What to know about eco-anxiety

Eco-anxiety refers to a fear of environmental damage or ecological disaster. 

This sense of anxiety is largely based on the current and predicted future state of the environment and human-induced climate change.

According to a 2022 national survey, almost 70% of people in the United States are worried about climate change, and around 51% feel “helpless.”

Anxiety around environmental issues may stem from the awareness of a rising risk of extreme weather events, losses of livelihood or housing, fears for future generations, and feelings of helplessness.

Anxiety around environmental issues can stem from experiencing, being at risk of, or having loved ones at risk of climate-related extreme weather, including hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires.

Media coverage of environmental destruction can be overwhelming, and evidence for humans’ negative impact on the environment is increasing. 

People may also feel guilty or anxious about the impact that their or their generation’s behavior may have on the environment and that of future generations.

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