Air Quality and Mental Health – Improve Your Headspace
On Mental Health
As mental health awareness has increased and long standing stigma has decreased, many people are investigating the root causes of mental health conditions. Mental health disorders are something more than a mere state of mind, they are a serious condition, many of which require treatment. We know that various external and internal factors contribute to keeping our minds happy and healthy. Now is the perfect time to educate ourselves on the link between mental health and air quality.
Air Quality and Mental Health
Air quality has affected humankind for centuries. While some conditions have seemingly improved since the industrial revolution, there is much to examine beyond the surface. While there is not as much visible smog in the air around cities as there once was, the harmful particles in the air have not disappeared, they have just gotten smaller. Harmful microscopic particles, positive ions, are created in droves by modern technology.
Poor air quality is a slippery slope. Some of the smallest pollutants pass through the blood-brain barrier, potentially compromising the healthy brain. Air pollution can also cause increased inflammation in the body, which may ignite the stress response signals in the brain. Some pollutants create disturbances in individuals sleeping patterns. This can cause breathing issues, which can also lead to a host of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
As global warming continues to plague the earth, and humans as a species spend more time indoors, we can only expect these negative effects to increase in both severity and occurrences. Long-term exposure to air pollution may also have large-scale negative effects on our wellbeing. Long term exposure causes inflammation in the central nervous system, which in turn, may increase the risk of developing a depressed mood, and possibly anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric disorders.
The Mental Health of Children
Of the many studies that have proven the negative effects of poor air quality on mental health, perhaps the scariest are those that study the mental health of children. One alarming stat, as of 2018, 1 in 7 children and teens in the US have a mental health condition. This study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, examined short-term exposure to small particulate matter pollution and mental health effects in children. The study found that pollution was linked to worsening mental health disorders, just days after exposure to the pollution.
The Gravity of the Situation
9 out of 10 people breathe in polluted air every day. This may explain another disturbing stat; depression affects over 300 million people worldwide. This is a health crisis!
Protect Yourself and Your Family
You cannot always ensure perfect air quality while out and about. Purify your own air with PurifyPal. PurifyPal uses negative ions to clean the air around your mouth, nose, eyes, and ears. Discreetly wear PurifyPal as a necklace, and breath freely. If you are experiencing any mental health concerns, please speak to a trusted loved one, friend, family member, or call 1-800-273-8255. If you are in crisis, call 911, or your county’s emergency number.