Feeling ‘Hot Under The Collar’? It’s Not Your Imagination

in Grab Bag/Weird Health by

 

President Donald Trump seems to be intent upon rolling back or undoing every single thing that was accomplished during the Obama years, no matter the consequences.

He seems to have a particular desire to reverse any advancements made toward slowing down global warming. His proposed budget would cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by a whopping 31 percent. He has issued Executive Orders to undo regulations designed to provide clean water  and clean air.

He has stated his belief that climate change is a “hoax.”

Scientists know that as the earth’s temperature rises and pollution increases, there are impacts on physical health. Asthma cases, as well as skin and other cancers, are on the rise in recent decades.

But a new report compiled by psychologists and environmentalists shows that climate change is also linked to increases in mental health disorders.

Climate change causes an increase in severe and even catastrophic weather events, like hurricanes and tornadoes. Living through these events leaves many people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. These major disasters also leave the area with damaged infrastructure and agricultural production. People have less access to food, medicine, and even employment, which again leads to increased anxiety.

We also know that as climate gradually changes, and temperatures increase, there is a rise in certain infectious diseases. It’s also known in the mental health fields that hotter temperatures are often associated, especially in large populations, with increases in conflict and aggression. Crime statistics show a rise in violent crime during heatwaves.

Susan Clayton, a college psychology professor from the College of Wooster, says:

We know that warmer temperatures tend to be associated with aggression and conflict.”

And as the climate changes and people learn of the increased temperatures and the lack of a coherent plan to deal with them, a sense of helplessness can overtake the population. This sense of powerlessness is directly linked to increased levels of depression, mental health experts say. One study found that the more complex information people learn about the climate, the more powerless they feel.

The report was compiled by the American Psychological Association and the non-profit environmental group ecoAmerica. It consisted of a professional review of over 250 articles dealing with the effects of climate change and mental health.

To view the full report, click here.

Featured image by bark via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

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