Solution to “Eco-Anxiety”? Get busy creating MORE Eco-Anxiety
by Igor Chudov
Big news from the World Economic Forum’s agenda article: Eco-anxiety is a major mental health issue for our young people.
67% of young people are concerned about the impact of climate change on their mental health.
Reread this, please!
They are not merely worried about climate change. They are concerned about the impact of worrying about “climate change” on their MENTAL HEALTH!
Since many of my readers are not currently suffering from eco-anxiety, some may not immediately understand the mental struggle. But it is real, I assure you.
So bad is the climate change anxiety that there exists a “Climate Psychiatry Alliance,” an organization of psychiatrists helping those suffering from climate change anxiety. Watch the co-founder of the “Climate Psychiatry Alliance” explain her work helping sufferers of climate anxiety.
World Economic Forum’s article acknowledges that there is a mental health pandemic caused by eco-anxiety:
Identifying as female, using social media, and having a sense of helplessness all increase susceptibility to this new global mental health pandemic.
Fortunately, the WEF has a suggestion on how to cope with climate anxiety: engage in activism. A young sufferer of climate change anxiety Sofia Palau did just that. To alleviate her sense of helplessness, she joined a youth climate activism group, “Youth vs. Apocalypse,” whose purpose is actually to create MORE climate anxiety:
No doubt, like most in-groups, “Youth vs. Apocalypse” take pains to validate and normalize their climate anxieties. Having “climate change panic attacks” is a matter of course for them and is celebrated.
Recruiting more young people into their climate advocacy group reaffirms their general outlook. It finds an outlet for frustrations that rule its members. Watch the video if you want.
The WEF agenda article explains the theoretical underpinnings:
While emotion-focused coping has been the most common strategy used by adolescents and young adults to date, research has found that meaning-focused coping is the most effective in regards to eco-anxiety. When done correctly, meaning-focused coping, such as getting involved in the fight against climate change through volunteering or campaigning, facilitates positive emotions like hope without ignoring negative ones like anger or anxiety.
The end result is processing, rather than getting stuck in, anxiety and feeling motivated to engage in activism and other pro-environmental behavior.
What is the result? More and more anxiety-affected young people suffering from real mental health problems, with adults in charge recommending that they get together and recruit more people who would also be made to suffer from climate anxiety.
The likely outcome is mass psychosis or mass formation of people who are good and well-intentioned but stuck in an anxiety-ridden in-group circular dynamic.
This pandemic of climate fear is not entirely dissimilar to the “mass formation” that Matias Desmet discussed so many times concerning whipping up fear during the Covid pandemic. Is the climate anxiety mass formation purely accidental? Not really.
All this is facilitated by rich old men with well-positioned investments, of course.
The press, sponsored by the same rich old men, intentionally creates climate anxiety in people also:
Kids are particularly targeted with child-friendly but anxiety-provoking messaging:
Please be Respectful to Your Own Kids!
I hope my somewhat tongue-in-cheek but completely accurate retelling of what is going on in the mental health/climate activism world was interesting and perhaps made you smile.
Do NOT, please, make my story into a justification to dismiss your children! If your children, or young friends, suffer from climate anxiety, remember that
- they are human beings
- they base their emotions on what they see on TV and on their social feeds
- that stuff is important to them
- rebelliousness is a part of growing up
- anxiety, helplessness, and hysteria do NOT need to be parts of growing up
- we live in an uncertain world, and some of their concerns may be justified
- the number one goal is NOT to lose their trust and respect
- never dismiss them as persons or make fun of their anxieties
Any parent whose child has ANY anxiety needs to engage with the child, listen to them, NOT be judgmental, offer support, etc. Our children are NOT copies of ourselves (I bet you changed compared to when you were 16 also,) and we cannot force them to think the way we want.
A bonus is instilling a sense of self-reliance and internal locus of control in your children so that they do not feel “helplessness” and are not compelled to be a part of groups to normalize their anxieties. Helplessness drives many bad decisions and affects mental and physical health.
I am not a child psychiatrist or anything, but if my own hypothetical daughter (I have two great sons) suffered from climate anxiety, I would listen to her extensively. Then I would plant trees with her and make her dig big holes (the bigger, the better) to plant larger trees. Small trees are too easy. Perhaps plant a garden to “use less diesel fuel to grow food.”
Challenge some of their most anxiety-provoking beliefs without dismissing them. Explain how this tree needs CO2 to grow. That could give the child a sense of purpose and balance instead of falling prey to lunatic groups like “Youth Apocalypse.”
If you, my reader, disagree with me, you are welcome to comment and explain why.
Covid-Skeptics, in-Group Mentality, Anxiety, and Helplessness
My message would be remiss without noting that we, Covid-skeptics, also form an in-group with a very special narrative. Being vilified and targeted by the media, of course, does not help. Worrying about our health and loved ones could also create anxiety — oftentimes justified. A sense of helplessness among the unvaccinated was purposely instilled:
I am also, frankly, worried about what will happen with excess mortality and a reduction in births!
Thus, we could be susceptible to the same challenges as some climate-anxious young people. So let’s make sure that we keep each other challenged, debate, and use our virtual gatherings to at least somewhat alleviate our anxieties instead of always whipping them up.
I am personally guilty of making several anxiety–provoking posts. I kind of realized that a while ago and try to mix them with good news to keep the balance.
Sorry if I sound too opinionated. Guilty as charged.
What do you think about the climate change mental health crisis?