Experts have said more and more children are being treated for “eco-anxiety”, as parents are warned to avoid “terrifying” their children with talk of a climate catastrophe.
Protests around the world are set to take place on Friday, with schoolchildren making up a large percentage of attendees. Recent Amazonian fires, along with the impact of movements such as Extinction Rebellion and dire warnings by the environmentalist Greta Thunberg, have all contributed to what experts report is a “tsunami” of young people claiming eco-anxiety.
The Daily Telegraph reports:
A group of psychologists working with the University of Bath says it is receiving a growing volume of enquiries from teachers, doctors and therapists unable to cope. The Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) told The Daily Telegraph some children complaining of eco-anxiety have even been given psychiatric drugs.
The body is campaigning for anxiety specifically caused by fear for the future of the planet to be recognised as a psychological phenomenon. However, they do not want it classed as a mental illness because, unlike standard anxiety, the cause of the worry is “rational”.
“A lot of parents are coming into therapy asking for help with the children and it has escalated a lot this summer,” said Caroline Hickman, a teaching fellow at Bath and a CPA executive. “The symptoms are the same [as clinical anxiety], the feelings are the same, but the cause is different.
“The fear is of environmental doom – that we’re all going to die.”