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The Amazing Ocean Within Each of Us That Rules Our Lives
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ
Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Dr. Patricia Farrell
3 min read2 hours ago

In classes where they discussed evolution, did they ever mention your internal ocean, how important it is, and its connection to life?

Photo by Marianne Heino on Unsplash

Evolution tells us that life began in the sea, and as creatures left the seas of Earth, they took an “ocean” with them: their circulatory system. This maze of connections would continue to circulate life-giving fluid, blood, to all the tissues of our bodies and, at the same time, pull away the waste of metabolism. It is a majestic task, and it keeps us healthy.

The chemistry of the oceans and the circulatory systems of our bodies is very similar. Given that the ocean makes up 71% of the earth’s surface and that the human body contains about 60% water, both systems include a sizable amount of water. Both contain minerals and salts in dissolved form, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are essential for a number of bodily physiological processes. And both systems contain dissolved gases that are necessary for respiration, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Pollution in the oceans is evident, but we fail to consider how that pollution will eventually make its way into our internal “ocean” and cause damage. The pollution of the oceans and the air we breathe may have a negative effect on both systems. Pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and plastic waste (especially nanoplastics) can enter the water as a result of industrial processes, sewage discharge, and oil spills.

These contaminants can build up in marine life and enter humans through seafood intake, having a negative health impact. Similarly, air pollution from factories and automobiles can introduce dangerous particles into the air we breathe. These particles can enter the bloodstream through the lungs and affect different body organs.

In the case of the oceans, the buildup of pollution can disturb the delicate ecosystem’s equilibrium, killing marine life and depleting the resources that humans depend on. In humans, this can result in a number of health issues, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory illnesses.

Is the damage limited to our bodies, or can it be that pollution also exhibits signs of its presence in mental health disorders? The answer is that it is a very real possibility. In children, if we permit their “oceans” to be polluted, we may ruin their life’s potential, we rob them of their skills, their intellect, and their happiness. All of this is anathema to anyone who cares for the lives of children or anyone’s children who live anywhere.

Several studies have demonstrated that pollution can significantly affect mental health. Exposure to air pollutants, including particulate matter (PM) has been linked to a higher risk of mental health issues like sadness and anxiety. Via the lungs, PM can enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain, where it can produce oxidative stress and inflammation, which can damage neurons.

Some pollutants might obstruct the body’s ability to produce and regulate hormones like cortisol, which affect mood and emotional control. For instance, lead exposure, a typical environmental toxin, has been connected to a higher risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Lead can interfere with dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters important for controlling mood and emotions.

Due to their frequent exposure to higher levels of pollution, vulnerable groups like children and low-income communities may have a particularly large negative effect of pollution on their mental health. When the brain is developing, exposure to pollution can have long-lasting impacts on cognitive function and emotional control, raising the likelihood of mental health disorders in later life.

Today, we need to contend with another type of pollutant, the emerging contaminants (ECs) produced by personal care items, pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, and hormones.

The bottom line is that oxidative stress, inflammation, and hormone disturbance brought on by pollution might have a serious negative effect on mental health. To safeguard the physical and mental health of individuals and communities, it is crucial to promote clean air and water, avoid exposure to toxins, and take preventative measures to clean up our environment. We need to protect the external and internal environments as well.

Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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