Sunday, January 20, 2008

Eco-Anxiety

News 14 Carolina reported yesterday on a new mental health disorder.

Former Vice President Al Gore isn’t the only one concerned about the environment, as more and more people are starting to become aware of global warming and experiencing ‘eco-anxiety.’

"People are afraid of the future, they're afraid of what's going to happen,” said licensed therapist Melissa Pickett, saying of one patient, "She brought up during the course of our session that she had just read an article about the polar bears and the loss of habitat and she started crying … she said 'I just don't understand this.'"

Pickett said fears about the environment are sending some people into a panic. The mental health disorder has grown enough to gain the ‘eco-anxiety’ name.

This doesn't come as a surprise. Everyone who has been in the public school system since the late 1960s has had the environmental problems of the entire planet shoved onto their shoulders.

Back in the mid-1980s, a close family member came to me in absolute distress because she was worried about the ability of the earth to support all the people. After all, people were already starving in Ethiopia from a famine that seemed to have no end in sight.

I pointed out that most of the famines, including the one in Ethiopia, were largely caused by governments refusing to allow food to get to certain regions of their countries. It wasn't the earth's inability to feed everyone. It was tyranny causing genocide and blaming it on natural causes. She seemed to feel relieved afterward.

She was also alarmed by the deforestation of the rain forests, but I can't remember what I told her about that.

The radicals of the '60s have taken over the educational system and pounded into our children that it's their (the children's) responsibility to save the planet from every horror the radicals can find. And the radicals can always find or invent new horrors that need to be solved immediately by everyone. Or else!

It's no wonder that the more compliant children--the ones who are eager to please and who take on all the tasks they're charged with--develop anxiety when they try for too long to achieve the impossible.

So, what's the answer?

Pickett said patients think they have to make big changes in their life, when the little things might be what matters most. Things like recycling, turning off lights, unplugging electrical items and carpooling can go a long way to ease the problem.

Children can also suffer from anxiety over the planet. Experts suggest getting them involved in a recycling program or planting a garden.

This advice is a big load of bull. These people are sick because the eco-whackos have taken over the schools and the mainstream media and injected the weak-minded repeatedly with the heroin of environmental fanaticism. And now their "cure" is to cut back a little on the heroin. Easily said, but it won't work.

What the eco-anxious people need is to throw off their eco-shackles and tell their oppressors to take a flying leap. Or maybe we could figure out a way to get the environmental totalitarians to just shut up. We'd all be better off if we could.

3 comments:

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Back in the mid-1980s, a close family member came to me in absolute distress because she was worried about the ability of the earth to support all the people. After all, people were already starving in Ethiopia from a famine that seemed to have no end in sight.

She shouldn't worry. We'll just make us some soylent green, if food-shortage ever happens from over-population.

Someone should market that, at a sci-fi convention, in the food court.

sarah Edwards said...

Concern about the environmental issues we face today and their economic consequences are not a mental illness. They are normal, natural concerns about serious implications. I have written about this misconception on my eco-anxiety blog http://eco-anxiety.blogspot.com/
I think it is very important that we do not treat these concerns as feelings to be discounted, assauged and calmed, but as signals that we each need to take note not only of the global and personal effects of what's happening but also that we each need to begin taking personal action to protect our personal futures as best we can.

SkyePuppy said...

Sarah,

You're right that concerns about environmental issues are not mental illness. It's when those concerns move into the realm of fears and panic, as some of the good doctor's patients experienced, that mental illness comes into play.

Of course we should be concerned for the environment. We are charged by God to take care of it, and if you don't believe in God, then it just makes good sense to take care of the world around us. But we should not allow our concern to devolve into distress that's deep enough to keep us from living our lives.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your views. I'll check out your blog.