The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Research predicts major mental health effects of Gulf oil spill

When I read articles like that below I am left wondering why this is such a “surprise”.  How could living through such an event as the oil spill, Katrina, a hurricane, an earthquake, a mudslide, a flood, etc. not produce long term psychological damage to the person involved.  How is it that the general population does not see that?

This oil spill was unbelievable and even people who where not directly affected by it reacted to it with emotional responses.  I was depressed for the entire time that oil was billowing underwater.  I am still depressed for the losses of that area and for the loss of part of our American heritage.  I am angry with BP for the slow response and for the cavalier way they talked about this incident.

There are many people who have been adversely affected by these events simply because the nightly news rubs it into our faces with such glee.

This article can be found at SFGate.

This is just one of many articles about the effect of the oil spill on our population.  This is one of the better ones but I do encourage you to read these articles and learn about the long term effects such an event can have.

Please read the comments and then leave your own.


The Gulf of Mexico, as the recent oil spill reminded us, is a landscape, a way of life, and an entire economy. So what happens what all of that is threatened? Researcher Deborah Du Nann Winter, professor of psychology at Whitman College, predicts a significant uptick in depression and withdrawal in a new interview with Ecopsychology.

As the journal’s name suggests, a field is cropping up around the potential psychological effects of ecological disasters — which we will increasingly face as the climate unravels (today: Earl).

A study in the November issue of Psychological Medicine predicted that climate change will have serious effects on global mental health. With the rise of natural disasters such as floods — which are like the oil spill in their human effects — post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression will rise. Forced migrations will also feed mental illness.

Loss of your way of life, an abyss into which Gulf fishermen are still peering, is not easy to take.

And those who already suffer from mental illness — who may have inadequate housing and pre-existing physical conditions — will be hit hardest, according to the Psychological Medicine study.

Indeed, environmental anger, Dr. Winter told Ecopsychology is “a way of masking the really unfathomable and profound despair that is just under the surface as we watch this catastrophe unfold.” She was referring to the BP oil spill, but she could just as well have been describing climate change.

Posted By: Cameron Scott (Email, Twitter, Facebook) | August 31 2010 at 10:25 AM

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September 1, 2010 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Tagged: Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Environment, Gulf of Mexico, Mental disorder, Mental Health, Posttraumatic stress disorder The Mental Health Minute […]

    Pingback by Research predicts major mental health effects of Gulf oil spill | Health News | September 2, 2010 | Reply

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