Toxic Air In Delhi-NCR: Depression To Anxiety – How Pollution Is Impacting Mood And Steps To Take


The air pollution mark in cities like Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad Gurgaon and other parts NCR have been touching apocalyptic levels, sending government and healthcare professionals into a tizzy. The air quality in the national capital turned ‘severe’ on Friday (November 3) morning with Mundka recording the highest Air Quality Index (498). While the situation might not be as grim as in Delhi-NCR, India’s financial capital Mumbai has also been witnessing growing pollution levels, with India cricket captain Rohit Sharma recently expressing concern over the worsening air quality in Mumbai. The picture is similar in several cities in India.

An AQI from 0 to 100 is considered good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe, which affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

Impact Of Air Pollution On Mental Health

Doctors point out that air pollution can have several negative impacts on your health. Apart from physical health, pollution also affects mood and overall well-being. Dr Munia Bhattacharya, Consultant – Psychologist Marengo Asia Hospital, Gurugram, lists ways in which air pollution can affect your mood:

1. Stress and Anxiety: Breathing polluted air can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels. The presence of harmful pollutants can create a sense of unease and discomfort.

2. Depression: Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of depression. Pollutants can affect the brain and nervous system, potentially leading to mood disorders.

3. Irritability: Poor air quality can make people feel more irritable and frustrated, which can negatively affect interpersonal relationships.

4. Reduced Productivity: Exposure to air pollution can decrease cognitive function and impair concentration, leading to reduced productivity and job satisfaction.

Also Read: Anti-Pollution Diet: 10 Foods To Eat To Fight Toxic Air

8 Steps To Combat Air Pollution And Better Your Mood

To deal with the impact of air pollution on your mood, Dr Munia Bhattacharya suggests the following steps:

1. Monitor Air Quality: Stay informed about local air quality levels using apps or websites. Avoid outdoor activities on days with poor air quality.

2. Use Air Purifiers: Invest in indoor air purifiers to improve the air quality at home or work.

3. Ventilate Your Space: Proper ventilation can help reduce indoor air pollutants. Open windows when outdoor air quality is better.

4. Limit Outdoor Activities: On days with high pollution levels, limit your time outdoors, especially strenuous activities like exercise.

5. Wear Masks: When outdoor air quality is poor, consider wearing masks that can filter out particulate matter and pollutants.

6. Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy: A well-balanced diet and proper hydration can help your body cope with the effects of pollution.

7. Exercise Indoors: If you enjoy physical activity, consider indoor exercise options on days when outdoor air quality is compromised.

8. Seek Medical Advice: If you experience persistent mood changes or health issues related to air pollution, consult a healthcare professional for guidance and treatment.


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