A saga of the new age dealing with a ‘Mad Max Fury Road’ type reality is not very far off.

The recent changes in climate have caused a billion people across the world to be exposed to more heat waves, a rise in sea level and extreme weather conditions. A new study published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences states that mental health immobility will be the central cause and effect culminating point of climate change. Way before we burn externally, we will slowly but surely die internally. The rise in temperatures had been previously linked to irregular sleeping patterns, bad mood swings and a higher risk of suicide attempts. Eventually, scientists correlated climate change figures to issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nick Obradovich managed to draw this conclusion while looking at self-reported mental health data for over two million US residents between 2002 and 2012 and comparing it to the meteorological records.

“Exposure to hotter temperatures and more precipitation increased the reporting of mental health problems. Months with more than 25 days of rain increased the chances of mental health problems by 2%, while temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius led to a 0.5% increase.”

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Over the course of years, every one-degree increase in temperature leads to a 2% increase in mental health-related issues. Natural disasters can make that number jump to 4%. There are of course those who deny climate change and have stated otherwise. They liken the human physiology to that of mutating mosquitoes, who with time adjust to every poisonous gas thrown their way and build a bionic resilience. Well, that theory definitely covers the case of our offspring!

“Down the road, we could be more resilient to climate change decades down the road. Imagine a world where everyone has access to incredible, scientifically informed mental-health care. In that world, the effect between hot temperatures and mental-health outcomes might be reduced.”, says Dr.Obdarovich. 

Using meteorological data plus sampling figures undeniably suggests that added precipitation worsens mental health and we can already see the effects not just trickle but gush down in society. Where people have become more complacent and less empathetic to their fellow humans.

Sound mental health plays quite a vital role in the personal, social, and economic well being of a society. It is key in positively dealing with pressing personal and social challenges. Given all this, we should be afraid. Very afraid indeed.


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