Month: October 2021

How to Keep Your Child Mentally Healthy During Climate Change

We’ve been experiencing climate change in recent years due to our heavy reliance on fossil fuels. This has heightened the intensity and frequency of natural disasters. Such issues may enhance a child’s vulnerability to mental issues such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Many in the solar industry recommend using renewable energy, which is eco-friendly. Still, a complete transition to green energy will take several years to happen, if it happens at all. Burning fossil fuels has polluted the air, which has been linked to children’s experiences of depression and anxiety.

This article discusses the affiliation between climate change and your child’s mental wellbeing. It also discusses what you can do to sustain your child’s mental health in a changing climate.

How Does Climate Change Affect Your Kids’ Mental Wellbeing?

Due to climate change, the intensity of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires increases. During the occurrence of a natural disaster, many families will be forced to leave their homes and properties behind to survive. In the aftermath of this disaster, this family may become destitute and have trouble getting access to basic needs such as drinking water, food, and shelter.

A negative experience such as this will trigger mental disorders in your kids, such as the ones above mentioned. A study was conducted on 400 respondents (between the ages of 8-16 years) who are recovering from PTSD following Hurricane Katrina. The study discovered that:

  • Roughly 25% of the respondents developed post-traumatic stress disorder shortly after the hurricane incident. However, a couple of years after the hurricane, there was a decline in the symptoms of PTSD.
  • A minority of the respondents still exhibited the symptoms of PTSD two years after the hurricane struck.

Triggers of Mental Issues in Children and Teenagers

These triggers are described as Adverse Childhood Events, which are traumatic events that can trigger “toxic stress”. This type of stress can impair the development of their young bodies and brains, which may have long-lasting health complications.

Some of the common adverse childhood events include:

  • Neglect
  • Parental mental disorders
  • Physical abuse
  • Divorce
  • Being exposed to violence
  • Natural disasters

Natural disasters will most likely result in mental health issues for the child, particularly when the child directly experiences the loss of their home or a loved one. The greater your kids’ exposure to adverse childhood events, the more vulnerable they are to developing health issues, which might stem from drug abuse, unwanted pregnancies, HIV, or even cancer.

How to Help your Child’s Mental Health?

Suppose your children have experienced a natural disaster or consistently worry about the direct effect of climate change on them. In that case, you can make them resilient to the resulting toxic stress by doing the following:

  1. Be more involved in the life of your child. The presence of a parent or adult can act as an effective buffer or cushion against the development of toxic stress for a child or teen.
  2. You can encourage your kids to take healthy risks to make them more resilient to adversity. Healthy risks include stepping out of your comfort zone to try out new activities or become acquainted with new people. Doing things like this can enhance their self-confidence.
  3. Be a role model by teaching your kids the benefit of persistence by overcoming an obstacle in your life. For example, when your child is failing at something, talk to them about your setbacks and challenges and how you overcame them. Make your kids understand that challenges are part of life, and persistence is key to surmounting them.

The Role of Communities in Making Children Resilient to Traumatic Events Triggered by Climate Change

  • Provision of excellent education at the early stages
  • Having teachers who can show care to students directly affected by a traumatic event
  • Provision of green spaces which can improve mental health

The Connection between Dehydration and Depression

When it comes to treating depression and other mental health concerns, there are numerous therapy options. Counseling, exercise, medicine, adequate sleep, nutrition, and pure drinking water, and meditation are just a few of the tried-and-true methods. Treatments like these in the field of mental health are well-known and widely used today. On the other hand, hydration is a basic strategy that is only now beginning to gain traction.

Significance of Water

Water is essential for the proper functioning of every system and organ in your body, including your brain. Water makes up around 75% of your brain’s volume. Because your brain’s activity and functioning mostly determine mental health, new research has found a correlation between sadness and dehydration.

According to the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut, a 1.5% drop in body water volume can have a substantial impact on your energy levels, clarity of mind, and mood. However, thanks to innovations like water filters, most people can afford to avoid the effects of dehydration.

Effects of Dehydration

Dehydration affects your brain’s capacity to function correctly, making you more susceptible to depression and less able to combat it. To assist our clients in living their best lives, we are dedicated to helping them stay hydrated and healthy. Continue reading to see how staying hydrated can help you avoid and combat depression.

Depression: What Is It and What Causes It?

Depression is a multifaceted mental health condition that is influenced by numerous physiological and neurological systems. According to the Mayo Clinic, a persistent feeling of sadness and a loss of interest are symptoms of depression. Sufferers of depression experience several mental and physical side effects due to their altered state of mind.

People who suffer from depression frequently report fatigue, sleep problems, a lack of desire, and an overriding sense of helplessness. Psychological, social, and biological factors are all thought to contribute to depression. As the increasing study has demonstrated, these pressures alter brain function, resulting in the symptoms we collectively refer to as “depression.” Hydration is a critical step in the fight against and control of brain function disorders that lead to depression.

Depression as a Result of Dehydration

Depression as a Result of Dehydration

Why does dehydration worsen depression? Lack of water impairs the performance of your body’s systems. Depression can be exacerbated by dehydration because of the way it inhibits your brain’s ability to manufacture energy. The energy generation in your brain is impeded if you do not drink enough water and are dehydrated. This has a significant impact on your ability to think clearly and effectively.

When you are dehydrated, your brain’s normal functions slow down or stop altogether due to a lack of energy. This is especially true if you’re stressed or anxious. Shutting down certain brain functions has been linked to depression, according to the research.

Lack of Serotonin

Depression is aggravated by dehydration because it prevents your brain from producing serotonin. Known as “the happy chemical,” serotonin is a key neurotransmitter in your brain, increasing your overall sense of well-being and pleasure. Dehydration, which reduces your brain’s ability to manufacture serotonin, is a major cause of sadness and is aggravated by low serotonin levels.

Insufficient Tryptophan

Tryptophan, an amino acid, is converted by your body into serotonin. To turn tryptophan into serotonin, it must be transported across the blood-brain barrier, but this activity necessitates a lot of water. There will be insufficient tryptophan in your brain for conversion to serotonin if you are dehydrated. You will experience anxiety, depression, irritability, and feelings of inadequacy due to dehydration because it reduces the number of other amino acids in your brain.

Stress

Increased stress is the fourth way that dehydration can lead to depression. Most people associate sadness with stress, and when you don’t drink enough water, your body is caught in a vicious cycle of stress and dehydration that only worsens with time.

When you are under stress, your adrenal glands overproduce the stress hormone cortisol. Chronic stress, on the other hand, wears out your adrenal glands, making them less effective. Aldosterone, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands, controls your body’s fluid and electrolyte levels. A drop in aldosterone production causes dehydration. Water consumption can make you feel less stressed, which in turn lessens the symptoms of depression.