Eco-anxiety: Meaning, causes, symptoms, and tips to overcome
Climate change is affecting a lot more than we know. The threatening and worrisome phenomenon of climate change is affecting the psychology of many around the world. With constant earthquakes, forest fires, tsunamis, cyclones, and hurricanes hitting different parts of the globe, people are developing a chronic fear of environmental catastrophes. Mental health professionals call this disorder "eco-anxiety." Here's more about it.
It's an anxiety based on human-environment relationship, says research
Eco-anxiety is defined as persistent worries about the future of the earth and the life it shelters. Back in 2017, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), described eco-anxiety as "a chronic fear of environmental doom." Not only that, the APA further concluded that this type of anxiety can manifest itself as PTSD, trauma, depression, aggression, substance abuse, feelings of fatalism, and constant fear.
Eco-anxiety stems up from natural disasters or its post-effects
According to the APA, environmental issues that have grave consequences on our planet can yield psychological consequences in people. Extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, cold waves, forest fires, cyclones, typhoons, and tidal waves, can cause this phenomenon. Additionally, population-induced consequences such as increasing ocean garbage, water crises, deforestation, pollution, and overutilization of natural resources also add to the causes of eco-anxiety.
People with eco-anxiety go through sleep disturbances, nervousness, and stress
Symptoms of eco-anxiety can be divided into three categories - physical, mental, and community. Physical symptoms include allergies, change in fitness, and weak immunity. On the other hand, episodes of stress, PTSD, feeling of loss, fear of control, nervousness, appetite changes, and sleep disturbances pertain to its mental symptoms. Community level symptoms involve social instability, social cohesion, aggression, and violence.
Take action and develop resilience to overcome eco-anxiety
Just like any other kind of anxiety disorder, eco-anxiety can also be overcome. Get in touch with a mental health professional to express your case and the symptoms you feel. They can also help you with a plan of action. Additionally, reduce the feeling of guilt in you by doing more for the planet and promoting a sustainable lifestyle.