Why Urban People Are More Vulnerable to Mental Disorder


stressed urban peopleUrban life offers all the ease in life and very practical. Not surprisingly, cities are like magnets that attract people to come and live there.

But have you ever thought that life in the city triggers the emergence of mental disorders which is higher than staying in a small town or rural areas?

A study reported in the Science Nature journal mentions that urban people are more vulnerable to mental disorders than those living in rural or smaller towns.

According to the The Huffington Post, psychiatrist Andreas Mayer Lidenberg at the Institute of Mental Health and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Germany has examined the 32 respondents from large cities, small towns, and villages. He asked the respondents to do difficult arithmetic problems, as he examined their brain work.

In his research, it was found that the brains of respondents living in big cities showed greater activity in the amygdala, which is part of the brain that are active in people with excessive anxiety.

He also found that those who grew up in urban areas showed activity  in the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC), a part of the brain involved in several studies on schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a brain disorder resulting in brain not functioning properly.

The results of initial studies prompted him to undertake further study, this time with visual cues from scientists who frown at them when they solve arithmetic problems. Again, they found a greater stress response than those who live far from the city.

According to him, even the strongest genes associated with schizophrenia only increased 20 percent risk of disruption. However, the disease is two times more at risk in people who live in the city. The larger the city, the higher the risk.

However, the number of respondents which is too small can not represent a convincing conclusion. Therefore, the research team plans to conduct similar studies in larger populations. This is done to map the relationship between social isolation with mental illness.

Meanwhile, researchers have long sought a connection between mental illness with the chaos of city life. Life pressure in the city is strongly proved to be able to lead to mental disorder in people who live in it.