Published on February 14, 2024 at 14:40 / Updated on February 14, 2024 at 15:41

The environment and climate change are issues that are increasingly discussed in the media. Although it is entirely normal to be concerned about these factors, some people may experience sustained fears and major worries about the irreversible changes to the environment and planet’s future. This condition is still relatively unknown but has a name, eco-anxiety, also called solastalgia.

People affected by eco-anxiety

Young people are considered to be at greater risk of experiencing eco-anxiety, as the consequences of climate change have a direct impact on their lives and those of future generations. However, other people may experience eco-anxiety, such as first responders at the site of a natural disaster, people who work in close conjunction with nature, inhabitants of high-risk areas, etc.


Although there is no official diagnosis for eco-anxiety, it is possible to observe various symptoms that characterize this condition.

Obsessive thoughts

Thoughts related to the environment and climate occupy a significant and recurrent place in a person's mind. This reality can lead to concentration problems and sleeping difficulties, among other things.


Eco-anxiety thoughts can cause a person to feel guilty about their carbon footprint. Therefore, making choices or taking actions that are not eco-friendly becomes a source of shame.


Anger and frustration are among the range of emotions felt in a situation of eco-anxiety. These feelings are generally directed towards previous generations, who are accused of not having acted correctly to eliminate the threat of climate change.


A feeling of despair or distress is likely to appear when thoughts about the state of the planet become negative, intense and all-encompassing. It is important to know that eco-anxiety can lead to depression.


Constantly dreading the possible consequences of climate change on the environment causes profound discomfort in the person. Fear then takes control over other feelings.


There is no treatment as such to "cure" eco-anxiety. However, there are some strategies and simple gestures that can help manage the symptoms better.

Concrete actions

Social engagement allows one not to remain alone with worries and to share similar concerns with other people through movements or certain specialized groups on the subject. Moreover, using one's fears and worries to take action helps to transform anxiety and stress into positive actions.


It is important for a person with eco-anxiety to embrace their values and take actions that are in line with them, such as recycling, composting, or avoiding any form of waste. Values enable one to act concretely on climate issues.


Dwelling on catastrophic scenarios can lead to feelings of helplessness and worry. The important thing for the person is to concentrate on what they can control and take the means at their disposal to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Difficult times

By identifying the difficult moments, those where thoughts related to the environment are most upsetting, it is possible to manage them better and even reduce or eliminate them altogether. Conversely, it is also possible to do the opposite and to target the good moments to recognize the good actions taken towards the environment.

Regarding climate change, one must learn to live with uncertainty but, above all, try to remain positive. There are a multitude of actions one can take to positively impact the planet.

Getting out of isolation remains one of the best ways to relieve eco-anxiety.

Text written in collaboration with Vie de Parents.

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