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Psychologist explains how climate change affects mental health

Psychologist explains how climate change affects mental health

Psychologists point to the increasing number of cases of declining mental health due to climate change. What affects it and where to look for a solution?

Up to 64% of Polish and Polish women are concerned about the effects of climate change

As awareness of the environment grows, not only does public participation increase, but also the amount of information flowing, which can be overwhelming. According to the Climate Sentiment Index report, more than half of Poles experience anxiety arising from fear for the future in a time of climate and environmental crisis.

As psychologists emphasize, heightened anxiety, nagging guilt, or helplessness are normal reactions, but they can have serious consequences.

What is climate depression?

Climate depression is a general term referring to psychological distress related to awareness of the scale of threats and losses caused by climate change. It is usually a combination of many unpleasant feelings – such as: depression, anxiety, fear, anxiety, regret, hopelessness, helplessness, and sometimes also guilt, hopelessness or apathy. In the scientific literature, the term climate change distress is used instead. – explain Dr. Marzina Sipriaska Nezlik, a Social Psychologist from SWPS University.

While the term “climate depression” is the most commonly used term in the context of mental health in the era of climate and environmental crisis, it is important to remember that it is a serious and complex disorder that should not be underestimated.

In research center circles dealing with the impact of climate change on mental health, such as the American Psychological Association or the Climate Psychology Alliance, anxiety or neurotic reactions are often mentioned.

What makes the state of environmental and climate crisis affect human health?

Why does climate change affect well-being?

Psychologists stress that the observation of negativity by decision makers is an important cause of anxiety or depression in relation to advanced climate change. This can deepen feelings of powerlessness and overwhelm you with the amount of action you need to take.

The second common reason is the way of talking about climate catastrophe, which often takes a very pessimistic tone, places responsibility on the individual and does not indicate appropriate remedial measures.

What is needed most now is effective and immediate action to stop the climate catastrophe. And what we face the biggest problem with is not the lack of effective remedies, but rather the lack of a systematic will to implement these measures promptly, universally and effectively in relation to social justice. Dr. Cypriańska-Nezlek . adds.

How do you deal with overwhelming climate change?

It is difficult to identify symptoms that clearly link the effects of climate change to mental health. However, any feeling of helplessness, anxiety, surrender, frustration, guilt, tension and apathy when faced with the idea of ​​climate change and its consequences is a sign that should not be underestimated. In this case, it is a good idea to go to a specialist – a psychologist or psychotherapist in the first place.

Psychologists note that when faced with anxiety or anxiety caused by climate change, many people take active measures for the environment.

Feeling sad and depressed about the climate crisis, although these feelings are not easy, testify to our compassion and sensitivity, that we know what is happening around us and can see it for ourselves. It is only important to turn these feelings into wise actions – because they can save us and the world in crisisCamilla Keeler, backpacker and author of the podcast “Splinters of the world.”

Source: mat. press release

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