Water pollution is a serious issue that affects many people. It can significantly impact health, but it’s easy to overlook. And it’s not just bad for the environment. It can also have severe effects on your mental health. This article will elaborate on how water pollution can affect your mental health and what you can do about it.
It Can Cause Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety caused by water contamination are treatable conditions. However, there are several ways in which water pollution may lead to depression and anxiety. The most obvious is that when your body is exposed to harmful chemicals, it cannot function properly. In addition, it will weaken your immune system. As a result, it will make you more likely to contract an illness that could lead to depression or anxiety symptoms like panic attacks.
Another way in which water pollution may lead to depression and anxiety is by affecting the levels of serotonin, known as the “happy hormone” in your brain. A decrease in these levels can result in feelings of despair, sadness, and hopelessness over time. It can also cause irritability or anger towards others who seem happy around you. These could be your family members if they don’t understand why you aren’t feeling well at home. It’s also worth noting that some medications, such as cancer chemotherapy drugs, are used to treat diseases.
Water pollution can also have neurobehavioral effects. For example, at Camp Lejeune, severe health impacts have been identified in military personnel, their families, and civilian employees exposed to hazardous compounds. These contained harmful chemicals like Trichloroethylene (TCE), Benzene, Tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC), and Vinyl Chloride. Due to this, the neurobehavioral effects of Camp Lejeune water contamination may result in Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, ALS, and other neurological disorders.
It Can Lead To Chronic Stress
You may think that stress is a normal part of life. And it is, but exposure to chronic stress can affect your mental and physical health. In America, 55% of adults report feeling stressed most of the time.
Here’s how stress works: When experiencing something stressful, the body immediately reacts to help cope with the situation. Small amounts of stress can make you feel energized and alert. On the other hand, moderate levels make you feel focused, and large amounts of stress start to strain your body.
The problem comes when you are more exposed to chronic or prolonged stress. In these cases, the body continues to react as if there’s still danger even when there isn’t. It leads to symptoms of anxiety disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder or depression, which other things besides exposure to pollution can also cause.
It Can Lead to Drug Abuse and Addiction
Water pollution can lead to the use of drugs and alcohol, which can lead to addiction. People addicted to drugs often strongly desire them, even if they know that using them is harmful. In addition, people can become addicted by taking drugs or drinking alcohol in high doses over a long period.
A National Institute on Drug Abuse report states that 20.4 million Americans were diagnosed with substance use disorder in 2021. Drug abuse is defined as using a substance, including prescription medications, in a way not intended by the manufacturer. At the same time, addiction is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite harmful consequences to health and well-being.
It can lead to dependence on the substance and an inability to stop using it without experiencing psychological or physical symptoms. These include withdrawal from their body without it being in their system anymore. The signs that someone you care about may have an addiction include chemicals in their bloodstream, changes in sleeping patterns, and irritability or mood swings.
It Can Impact Your Cognitive Functioning and Thinking
Your cognitive function includes learning, remembering, and thinking. These are all essential parts of your everyday life, whether you’re learning something new at school or college. It also helps you recall information from your past or decide what you want to do tomorrow.
Water pollution can affect cognitive function, which refers to the mental processes involved in thinking, learning, and remembering. It is also known as brain power or intelligence. The development of cognitive skills occurs through childhood into adulthood and is necessary for survival in an ever-changing world. It allows you to absorb new information through external stimuli such as sights and sounds.
It Causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) In Children
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder that affects children and adults. It can cause problems with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. ADHD is often treated with medication and behavioral therapy.
There are three types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. Symptoms include daydreaming, losing things quickly, not listening when spoken to directly, and forgetting what you’re doing or where you’re going. Also, avoiding eye contact when talking to someone now face-to-face as they aren’t comfortable with others who look into their eyes for long periods due to nervousness. It could make them less confident in social situations where there’s no escape from interacting with unfamiliar people.
It Disturbs Sleep Patterns
Water pollution can also disturb your sleep patterns, which can lead to a variety of problems. For example, sleep disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea are common in people near polluted waters. The increased risk of these conditions is linked with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse issues like alcoholism or drug addiction.
In addition, children who suffer from sleep disorders are at an increased risk for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). They are also susceptible to personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
The effects of sleep deprivation on mental health are numerous but can reduce most of them by establishing good sleeping habits. Lack of sleep can lead to depression, anxiety, obesity, and heart disease. And if you’re already experiencing depression or anxiety due to water pollution, the lack of sleep will likely worsen these conditions. Therefore it’s essential not only for your physical health but also for your mental health. Thus increase your quality of life and establish good sleeping habits so that you get enough rest every night.
It Increases the Risk of Developing Personality Disorders in Adults
According to Mental Health America, mental illnesses are present in 9.86% of adults. Around 50 million Americans, to be exact. Having a personality disorder is different from having depression or anxiety. Personality disorders are mental health conditions that affect how you behave, think, and feel. They can cause problems with relationships and work.
People with personality disorders have particular traits that form part of their identity. People who don’t have them may find these traits challenging to understand or accept. It is because they seem so different from what most people are like. But it’s important not to judge someone with a personality disorder just because they appear additional. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treating them all.
The Best Way to Protect Water Quality Is to Prevent Water Pollution
The way to protect water quality is to prevent water pollution in the first place. The best way to do this is by reducing the amount of waste you produce and recycling and reusing products. Compost food waste, buy local and organic food, and don’t use toxic chemicals in your home. Also, consider installing a rain barrel or ground cover system to collect rainwater for irrigation. Finally, avoid all means of water flowing into storm drains that lead directly into rivers or streams, causing water pollution.