Deadly heat waves, home-wrecking hurricanes, neighborhood-scorching wildfires: When you stop to think about it, global warming can be downright depressing. Now, scientists are starting to validate that feeling.
According to accumulating evidence, climate change won't just trigger new cases of stress, anxiety and depression. People who already have schizophrenia and other serious psychological problems will probably suffer most in the aftermath of natural disasters and extreme weather events.
"When these events happen, people with pre-established mental illnesses often have more extreme difficulty coping than the rest of the population," said Lisa Page, a psychiatrist at King's College London. "This is an area we maybe need to think about a little more seriously."
In public health circles and even in climate talks, scientists have looked a lot at how climate change might affect physical health, by for example, spurring the spread of malaria, dengue fever and other infectious diseases.