Suffering from climatic anxiety – what is it really? 5 minutes Climate change is a major challenge we face. Hence, it makes many people feel very anxious, the most extreme form of this anxiety is called climate anxiety.
If you haven’t spent the last five years of your life in a cave, you probably know who Greta Thunberg is. Today, he is a 17-year-old environmental activist who is very passionate about saving the planet from climate change. By listening to her speak and watching her act, one can easily get carried away by her beliefs. At the same time, you can also suffer from climate anxiety.
We have no absolute solution to how to overcome climate anxiety. The reason for this is that, scientifically, the psychological state itself, which we usually classify as climate anxiety, does not exist. This is a term that a group of experts from the Climate Psychology Alliance created in 2019 to refer to a phenomenon that is far from pathology, but we can still view it as a rational problem.
What is climate alarm?
Let’s keep the term as simple as possible. Basically, climate concern refers to concern about the natural habitat in which we live. This includes habitat destruction, climate change, pollution and all environmental problems and disasters caused or exacerbated by human actions and our industrial activities on the planet.
People suffering from these anxieties experience anxiety when they think about their own mortality, as well as those of their loved ones. Thinking about the future of the world causes them incredible discomfort.
However, it is important not to confuse this with clinical anxiety. As we mentioned above, this cannot be classified as a pathology, nor does it represent a specific clinical picture.
However, The American Psychological Association (APA) identified this idea in 2017. In their view, chronic fear of climate-related death can exacerbate existing mental health problems or cause pre-existing ones.
The aforementioned American Association states that there was a general increase in climate anxiety in 2019. This is largely due to the natural disasters that have occurred, in particular the way they have been portrayed in the media.
“We live on this planet as if we need to go to another.”
– Terry Swiringen-
Climate and mental health
The climate directly affects our senses. Some people feel affected by what is happening. Others, however, are more worried about what comes next. It is extremely worrying that some islands could be completely submerged in a few years due to climate change.
However, both scenarios can cause different experiences. For example, anger, shock, or terror experienced more or less intensely can lead to PTSD. Yes, a hypothetical threat is currently sufficient to cause PTSD in some of the more privileged populations.
In addition, the consequences of climate change are economic and social activities. Natural phenomena can affect industries such as agriculture, livestock and many infrastructure. As a consequence, it can cause fatalism, feelings of powerlessness, impotence, and other types of mental disorders.
The scientific journal Global Environmental Change has published a study linking depression and anxiety to the environment. However, they argue that women and low-income people are most affected by climate anxiety. In this case, students also belong to the needy. However, there is still no clear data or possible conclusions on this matter.
What do we know about those suffering from climate-related hazards?
First of all, there are certain types of anxiety that can be called unreasonable or disproportionate fear (compared to the magnitude or likelihood of the threat). But from an environmental point of view, this is a real problem.
In addition, this feeling of insecurity becomes a natural reaction to the anxiety it causes. According to the evidence supporting the problem, these factors are particularly noticeable in women. The reason for this is that women tend to be much more concerned with pollution, global warming and climate change. In fact, many of them believe that it may even affect their fertility.
In addition, fears related to climate change are also affecting young people in an intense way. Teenagers, young people and even children show a great connection with the environment and a great concern for their future. However, some middle-aged adults are also concerned about this problem, as it can affect the development and future of their children.
Is there a solution when you are suffering from climate anxiety?
Thankfully, there is still time to ease this type of anxiety. It’s safe to say that if this continues, it could become a serious problem for many people. For them, the best solution would be to change social and economic behavior, avoid forced consumption and trade, and start adopting cleaner forms of energy. The physical manifestations of attempts to tackle climate change can also lead to increased perceived security, whether or not it has a real effect.
In addition to this, it is also necessary to develop resilience through balanced and environmentally friendly policies that can have a positive impact on the human psyche.
If you take into account healthier habits, such as less car use or spending more time outdoors, you can also reduce anxiety about climate. It all depends on you!
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Various Spanish researchers conducted a study that was published in December 2018 year. According to research, climate influences aggressive behavior.