can strive towards a healthier coexistence with our planet.

Share Your Experience/Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Summit Registration

NOTE: The summit will be held at NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bengaluru.

Wellness Registration Form

-
-
-
Total Amount INR 3000
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts
Article
Summer drinks, though hydrating, can have excess sugar. Nutritionists suggest a few alternatives to keep the body temperature and sugar levels down
Article
Packed with protein, this recipe will help in weight management by keeping you full for a long time
Article
Researchers have found that a quick snooze can improve the retention of information by strengthening memories, leading to better recollection over an extended period
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts

0

0

0

Web Stories 

0

0

0

0

0

0

Opt-in To Our Daily Newsletter

* Please check your Spam folder for the Opt-in confirmation mail

Opt-in To Our
Daily Newsletter

We use cookies to customize your user experience, view our policy here

Your feedback has been submitted successfully.

The Happiest Health team will reach out to you at the earliest