‘Eco-anxiety’: Fear of environmental damage affecting mental health of people

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Oct 07, 2021, 11:42 PM(IST)

Climate change activists take part in a demonstration of the Fridays for Future movement in Lausanne, Switzerland January 17, 2020. (File Photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Eco anxiety refers to the chronic fear of environmental doom. It is not yet considered a diagnosable condition

Experts have warned that climate change is having an impact on the mental health of children and young people. 
Mala Rao and Richard Powell, of Imperial College London’s Department of Primary Care and Public Health, while writing in the British medical journal said that eco-anxiety “risks exacerbating health and social inequalities between those more or less vulnerable to these psychological impacts”. 

Eco anxiety refers to the chronic fear of environmental doom. It is not yet considered a diagnosable condition. However, as per the researchers, the recognition of eco-anxiety and its complex psychological effects is increasing. Also, its “disproportionate” impact on children and young people is on an upward cycle. 

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The research talked about how young people’s emotions were linked with their feelings of betrayal by governments and adults. Governments were seen as failing to respond adequatel. This has left the young people with “no future” and “humanity doomed”.

The researchers highlighted that as per a 2020 survey, a total of 57 per cent of children and young people are seen distressed about the climate crisis. 

The researchers called on global leaders to “recognise the challenges ahead, the need to act now, and the commitment necessary to create a path to a happier and healthier future, leaving no one behind”.

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According to a report by The Guardian, the researchers said, "The best chance of increasing optimism and hope in the eco-anxious young and old is to ensure they have access to the best and most reliable information on climate mitigation and adaptation."

“Especially important is information on how they could connect more strongly with nature, contribute to greener choices at an individual level, and join forces with like-minded communities and groups.”
With this, the researchers said that it is important to find a solution to this problem. 

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