Bangkok is one of the largest cities in the world, being the capital city of Thailand and its largest city. It is one of the most appreciated touristic destinations, due to its spas and resorts and opening to the gulf of Thailand, also becoming an important social and economic center, rivaling Hong Kong and Singapore. It has a population of 8.538.610 and welcomes even more tourists every year, more than any other city in the world, which makes it a very busy place to live. For visitors, it may be an interesting and colorful city, but for the people that live here throughout the year, the large metropolis can have a damaging effect on their mental health. Let us see how living in a busy urban environment can be bad for our mental health.
Studies have been unrolled by researchers, both scientists and doctors, to determine just how affected the brain is, in the case of people that live in the city. Such a study took place at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, which discovered that in comparison with the brain of people that lived in the countryside, the brain of city dwellers wasn’t handling stress that well. During this study, the researchers used a number of subjects, some coming from large cities, some from smaller cities, and some from the countryside. They used an MRI brain scanner to measure cerebral activity, while the subjects were trying to solve complicated math problems and the researchers were doing their best to increase their stress levels, by pushing them and making remarks that were not helpful at all. The results showed that in the case of city dwellers, stress, fear, and anxiety were most present. In the case of people living in smaller cities, their presence was not that significant, while the countryside dwellers showed almost none of these aspects.
So yes, living in a big city can get us mad, eventually. Even if you love big cities, like Bangkok, it will eventually tire your mind and give you various uncomfortable states of mind. It is best to locate an english speaking psychologist in Bangkok, because you may need such expertise at some point. Talking to a psychiatrist doesn’t mean that your mind is not functioning right anymore or that you face the danger of suffering from a mental illness. It means that you are concerned about your mental health and wish to stay on the safe side. It is always best to contact a specialist if you notice that there is something wrong with you, like feeling down, losing sleep and appetite, feeling deserted, hopeless, or surrounded by various negative feelings. In the following lines, you will get to see why is it important to have a psychiatrist around, especially if you live in the city.
Even before the study that was made in Germany got to be released in the press, another team of researchers, from Netherland, discovered that the risks of city dwellers to develop schizophrenia was double than in the case of people that weren’t living in busy urban environments. There is approximately the same level of risks as in the case of a teenager abusing marijuana, which can end up developing the same mental issue. So, living in a big city can be as noxious as abusing drugs for our brain. Also, the risks of developing anxiety disorders are increased with 21%, while the ones connected to mood disorders increase with 39%. But, what makes large cities so dangerous for our brain? Believe it or not, it seems that we tend to be lonelier in crowded areas. As doctors discovered, the human brain is not perfectly adapted to living in such environments. If an individual that is more sensitive, from a mental point of view, ends up facing social isolation and large social density at the same time, problems can occur. Such an individual will start having a poor mental health, which can transform into mental illnesses.
Depression, chronic stress, and various mental illnesses are the challenges many city dwellers have to face. The constant pressure they have to manage every day, heavy traffic, prolonged working hours, the continuous buzzing of the vehicles and busy streets, they all leave a mark on their brain’s wellbeing. Rumination, which is a type of negative thinking that becomes obsessive in time, plus self-criticism, is also a major problem that can trigger depression and mental disorders. Besides talking to a psychiatrist when you notice something wrong about your behavior and state of mind, you could also try to elope, as often as possible, in places where you can be closer to nature. You need to be able to enjoy fresh air, a quiet atmosphere, and lush green scenery, as it is proven to have benefit effects on the human brain. Unrolling activities outdoors, away from the busy city, like hiking or biking, can also make you feel better.
If some researchers found out that an urban environment is bad for our mind, other researchers tried to find out what being in nature can do for the brain. It seems that about an hour or even more, of walking in a quiet green space helped reduce rumination. Thus, the presence of negative thoughts was reduced and so were the stress-inducing factors. Even if you don’t have the time to go out of the city, do try to spend time in the parks, especially if you live in a fast-paced city like Bangkok. Spending a beautiful day in the park can help your mind relax and enter a state that is similar to meditation. This will enable you to cut down stress and feel better. So even it cities are not that great for our mind, we don’t have to move to the countryside, if this is not what we want. All we have to do is be careful when it comes to the health of our brain and unroll activities and talk to specialists that can help us, keeping us safe from falling into the pit of mental issues.