Many people are worried about our climate and are seeking help to navigate their emotions.Over two-thirds of Americans have experienced eco-anxiety, according to a 2019 survey from the American Psychological Association (APA).
What You Need To Know
A fear of the effects of climate change is called eco-anxiety
According to the APA, over 60% of Americans have experienced eco-anxiety
59% of young people surveyed in The Lancet are worried about climate change
What is eco-anxiety?
Eco-anxiety or climate anxiety is not a mental illness, but a chronic fear of environmental doom and the associated concern for one’s future and that of the next generations.
Eco-anxiety can make you feel hopeless, angry or fearful.
We talked to two mental health professionals about climate anxiety.
Carol Bartles is a licensed marriage and family therapist who helps people with eco-anxiety. The California therapist says there is an emotional response to what is happening with climate change.
“We cannot turn on the TV these days without seeing evidence of it [climate change], wildfires, flooding cities, hurricanes, melting glaciers. It’s there for us to see and, of course, we are going to have an emotional reaction to it,” said Bartels.
Climate distress also encompasses other emotions as well. People with climate anxiety could also feel guilt about the environment, feeling grief over a destroyed habitat or extinct species, or feeling hopelessness about the world.
“The anxiety is often focused on as the main emotion, but it is a constellation of different emotions that fits t …