Climate change affects psychological and mental health… Bangladesh as a model (study)

A recent study confirms that climate changes have an impact not only on nature, but also on human mental and psychological health, according to what was seen by the specialized energy platform.

High temperatures, humidity, and other things related to changes in the climate increase mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, according to a study published recently in The Lancet Planetary Health. Sai Def Net Scientific (SCI Dev Net).

The study relied on data that tested the association between climatic changes and the social characteristics of the population in Bangladesh, which is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate impacts.

Climate and psychopathy

The researchers monitored climate-related variables at 43 meteorological stations in Bangladesh, aiming to measure changes in seasonal temperature and humidity over a two-month period.

Among the study participants, there were cases that experienced flooding, and this slide was an indication of the possibility that small changes in weather events related to climate can influence mental health responses.

Mental health effects on a person. Photo courtesy of Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

In addition, the researchers conducted two surveys measuring rates of depression and anxiety for adults in both urban and rural households, across two research groups.

The first survey was conducted between August and September 2019, while the second survey was conducted from January to February 2020.

Researchers in the country criticized the lack of data related to this matter at the state level, according to what was seen by the specialized energy platform.

The study showed that people who were exposed to a temperature increase of (1) one degree Celsius during the two months preceding the study, were likely to have an anxiety disorder increased by 21%, and were likely to suffer from both depression and anxiety disorder at the same time by 24%.

The study indicated that exposure to the dangers of climatic changes in Bangladesh – most notably floods – led to an increase in the risk of depression by 31%, anxiety by 69%, and infection with both diseases by 87%.

Bangladesh is in danger

Syed Shabab Waheed, assistant professor in the Department of Global Health at Georgetown University School of Health and lead author of the study, said: “We detected serious indicators about the impact of climate change on mental health in one of the countries most vulnerable to these changes, and the results of the study can serve as a warning to other countries.” “.

He added, “The rates of climate change are increasing, as temperatures and humidity continue to rise, and natural disasters, such as severe floods, increase, all of which herald increasing repercussions on our collective mental health.”

Waheed touched on the many dangers facing Bangladesh related to climate change. Including rising temperatures, increasing humidity levels, intense heat waves, and mounting natural disasters; Such as floods and severe hurricanes, pointing out that the combination of these phenomena made the Asian town an ideal choice for testing many manifestations of climatic emergencies.

Waheed said that the results of the study prove – for the first time at the national level in Bangladesh, and in South Asia in general – the relationship between high temperature and humidity or exposure to severe floods and the negative reaction to mental health and depression and anxiety disorders associated with the repercussions of climate change.

He added that the researchers found that the older age groups were more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and the results of the study indicated that females are more likely to suffer from depression than men.

previous studies

The co-founder of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance, Lise Van Susteren, said, “The findings of this study are consistent with results observed in other studies,” calling for the need to disseminate it widely in the framework of avoiding the effects of climate change on mental health.

weather changes
Effects of climate change – Image courtesy of the Commonwealth Fund

She added that severe weather conditions, which include high temperatures, increased precipitation and floods, sound the alarm, indicating the existence of negative effects related to human psychological health, according to statements seen by the specialized energy platform.

And she continued: “The physical effects of the repercussions of climate change can be seen easily, which prompts increased attention to them, while on the other hand, mental disorders are usually hidden and seep unconsciously into daily life and the lives of families and surrounding communities, and are difficult to detect and treat.”

“Sastrin” suggested the need to establish a scientific sub-discipline to study the link between climate and mental health, to educate individuals and adopt clear policies that reduce risks, noting that this step is an urgent necessity.

She added that the study encourages those involved in the phenomenon of climate change at the global level to take its results seriously, especially since these diseases represent a serious threat and challenge to health and the future.

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