Urban stress & mood disorders

i live out in the sticks, about two hours north of "the city"
in a place most people wouldn't even call a hick town.
The main street runs about four blocks, and there's a few
chain stores huddled together out by the highway and

as far as the urban experience goes,
that's about it.

There was a time not so long ago when I lived in a warehouse downtown on the main drag of a big city, but these days
the boonies is a much better fit.

The quiet suits me and i like having a lake at the end
of the street almost as much as my dog. On the right night,
there's a big-ass moon in a sky full of stars, deer, bears
and coyotes, if you're up for a walk.

When i get down to the city now, there's a manic feeling
that sets in as i hit the sprawl and the longer i stay there,
the itchier it gets til i simply have to leave.

it's not all bad while i can surf it, but it gets exhausting.
it gets ennervating because it's so relentless.

"it" being what feels to me like a full court press on my
nervous system. senses working overtime. it doesn't fit.
i don't fit.

up here, i fit.  fit because there's a lot of space.
physical space. acoustic space. outer space.

i'm still bipolar. there's bad days and nights where ever
i am, no matter what but here there are also loons,
sugar maples and woodpeckers.

there are people here too, who aren't always so busy
and/or so late for whatever that a line-up at the grocery
check-out makes them break out in a cold sweat.

Bipolar or not, you know when something - or someplace -
fits and here does, for now, for me. i notice things as
much as ever, but more of it makes sense.
i don't get as itchy.

it's not just me. it's not just my imagination
or my intuition. there's some science to it too.

A walk in the park gives mental boost
to people with depression

"Our study showed that participants with clinical depression demonstrated improved memory performance after a walk
in nature, compared to a walk in a busy urban environment,"
said Dr. Berman.

Dr. Berman's research is part of a cognitive science field
known as Attention Restoration Theory (ART) which proposes
that people concentrate better after spending time in nature
or looking at scenes of nature.

The reason, according to ART, is that people interacting
with peaceful nature settings aren't bombarded with
external distractions that relentlessly tax their working
memory and attention systems. In nature settings, the
brain can relax and enter a state of contemplativeness
that helps to restore or refresh those cognitive capacities.

A walk in the park a day keeps mental fatigue away

If you spend the majority of your time among stores,
restaurants and skyscrapers, it may be time to trade
in your stilettos for some hiking boots.

A new study in Psychological Science, a journal of
the Association for Psychological Science, reveals
that spending time in nature may be more beneficial
for mental processes than being in urban environments.

Research shows a walk in the park improves attention
in children with ADHD

For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
tasks that require concentration such as doing homework
or taking a test can be very difficult. A simple, inexpensive
remedy may be a "dose of nature."

A study conducted at the University of Illinois shows
that children with ADHD demonstrate greater attention
after a 20-minute walk in a park than after a similar
walk in a downtown area or a residential neighborhood.

Stress in the city: Brain activity and biology
behind mood disorders of urban residents

Being born and raised in a major urban area is associated
with greater lifetime risk for anxiety and mood disorders.

"Previous findings have shown that the risk for anxiety
disorders is 21 percent higher for people from the city,
who also have a 39 percent increase for mood disorders,"
says co-author Jens Pruessner, a Douglas researcher.

"In addition, the incidence for schizophrenia is almost
doubled for individuals who are born and brought up
in cities.

Air pollution linked to learning and memory
problems, depression

Long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to physical
changes in the brain, as well as learning and memory problems
and even depression, new research in mice suggests.

While other studies have shown the damaging effects
of polluted air on the heart and lungs, this is one of the
first long-term studies to show the negative impact on
the brain, said Laura Fonken, lead author of the study
and a doctoral student in neuroscience at Ohio State University.

Freeway air bad for mouse brain

A new study reveals that after short-term exposure to
vehicle pollution, mice showed significant brain damage —
including signs associated with memory loss and Alzheimer's

The mind-numbing toxin is not an exhaust gas, but a mix
of tiny particles from burning of fossil fuel and weathering
of car parts and pavement, according to the study to be
published Thursday, April 7 in the leading journal
Environmental Health Perspectives.



  1. several stances cited in favour of assumptions appears to be true .city dwelling is no doubt associated with stress and mental illnesses a natural outcome of it.

  2. ... as well as aggravating pre-existing conditions, i think.
    then there's the effects of "unnatural" lighting and sounds on nervous systems that evolved under much more rural conditions.

    and don't even start me on the 24/7 saturation of microwaves...