Mood Disorders, Anxiety Tied To City Life

If you live just outside an urban center and feel like sometimes life passes you by due to your suburban locale, you should know it’s not all indie shows and carefree nights full of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Over the course of their lives, city dwellers have a higher risk of mood disorders and anxiety due to the long-term effects of dwelling in an urban center on two of the regions of the brain that regulate “emotion and stress.” The findings, detailed in an international study, found city dwellers have a 21% higher increased risk of anxiety and that that risk jumps to 39% for mood disorders. Scarily, city people have “nearly twice” the rate of schizophrenia seen in other populaions, the study says.

Researchers published a press release about the study, commenting:

“These findings suggest that different brain regions are sensitive to the experience of city living during different times across the lifespan… These findings contribute to our understanding of urban environmental risk for mental disorders and health in general. They further point to a new approach to interface social sciences, neurosciences and public policy to respond to the major health challenge of urbanization.”

Findings appeared in the most recent issue of the journal Nature.

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