Worried About Global Warming? Go See an Eco-Therapist

| Wed Apr. 18, 2007 7:38 PM EDT

Are you petrified by the thought of mass extinction, extreme weather, and global warming? If so, you're not alone in your fears, and there's even a word for them: eco-anxiety. It was only a matter of time before the now-trendy prefix was added to the ever-growing list of diagnoses.

According to the Philadelphia Enquirer, you can now see an eco-therapist to address your fears. Melissa Picket in Santa Fe sees between 40 and 80 patients each month suffering from eco-anxiety. For panic attacks and loss of appetite triggered by environmental concerns, she recommends that patients make lifestyle changes and even carry natural objects around.

This treatment might sound a bit less than serious, but there is a real weight to the issue. A growing number of people are concerned about, even petrified by climate change. The Philadelphia Enquirer blames media hype and scientists' poor PR skills for inducing eco-anxiety. Maybe scientists do have trouble communicating with laymen, and maybe there's shock-value in environmental horror stories. But I really doubt that putting a feather in your hat or a rock in your pocket will counteract the doom and gloom of melting polar ice-caps and disappearing bees that we read about every day.

--Rose Miller