A recent article in the Journal Ecospychology raises the issue of how we respond psychologically to the changes happening so rapidly around us – referred to as Climate Trauma. The Abstract reads:


“The disarmingly innocuous term “climate change” expresses a psychosocial defense mechanism that prompts us to recoil when we consider the implications of climate science. When viewed honestly through the lens of traumatology, this deepening existential crisis presents an entirely new, unprecedented, and higher-order category of trauma: Climate Trauma. What is unique about this category of trauma is that it is an ever-present, ever-growing threat to the biosphere, one that calls into question our shared identity: What does it mean to be “human” in the Anthropocene? Because it is superordinate, Climate Trauma is continually triggering all past traumas—personal, cultural, and intergenerational—and will continue to do so until such time as it is acknowledged. Climate Trauma provides the missing narrative explaining our dissociated unresponsiveness to the climate crisis, and suggests an alternative approach to effecting the kind of fundamental societal change needed to remedy our collective dissociation. The first steps toward effecting this kind of ambitious sociocultural change are naming the disorder and reforming the taxonomy of psychological trauma.”

For Doctors looking to bridge health and conservation in the right way, this is another example of one of the subtleties of health that is so important to take into account in order to make a real difference. We must help people, including our patients, acknowledge the Trauma so they can accept it and deal with it – this will enable them to start engaging with the changes around them in a constructive way. 


Read the Full Article: Climate Trauma: Toward a New Taxonomy of Trauma