How does pollution impact our mental health?

Polluted air increases the chances of hospitalization of patients!

Patients with psychotic or mood disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression exposed to more air pollution are more likely to go to the hospital or more in need of community treatment because of their mental conditions, according to researchers from King’s College.

A new study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, has followed patients in south London since their first diagnostic for mental health issues and used estimates of air pollution in their homes.

The scientists re-evaluated patient data seven years after the first treatment and found that the connection to air pollution was still evident.

The results of the findings are not explained by several other possible factors, including age, gender, ethnicity, deprivation, or population density, although these unknown factors may play an important role.

“Identifying variable risk factors for disease severity and relapse could help in early intervention efforts and reduce people’s mental suffering and high economic costs caused by long-term chronic mental illness,” the researchers said.

Polluted air causes depression and anxiety.

Research in this area shows that a slight increase in air pollution is associated with a significant increase in depression and anxiety. The study also linked dirty air to an increased number of suicides and pointed out that growing children in polluted places increases the risk of mental disorders.

Other research has found that air pollution significantly affects intelligence and is associated with dementia. The Global Review in 2019 concluded that air pollution could damage every organ in the human body.

Although a study by British scientists does not show a causal connection between pollution and mental illness (it is based on observation), it contributes to a growing number of studies that suggest that toxins in the air can have profound effects on the human mind.

The World Bank has estimated that air pollution costs the global economy five billion dollars a year, including only the well-known damage through physical heart and lung diseases. You can read more about these estimations in Time Magazine, which you can find in American magazines.

In addition to the adverse physical effects evident in heart, lung, or skin diseases, the climate crisis is causing anxiety and fear in an increasing number of people, especially young people.