City Life and Mental Health - Deepstash

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

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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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.

The mask

The mask - a flimsy polymer cup - fits tightly around the face and is capable of filtering 95% of airborne particles, such as viruses, from the air.

The firsts masks were ...

Surgical masks

Doctors started wearing the first surgical masks in 1897. The masks were not designed to prevent airborne disease - that is still not the case today - but to prevent doctors from coughing or sneezing droplets onto wounds during surgery.

The first modern respirator

During 1920, a plague broke out between a shared jurisdiction of China and Russia. The Chinese Imperial Court brought in a young doctor named Lien-teh Wu that determined that the plague was not spread by fleas but through the air. He expanded upon the surgery masks he'd seen in the West, and made it from gauze and cotton and added several layers of cloth to filter inhalations.

When the Spanish flu arrived in 1918, the mask was well-known among scientists and the public.

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.