Eco-Anxiety – a Real, Often Frightening Thing

The idea of climate change affecting people’s well-being may seem like science fiction. Yet evidence of climate change has barreled full force into our lives – more frequent, more destructive hurricanes; rising temperatures; melting glaciers and disintegrating ice shelves; severe droughts. This has given rise to what’s termed eco-anxiety. And psychologists are paying attention.

A 2017 report by the American Psychological Association linked the impact of climate change to mental health and referenced ‘eco-anxiety’ as “a chronic fear of environmental doom.” The Climate Psychology Alliance – founded by Portland psychologist Thomas Dogherty who specializes in climate – sees this as “an inevitable, even healthy response to the ecological threats we are facing, such as food / water shortages, extreme weather events, species extinction, increased health issues (and pandemics), social unrest and potentially the demise of human life on Earth.”

According to a NY Times article, many leaders in mental health maintain that anxiety over climate change is no different, clinically, from anxiety caused by other societal threats, like terrorism or school shootings.

To learn more about this, go to https://bit.ly/3uQcxw2.