Mental health disorders are a huge global burden. It affects approximately one in five people that meet specific criteria of a known condition. Therefore, it can be concluded that almost 80 percent of individuals experienced a mental health problem over their lifetime. Some of these conditions are incredibly disabling. Of course, not all of these mental health issues are a necessary cause of death, but they link mostly to a huge source of people’s disability.
Risk Factors Of Mental Health
There are no specific risk factors for mental health disorders as people deal with the conditions differently. But research shows that mental illnesses are more common among individuals with traumatic experiences, socially disadvantaged groups, and ones with chronic conditions. Some conditions also become common when there is already an existing mental illness or genetically available condition.
Experts believe that mental health problems depend on risk factors generally coming from the kind of life people live and their environments. It involves daily experiences such as poverty, exclusion, trauma, conflict, chronic diseases, etc. With this wide variety of reasons for mental illness, it is significantly important to understand the risk factors. It is essential to find ways to deal with the condition and address future mental health complications.
The Connection Of Air Pollution To Mental Illness
The large industries releasing massive fumes, cars emitting smoke, agricultural burning of fields, and smug engulfing the skies, are all contributors to air pollution. All of these are risk factors that add to the growth of mental illness in people.
Does air pollution really affect mental health? People might question the connection of air pollution to mental health problems as these two things are far more unrelated than ever. At first thought, they might say that it does not make much sense. However, studies show an emerging source that suggests the correlation of air pollution to mental health disorders.
In some previous years, the idea that these two things are related comes from the worries and distress people deal with their environment. Meaning, the buildup of mental health conditions only lies in people’s concern for the environment’s health. However, in the present years where people constantly expose themselves to air pollution, experts began looking closely to more mechanistic causes. These include studies in the toxicological and animal literature.
The observations included in the research consist of persistent exposure to moderate levels of nitrogen oxide, which leads to psychiatric illnesses. It also tackles the involvement of the environment where higher levels of traffic exist in such big cities. Some studies reveal that too much exposure to air pollution causes a series of psychiatric disorders, particularly nicotine addiction, alcohol dependence, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, stress, anxiety, and depression. Generally, the study is genuinely difficult to translate as there are considerations in it. But the results are highly suggestive.
According to another study, air pollution contributes to certain conditions that promote moderate to severe mental illness such as anxiety, stress, and depression. One in particular damaging factor is inflammation oxidative stress. It is a particular thing that gets associated with mental health as it impacts either the body or the brain, or both.
And since air pollution is known as a risk factor for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, experts believe that it can exacerbate symptoms where people interpret it as a feeling of anxiousness or depression. Aside from that, there is evidence that air pollution impacts the neurotransmitter levels of the brain, specifically the stress response.
The Realm Of Air Pollution And Suicide
People might think that linking air pollution to mental illness is unacceptable. However, there are scientific studies that provide answers to the correlation. Mental health disorders and air pollution seem to work together like suicides are more likely to occur in certain situations where air pollution is high. But admittedly, there are a lot of unknowns to this suicide and air pollution link. Though some experts claim a potential link between these two, the inconsistency is far more obvious than the desired result.
Though the realm of pollution and suicide is somehow uncertain, other studies are still ahead of the result. That includes the suggestions that prove the influence of air pollution on mental health symptoms, including anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental health conditions contributing to suicide. But then again, these studies need to be proven as it is still causing an ongoing debate among individuals.
The lesson to learn here is quite simple. Air pollution may not have a direct impact on mental health problems. Still, it certainly acts as a catalyst or an aggravating factor that contributes largely to lung and heart health complications. Unfortunately, it also has the ability to put the central nervous system at risk for other severe psychological health issues.