Is Climate Change Effecting Your Mental Health?

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In one word: Yes.

Is the weather effecting your mood? If you've felt down lately, more depressed, or if your allergies have been worse, you're actually not imagining it. It's real: climate change is effecting your mental and physical health.

Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a psychiatrist and board member for the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard, says that, "climate change is both a root cause of mental health crises and a "threat multiplier," meaning that it makes existing mental health problems worse."

Here's how.

Agression

"A 2013 study published in the journal Science found that increases in temperature and extreme rainfall are associated with increased levels of conflict between individuals, and between groups."

So if you're feeling angrier as the temperates get worse, you're not alone.

Pregnancy

The American Psychological Association has reported that when pregnant women are exposed to air pollutants, their children are more likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Anxiety and Depression

Pollution can enter the olfactory nerve and cause inflammation, which can lead to various psychiatric problems. Neural inflammation has been linked to

  • Alzheimer's

  • panic attacks

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • higher suicide rates.

Plus, in general, it's hard to feel your best and brightest on a gloomy day, right?

Heart Health

Turns out that, according to Live Science, increasing temperatures and ozone depletion might work together to worsen heart health. High temperatures during the summer months can correlate to an irregular heartbeat, which can lead to heart attack and other cardiovascular issues.

Allergies

Live Science continues that "studies show allergies are on the rise in developed countries, including the United States, which could be due, in part, to rising carbon dioxide levels and warming temperatures."

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H/T Live Science