Eco anxiety
Eco Anxiety

Eco Anxiety: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, and How to Deal With It | Currently, the world is experiencing an environmental (ecological) crisis, which is mostly caused by human activities. As a result, many environments are damaged and not a few can affect a person’s mental condition to cause anxiety disorder as eco anxiety.

For more details, the following will be discussed thoroughly what it is eco-anxiety to how to solve it.

What is eco-anxiety?

Eco anxiety is a condition that describes an increase in emotional and mental stress on a person in response to changes in the environment and climate.

According to American Psychiatric Association (WHAT), eco-anxiety described as a chronic (long-term) fear of impending environmental catastrophe.

This anxiety disorder is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). That is, doctors do not consider it a medical condition that can be diagnosed.

The direct effects of climate change such as damage to the local environment and the difficulty of finding food sources can cause mental disorders I.

Recent studies and surveys that explicitly examine environmental anxiety or climate anxiety, explain that a large number of people experience environmental or environmental anxiety eco-anxiety.

In a 2019 national survey of climate anxiety and emotion in Finland, it was revealed that 25% of the population recognizes some form of climate anxiety in themselves.

In a US survey in December 2019, 68% of respondents said they felt at least some environmental anxiety.

Anxiety in the survey was defined as climate anxiety and about 25% of the population felt most of it.

This anxiety can turn chronic when climate change results in rising sea levels and drastic changes in weather patterns.

However, actually feeling anxious and worried about the environmental crisis is a normal response from someone because of their concern for the environment.

However, it is different when the condition begins to affect your daily activities. This kind of thing must be dealt with immediately.

Symptoms of eco anxiety

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), climate change can affect a person’s mental health which can be seen from the signs and symptoms in the form of::

  • Anxiety,
  • Trauma and shock,
  • Depression,
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
  • Drug abuse,
  • Reduced self-control,
  • Trouble sleeping,
  • Easy to get angry,
  • Fear, and
  • Helpless.

If the above signs and symptoms are not detected immediately, this can increase the risk of serious health problems, such as: high blood pressure and heart disease.

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Causes of eco-anxiety

Here are some factors that can cause: eco-anxiety on someone.

1. Trauma from natural disasters

Trauma from natural disasters can change a person’s view of how to save himself.

More or less similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, they think that the world is not a safe place after experiencing trauma and shock.

2. Live or work in an area affected by environmental change

There may be some areas that have never experienced a major environmental disaster, but that does not mean that these areas will not be affected by environmental changes.

For example, when experiencing a drought, of course, clean water sources will be difficult to obtain. This also affects the people who live in the area.

The people who work in the area are no exception. Environmental changes actually have a fairly large adverse impact, especially for people with more severe anxiety disorders.

3. Watch information about environmental disasters

When a bad event is broadcast in the media, most people will be affected or even lose control of their emotions.

Someone with eco-anxiety also has something to do with doom scrolling. That is, they are constantly looking for information on social media without knowing the truth.

Several studies report that this condition can lead to more severe depression and anxiety disorders.

How to deal with eco anxiety

The solution to environmental problems is very dependent on changes made by the community and the government. Even so, you can still handle eco-anxiety through the following methods.

1. Take positive action

Positive actions can help reduce anxiety caused by environmental changes. Here are positive actions you can take.

  • Discuss with others about how to take good care of the environment.
  • Volunteer in a neighborhood group.
  • Do recycling.
  • Reduce the use of packaged products.

2. Looking for accurate information

Obtaining accurate information about the environment can empower the community as well as help them to be more critical in dealing with environmental problems.

If you lack information, let alone rely on inaccurate information, it will certainly be more difficult for you to understand the problems of climate change and the environment.

Therefore, you can find out the information first through a trusted source. It also educates yourself about environmental issues.

3. Trying to stay optimistic

Positive and optimistic thinking can help you adjust to the current environmental problems.

People who are able to reframe the problem with a positive response will be able to deal with it eco-anxiety what he experienced.

In addition, positive thinking also helps break up negative thoughts that are the cause of chronic anxiety.

4. If it gets worse, contact a doctor immediately

Currently, many psychologists have received training on how to manage their patient’s relationship with the environment and deal with environmental problems themselves.

Someone with eco-anxiety more severe may not be able to do the above methods alone. Therefore, a psychologist is needed to deal with anxiety.

It is likely that psychologists will carry out various therapies and counseling related to this.


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  3. Eco Anxiety: What It Is & How to Deal With It. (2022). Retrieved April 8, 2022, from
  4. What is eco-anxiety?. (2021). Retrieved April 8, 2022, from
  5. Pihkala, P. (2020). Eco-Anxiety and Environmental Education. Sustainability, 12(23), 10149.

Last Updated on May 5, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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