Global warming has been linked to a wide array of health effects. Recent data shows that climate change could negatively impact mental health as it increases the risk of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Aside from extreme heat brought about by global warming causing forest fires and health threats to people across the globe, it could also threaten mental health, a U.S. study found. Extreme weather changes could trigger bouts of PTSD, depression and even general anxiety.

The United States government released the report titled, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, which shows valuable information on the effects of climate change to human health.

Study Main Findings

Air pollution and the increasing heat could increase the risk of allergy and asthma. The impacts of climate change are expected to cause hundreds to thousands of premature deaths, hospitalizations and cases of acute respiratory diseases each year in the United States by 2030.

The increasing heat in the environment could also increase the number of premature deaths, increased Lyme disease cases and increased risk of water-related illnesses. Climate change and the increasing temperatures could also affect the exposure of food and water to certain toxins and disease-causing pathogens.

One of the surprising effects of climate change is the increased risk of mental health issues.

Climate Change Affects Mental Health

Climate change and its effects on mental health are now being studied by health experts. Mental health problems associated with climate change range from minimal stress to more serious conditions such as anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies and PTSD.

"Other consequences include effects on the everyday life, perceptions, and experiences of individuals and communities attempting to understand and respond appropriately to climate change and its implications," one area in the assessment said.

With increasing occurrences of disastrous natural events like hurricanes, floods and drought, the stress levels and trauma of people who experienced these events first hand could also increase.

"People with mental illness and those using medications to treat a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events and extreme heat," the White House press release said.

Photo: Joe Penna | Flickr 

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.