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Psychological Effects of Climate Change: Trauma, Suicidal Ideation, and More [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 07, 2017 07:12 AM EDT
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After President Donald Trump signed an executive order to dismantle Barack Obama's climate change efforts, the American Psychological Association releases a new report on the psychological effects of climate change. The report states that people living in susceptible regions to be impacted by global warming have a high risk to develop mental health disorders.

Climate change is known to affect the planet's health and also people's physical health. However, its risk of threatening people's minds is not familiar to everyone.

Environmental Changes Harm Mental Health

The published report titled Mental Health and our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications and Guidance reveals that there is a connection with climate change and a person's mental health. For instance, those who lived through natural disasters will not escape how traumatic the experience is.

Survivors of nature's calamities like the droughts in East Africa and the hurricanes in Hawaii are more likely to develop immediate or long-term psychological trauma. This is caused by the feeling of loss from the death of a loved one, destroyed property and livelihood, and physical injuries.

One out of six people who survived from Hurricane Katrina had post-traumatic stress disorder, adds the report. Almost half of the people developed an anxiety or mood disorder such as depression while suicide and suicidal thoughts doubled.

The people living in communities at greater risk of feeling the effects of climate change are also susceptible. When the natural environment affects people's livelihoods like agriculture and fishing, its residents will likely experience mental distress.

Additionally, the rising of sea levels and the inability of some areas to produce crops will lead to the displacement of about 200 million by the year 2050, the Huffington Post reports. Being uprooted from their homes could lead people to acquire the condition referred to as solastalgia or the psychic distress of feeling loss and desolation due to environmental change.

Ultimately, the psychological effects of climate change should not be easily disregarded. Aside from helping the vulnerable people, further efforts must be done to save the one and only Earth.

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