Friday, January 01, 2016

In America, Many Will Suffer 'Psychological Distress' From Climate Change

We can also expect food shortages and increased food costs.

In America, 200 Million People Will Suffer 'Psychological Distress' From Climate Change

Wes Siler
30 December 2015


What mental disorders can arise from climate change and related events?

Violence: “Research from Iowa State shows that, as the temperature rises, so does the incidence of violence.” This could be exacerbated as communities and cultures are split up, relocated and potentially find themselves in conflict with their hosts. Witness the violence in Houston in the years following Hurricane Katrina; displaced families from NOLA were sent to Texas.

Displacement Stress: The report emphasises the effects immediate and sometimes long-term displacement can have on people following flooding.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Major disasters and witnessing the death of loved ones as a result can lead to PTSD.

Despair: “The unrelenting day by day despair of watching and waiting for water that doesn’t come will have a singularly damaging impact on the psyche of the people who have depended on Mother Nature’s rainfall for their livelihood.”

Anxiety: “Persistent psychological stress is common, with anxiety reactions recurring from unavoidable re-exposure to the odours, smoke and ash [of wildfires].”

Fear: “Higher temperatures favour the formation of ozone which triggers asthma attacks. Anyone who has asthma and parents of children with asthma are familiar with the fears this illness engenders. People die from untreated asthma. Many other fears linked to disease are harder to nail down. As malaria and dengue fever and other infectious diseases march northward due to warmer temperatures, inchoate fears of threat and vulnerability drift into people’s consciousness. This will be compounded by a growing number of sensational media reports tied to disease outbreaks and public health warnings.”

Anger: “With increasing media coverage educating people about the causes of climate change and the ensuing extreme weather events and other disasters, we can expect more powerful and troubling responses to human-caused climate disasters than when disasters were previously experienced as natural or acts of God.”


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