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Under the bright white lights of a central London exhibition space, a few dozen people are sorting themselves into groups. An instructor tells those that feel extremely worried about climate change to go to the far end of the room. Those that are less worried should stay closer to her. Moments later, she is mostly alone. Thirty feet away, strangers awkwardly cram together, signaling that they suffer “eco-anxiety.”
This workshop, organized by King’s College London, is one of several events organized in the British capital this fall to help people work through the feelings of anxiety, depression and grief that arise from confronting the fact that, according to the U.N., we now have less than 11 years to prevent catastrophic climate change. “I try not to be hard on myself, because I know I’m doing as much as I can,” says Leyla Kaya, a 29 year-old IT consultant. She is vegan, avoids flights and has reduced her non-recyclable waste to less than a liter a month, but she’s worried by how little action governments and other individuals are taking. “It’s really scary. It does get me down.”
American - Psychological - Association - Eco-anxiety - Fear
The American Psychological Association first defined eco-anxiety in 2017 as “a chronic fear of environmental doom.” In 2019, as climate protests, heatwaves and a barrage of natural disasters have pushed climate up the news agenda, eco-anxiety has exploded across the Western world—even as developing countries have suffered most from climate change so far. Mental health studies from Greenland to Australia reveal a surge in people reporting stress or depression about the climate. Interest in The Good Grief Network, a U.S.-based organization coordinating support groups for eco-anxiety sufferers, has surged in the last 6 months, with branches popping up in half a dozen states. In...
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