Add this to the list of ways our brains can be changed that we don’t really understand very well.
“The series made clear that air, water, and climate pollution leads to a wide range of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Some of the most damning reporting was what we didn’t find: Data on how pollution is altering our brains are surprisingly scarce. Generations of Americans have likely suffered changes to their brains that leave them more susceptible to mental illness, yet the scientific literature is largely blind to a root cause: environmental pollution.”
We have only recently realized that childhood trauma can change the way our brains develop, or that concussions can change our brains permanently. We are still learning the details of how that happens and in the very early stages of figuring out how to treat that.
Could living in a polluted area do something similar? Of course. Why wouldn’t we believe that? It’s another example of something we are just beginning to understand about our brains and mental health.
We have been living in a world where mental health issues have been becoming more and more common in the last few years, even before the pandemic. We do not understand all of the things that may be contributing to this increase, let alone how some of it might be prevented.
I agree with the article below, we need to learn more, quickly.