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Climate Change and You

Research shows that people who live in areas where there are climate disasters or natural disasters are more likely to have mental health issues. These climate events are often followed by support services to help people cope with the aftermath. But what about people that are concerned about climate change but have not first-hand experienced these events?  These are the people that we will focus on today because their mental health symptoms are often misunderstood, and the root never uncovered.

Therapists sometimes don’t recognize or understand the degree of emotional impact that climate change can have on clients. This is especially true of younger clients. The fear of climate change or an impending climate disaster creates anxiety, depression, and anger. It can also trigger feelings of hopelessness and despair that often evolve into burnout.  Eventually climate change stress may lead to relationship strain and negatively impact work and/or school. You may be feeling guilt, shame, or anger about climate change and feel like you don’t know what to do. Those emotions need to be addressed by an educated mental health professional who understand climate change to help you process those feelings. They can help you work through these feelings and find ways to cope with the stress of living in this world where everything seems so uncertain.

If you are unsure if climate change might be the issue behind your current mental distress start by asking yourself a few questions. Does your mental distress arise from fear, worry, or anxiety about climate change? If so, how intense is your mental distress? Has the mental distress affected your ability to have healthy relationships or perform at work and/or school? Are you having trouble focusing on other topics? Have you noticed a change in your sleeping or eating patterns?

Climate change stress is a real thing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the climate change crisis, we understand! There are plenty of people out there who will listen to your feelings and help you process them. We want to make sure that everyone feels empowered when they think about climate change or feel helpless in their fight against it. And remember – we all have the power within us to take action now by reducing our own carbon footprint and reaching out personally with empathy and compassion when others seem lost too.

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