Pollution Generates Mood Disorders, Stress And Anxiety

Mental health characterizes the psychic equilibrium state of a person. It is ultimately no surprise that we see that the most polluted places favor more harm being and depression.

The link between an individual and his environment is not new. According to Martina Benazzi, psychologist clinical psychotherapist for social assistance to children in Seine-Saint-Denis, “the social and community psychology was interested from the 50 years the relationship between individual and context.”This may be the living environment (housing, neighborhood life quality, etc.), but also the context related to the environment in the broadest sense, the air we breathe.

The Pollution Factor

The pollution factor:

Stems, in particular, studies show that pollution also acts negatively on our mental balance. Indeed, when these particles are incorporated in the body, they tend to generate or increase oxidative stress as well as inflammation of brain tissue. This would promote the development of mental disorders and decreased cognitive abilities. Whether the memory or concentration, the problems identified are real. A study from Columbia University had already made the link between polluted areas of New York and a risk of developmental delay in children. Today, in addition to the known negative consequences of pollution and fine particles on our physical condition (respiratory and vascular Suzi says: “The problem between pollution and mental health today remains interesting and complex. Some studies show a positive correlation between pollutants and psychological disorders, but there are also other environmental factors (lifestyle, socioeconomic status, etc.) can play in triggering these diseases.”

Mood disorders and Urbanization

In the same vein as this hypothesis that correlates pollution and mental state, the study “Stress and the City-Mental Health in Urban Environments” Mazda Adli (Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin) explained that the urban lifestyle would also have its share responsibility. Whether overpopulation, the air quality or noise pollution, analyzes several people “show an increase in mood disorders (39%) and anxiety ( + 21%) in urban populations compared to rural populations. The longer one lives in the city, the greater the risk. “Martina explains Benazzi issues resulting from childhood:” A child born in a rural setting, with a specific climate will adapt to this context and personality traits will be determined based on this interaction. If the environment and context are “favorable”, the child can develop coping strategies (coping and stress management) that will be effective and contribute to protecting it from mental illness.


With the urbanization process and the complexity of reality that is constantly changing, the Western man is increasingly asked to find new coping strategies. “Cities and their implications in terms of quality of life and alienation from nature, favor disorders, stress and depression so (sometimes leading to schizophrenia). Such dysfunction would, somehow, proportional to the size of the city.

Indeed, the same study affirms, “that the activation of the amygdala (the brain region involved in the evaluation of emotions and anxiety), is correlated to the size of the city. Stress management in mega cities is the major challenge of the 21st century, given that two-thirds of men will live in cities by 2050. Stress due to both overcrowding and of isolation, closely linked to an excess mortality “.

The isolation, stress and pollution in urban areas should be concrete action plans before not to continue to suffer that on which our societies are heading. Mazda Adli the study envisages a corner solution is to develop a policy of urban well-being. And so the study concluded that the challenge is to “reduce isolation, especially for populations at risk (people elderly).

Provide information to the urban population on the means to fight against social stress. These are questions that must provide answers during the implementation of a policy of urban well-being requires a dialogue between urban planners, architects, psychiatrists and actors of the social sciences. “

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