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Capital's toxic air 'sparking depression in young Londoners'

King’s College London scientists found teenagers living around sources of pollution were more than twice as likely to have depression than those in areas where the air is relatively clean.

Read more in the Evening Standard

Tags for Forum Posts: air pollution

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That seems to be bullshittery to me. There has always been an isolation problem that has led to depression in cities. It's down to the lack of community.

Opening more pubs may help as they are the heart of the community in the countryside and allow people to connect.

You did realise that the research written up in the article is specifically talking about *teenage* depression and the effect that the toxic air has on the plastic brain in teens as it re-wires NOT depression in cities in general which obviously has multiple factors. 

Specifically from the article "depression could be linked to inflammation in the growing adolescent brain and by the particles blocking airways. Researchers took into account variables such as sex, neighbourhood, smoking, and family psychiatric history. " and  “Children may be susceptible to neurological injury from air pollution because their brains are still developing and they are likely to have less-established natural barriers in the lungs to protect against inhaled particles.” 

Teenagers (by which they mean 12-18 year olds) drinking in pubs isn't the answer here I feel, EyeSpy, not least because it's against the law. Moreover alcohol is a depressant so not recommended as a cure for mental health issues. 

Yes, I read the article. Sources of pollution is not actually defined in the article. It's also a shame that TfL didn't solve their 20% contribution with the Boris bus fiasco. Here's the source info for pollution sources in London. https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Policy%20them... 

Community starts in local pubs and works from there. Parents that socialise together have children that socialise together. Parents that are isolated tend to then have children that are isolated.

That may work for some communities and not others although they do often have their own social hubs.  

There is no shortage of pubs in this area and as a local parent I know that local parents do socialise together as do their children, but this is not necessarily enough to prevent teen depression, so I’m not sure your argument that the root cause of it is solely family isolation.  Depression manifests itself in other ways than seeking to withdraw from groups nor when we talk about teenage depression are we talking solely about loneliness. During my years working with teens, depression was also often expressed through self-harm, abuse of substances including alcohol and violent behaviour often with parents struggling to support them. It is certainly worth exploring the links between a toxic physical environment and the increase in teenage depression. 

Liz, I can't help but feel that you are very much against modern life. This is based on your posts on here.

depression is a difficult thing and to pin it on pm2.5 matter is a gross over simplification that I feel best meets your agenda based upon posts on the forum.

Teen depression gave rise to the punk movement in the 1970's after all. Followed by new wave, then indie, then goth grindcore, to nu-metal......

Don’t confuse normal teenage behaviour such as rebellion, anger, or being introverted with depression or romanticise it as a gateway to creativity. It is a crippling sometimes lifelong illness. 

Of course I’m not against modern life. I live in a city, I use modern technology as I’m doing to write this. I’m very much a creature of the modern age and can’t abide nostalgia. I also believe that as a species we have no choice but to change our current wasteful,  polluting, live in the moment and damn the future lifestyles. Maybe an idealist who believes that urban life can be different and better for us all but certainly not someone who believes the past was better. I have studied history, I lived through the punk years, the goth years - the past was grim as hell for most people, as a species we tend to only remember the “good bits”.  I don’t want to go back. There is only forward. 

Liz against modern life? Ha ha ha.

Dude, she and Hugh got an award from Gordon Brown for starting up this website. Just because she likes nature and history doesn't mean she doesn't appreciate modern life, when it's not poisonous.

Alcoholism starts in local pubs. 

I assume that's a joke. If not, it's a very stupid remark.

Surely not as dumb as ‘community starts in local pubs’ - that may have been broadly right 200 years ago...


It starts in your teens.



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