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City life damages mental health in ways we’re just starting to understand

https://www.popsci.com/physical-surroundings-cities-mental-illness/

popsci.com

City life damages mental health in ways we’re just starting to understand
Scientists are just beginning to probe how air pollution and other physical aspects of the world around us contribute to psychiatric problems.

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City Life and Mental Health

New studies show that our physical surroundings affect our mental health as well, in a greater degree than previously known. The people living in big cities face a nearly 40 percent higher risk of depression, a 20 percent higher chance of anxiety, and double the risk of schizophrenia than people living in rural areas.

Part of this situation is due to social problems like loneliness and stress, complicated further by living within breathing distance of others.

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Bad Air Around Us

Air pollution is causing various respiratory and cardiovascular problems among the population, killing millions every year.
Lack of breathable air is also an enabler of depression, anxiety and certain psychotic experiences.

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Unknown Dangers

The one terrifying aspect of how the space we live affects our health is that many of the bad effects aren't even fully known to us, like mood swings, neuron damage, chemical imbalance and many brain-altering effects, that are yet to be fully studied.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Rising Noise Around Us

  • Cities have a noise pollution problem, which is largely unaddressed.
  • Noise complaints regarding the high decibel levels of traffic, airplanes, and even helicopters are getting more fre...

Effect Of Noise on Children

  • According to the United Nations, about two-thirds of the world's population will be living in cities by the next 30 years.
  • The World Health Organization recommends classrooms to be not louder than 35 decibels, which is never the case in big cities.
  • Children are facing disruption in their learning, and research points out that those who study in a noisy place are 11 months behind the ones who are studying in quieter places in the same vicinity.

Living In Noise

Most of the city planning is done so that the affluent neighborhoods are in quieter areas.

However, this is also nullified when the ultra-rich who travel frequently stay close to the transit hubs (like Airports), being exposed to high decibels of noise.

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Your mental health is like a wallet

This metaphor means seeing your mental health as a wallet: money comes in, money comes out. How much money is in there is how many adverse events you can go through while sustaining your mental...

Events that empty our mental health wallet

  • The ways people are using social media has more of an impact on their mental health than just the frequency and duration of their use.
  • Microaggressions and discrimination.
  • Urban life: urbanites are 21% more likely to have anxiety disorders and 39% more likely to have mood disorders.
  • Financial worries have been linked to mental health issues among university students, and about half of people in problem debt.
  • Lack of sleep, a poor diet and alcohol consumption.

Investing in mental health

  • Journaling has many science-based benefits. It can be used to reduce your anxiety or process traumatic events.
  • Exercise is powerful medicine. Whenever you are feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, try to go for a short run to clear your head.
  • Talking it out. Not expressing your feelings will not help you process them. And talking about your emotions is not about receiving advice. Instead, it’s about having someone to share what you are going through.

The changing nature of childhood

The changing nature of childhood

The most valued childhood experiences of people who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s are things that the current generation of kids are far less likely to know.

What stands out is that

Less independence and autonomy

American children have less independence and autonomy today.

  • Parents have become more concerned with safety.
  • Parents run the risk of being charged with neglect for letting children walk unsupervised.
  • Some parents usher their children from one structured activity to the next, leaving little time to play, experiment, and make mistakes.

Kids who have autonomy and independence are less likely to be anxious. They are more likely to grow into self-sufficient adults.

Time with family

A childhood privilege was spending regular time with parents and access to meaningful interactions with other family members, especially grandparents.

Close grandparent-child relationships have significant mental health benefits for both children and grandparents.