Science challenges the belief that urban areas cause depression
Psychologists have long argued that big cities drive people crazy with constant noise, air pollution, stark social inequality, and reduced access to green spaces. However, it seems that things are more complicated.
It has long been claimed that residents of megacities are more susceptible to mental disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Hallucinations and delusions are also more common in large cities.
The results clarified that while urban dwelling is indeed associated with depression, low mood is much more prevalent among suburban dwellers than those living in an inner city.
The researchers pointed out in their study that city centers provide opportunities for social networking, which proves to be extremely beneficial for mental health.
However, the suburbs – characterized by single-family housing – would create a kind of social vacuum. In order to communicate with someone who does not use the Internet, individuals sometimes have to undertake a several-hour drive to the city center, a feat that compounds everyday stressors.
In summary, inner cities, where money never sleeps and restaurants operate 24/7, have lower depression risks than suburban areas.
The officials were able to identify their findings through the use of satellite imagery and machine learning, as well as taking into account factors such as health and socioeconomic status. The results were specifically drawn from Danish populations.