LifestyleGeneration Z and climate depression: the hidden mental health crisis

Generation Z and climate depression: the hidden mental health crisis

Climate depression among youth
Climate depression among youth
Images source: © Getty Images

7:02 PM EST, November 29, 2023

Climate depression is impacting members of Generation Z. Amongst the symptoms of the disease Bulgarian psychologist Mariela Dimitrova mentions anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.

Gen Z is addressing the subject of climate change with far greater dedication than previous generations. The escalating global warming is accentuating the burgeoning issue of climate depression. This disorder encapsulates the psychological effect of climate change on teenagers, leading to an influx of anxiousness, frustration, and dejection.

Depression linked to climate change

In a discourse with VBOX7 service, Bulgarian psychologist Mariela Dimitrova elaborated on the unease, panic attacks, and depression inflicted upon Generation Z due to climate changes.

"Climate change indeed impacts the mental health of young individuals, and it's not just exclusive to them. There are studies denoting that in nations where daylight is brief, and nights are longer, suicidal ideation is more prevalent. We've come across phrases like 'autumn depression,' 'spring depression' - these are factual terminologies, and not just figments of imagination," elucidates Mariela Dimitrova.

Psychologist Mirela Dimitrova on stress, fear, and panic attacks!

Global warming-induced climate changes, like glacial melting, sea-level ascend, droughts, extreme weather conditions, or extinction of species, could potentially escalate the prevalence of panic attacks. After all, it's our planet's long-term future at risk.

Strategies to combat panic attacks

"Let's commence by clarifying what panic attacks are - they are brief yet significantly intense episodes of anxiety, accompanied by physiological distress like heart palpitations, breathlessness, trembling, perspiration. They arise from an individual's inability to digest the happenings around them, irrespective of its magnitude," explicates the Bulgarian psychologist.

Dimitrova also provides guidance on how to deal with panic attacks. "Prioritize slowing down your breathing - inhale via your nose and exhale through your mouth. To steer away from physiological cues, redirect your focus using cognitive thought processes.

"I propose spending time alone with your thoughts. In today's fast-paced world, we often swap our original thoughts with external stimuli - films, reading material, and information search. It's crucial to allot personal time and introspect. Question your innermost needs, aspirations, and wishes and centre your attention on them," advises Mariela Dimitrova.

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