Study shows new physical factors that affect mental health of city dwellers

Study shows new physical factors that affect mental health of city dwellers

August 23, 2019

Study shows new physical factors that affect mental health of city dwellers

Mental Health

All that glitter is not gold. Blinded by the glitz and glamour of city life, one tends to ignore the various physical and mental risks they are exposed to. According to experts from different governmental organizations, people living in big cities have almost 40 percent higher risk of developing depression and twice the risk of developing schizophrenia than their rural counterparts. Further, occurrence of mental health illnesses is more common amongst city dwellers especially those born in densely populated areas.

Over the years, mental health disorders amongst city dwellers have been attributed to problems like stress, loneliness, and work pressure amongst others, however, according to a recent study it has been found that certain physical factors such as noise pollution and air quality also affect mental health.

According to a joint study, conducted by Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, director of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, and Matilda van den Bosch, an environmental health researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, there are a number of physical factors that contribute to mental illness. While factors like air and lead pollution are likely to affect the city crowd, people living in rural areas are affected by dangers like pesticides.

Potential threats

The study findings suggested that chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals like mercury and lead may contribute to the development of mental illnesses. But it was clear that air pollution definitely caused mental health disorders. In addition to several problems related to the lungs and the heart, it also caused psychiatric problems like paranoia, depression, and anxiety. Because breathing is essential in order to live, everyone is exposed to different levels of air pollution which might vary according to the location.

Meyer-Lindenberg compared city life to the two sides of a coin. While people living in cities have access to better education, healthcare, and employment opportunities, they also tend to suffer more due to factors like air pollution, water pollution, loneliness, and lack of natural surroundings.

According to estimates, by 2050, nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, hence it is important that people especially city dwellers promote mental and physical wellbeing. However, it will be wrong to completely blame cities for mental health illnesses as these are also caused by other factors such as genetics and substance abuse. Physical surroundings also act as aggressive contributors to emotional health.

Fighting mental illnesses

All is however not lost. It has been observed that physical environment boosts mental wellbeing. Picturesque locations like beaches, green landscapes, and physical activities tend to lower the risk of mental health disorders and contribute to healthier lifestyles. Regular researches are conducted from time-to-time to analyze how physical factors affect mental health. Simple preventive steps like planting trees and using recyclable products will have a positive impact on the overall health of the public.

Apart from the discussed preventive measures, treatment for mental health disorders is available at various reputed and licensed treatment centers across the country. If you or a loved one is battling mental health disorders and is looking for licensed inpatient mental health treatment centers, get in touch with Invictus Health Group. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-548-0190 and speak to a member of our team. You can also chat online to a representative for more information on residential mental health facilities.

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