Living in a city can be great. You are close to shops and restaurants. There is nightlife and excitement. There is also stress and noise. A new international study has found that people who are born and raised in the city are more stressed and have a greater risk of having anxiety and mood disorders.
Others studies that have been conducted have found that city dwellers have a 21 percent higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder and a 39 percent higher risk of developing a mood disorder. These people also have twice the number of incidences of schizophrenia.
Jens Pruessner, of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal used an MRI in Germany to study the activity in the brains of healthy volunteers from urban and rural areas. They found that there were higher stress responses in the amygdala in the city patients. This is the area of the brain that controls mood and emotional regulation.
They also found that there was an effect on the cingulate cortex, which is the area of the brain that regulates negative moods and emotions. These findings were published in the journal Nature.
Pruessner stated that this research shows that the brain responds to different stimuli depending on your surroundings. He said that more studies were going to be needed to make conclusive findings, but this could lead to more studies and solutions on how to develop and adapt when raised in the city.
It shows how the environment can contribute to different health risks that aren’t just physical risks. This could have a large impact on the number of mental health patients that are seen every year.