How the media drives obsessive obsessions

Miles Godfrey
Australian

CONCERN about climate change usually centres on rising sea levels, melting ice caps and drought.

But an Australian study has found people with obsessive compulsive disorders (OCDs) can harbour very different worries – from fear of termites gobbling up their homes to concerns about thirsty cats.

The study, by University of Sydney researchers, is believed to be the first in the world to document how exposure to information and media reports about climate change can influence people with OCDs.

“We suggest that mental health professionals need to be aware of, and assess for the presence of such concerns,” the study, led by Dr Mairwen Jones, recommends.

Dr Jones, and her co-researchers at University of Sydney’s Anxiety Disorders Clinic, studied 50 people with OCDs and found 14 (28 per cent) had concerns directly related to climate change.

Read More: How the media drives obsessive obsessions

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