Feeling climate anxiety? Tell us about it

Help us report on mental strain of climate change

FILE - A couple stands on what was an ancient packhorse bridge exposed by low water levels at Baitings Reservoir in Yorkshire as record high temperatures hit Ripponden, England, Aug. 12, 2022. Widespread drought that dried up large parts of Europe, the United States and China this past summer was made 20 times more likely by climate change, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File) (Jon Super, Jon Super)

ORLANDO, Fla. – For many, the concept of climate change can seem far too large and uncontrollable to pass off as an idle thing.

Dr. Stephanie Collier, an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, describes climate anxiety as “anxiety rooted in uncertainty about the future and alerting us to the dangers of a changing climate,” addressing it not as a disorder but as a valid concern rooted in observations of an ever changing and increasingly dangerous weather environment.

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As the still-budding study of climate anxiety largely enters the peer-review stage, Dr. Susan Clayton, a psychology professor at the College of Wooster, told News 6 that reliable academic sources on those feelings are scarce. That being so, studies such as our poll below that foster more direct interactions between researchers and participants are important to keep close until the collective understanding of climate anxiety improves.

“It’s stress, it’s panic, (it’s) even affected their eating and they felt like they would just freeze. They were sort of paralyzed,” Clayton said, referring to quotes sourced from a University of Bath survey released last September asking 10,000 young people across the globe: “Climate change makes me feel...”

Among the answers, more than 60% of respondents said “Sad,” “Afraid” and “Anxious,” between 40-60% of respondents returned answers, including “Angry,” “Ashamed” and “Grief,” and fewer than 33% said they felt “Optimistic” or “Indifferent” about climate change.

Today, though, we pose these questions to you.

Participate in our survey to help us report on the mental strain of climate change in the embedded document below or by following this link.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.