Has Long-Term Pesticide Use Been Linked with Depression?

According to the CDC, roughly one in 10 adults in the US suffers from depression. Depression is a unique mental illness that can affect adults in a number of different ways and at varying intensities.

The people most likely to suffer from depression include:

  • Women
  • Individuals from 18-24 years old
  • Individuals from 45-64 years old
  • Individuals that have been previously married
  • Individuals that are unemployed
  • Individuals without health insurance

While it’s important to seek help immediately if you suffer from symptoms of depression, it often helps to research the cause of the issue as a treatment for mental illness. Depression can be caused by a number of factors to include medication, abuse, death, and even genetics. Further research links pesticide exposure with depression, which we will explore in detail in this article.

How Pesticide Exposure Affects Your Mental Health

According to research from the Colorado Injury Control Research Center, pesticide exposure can cause issues like anxiety, depression, neuroses, and other psychiatric disorders. Depression specifically has been linked with chronic pesticide exposure or high levels of pesticide application.

If you have a history of mood disorders, you may have an even greater risk of depression after exposure to pesticides. For susceptible individuals, routine pesticide exposure may be enough to push you “over the edge” to cause a more serious bout of depression.

The unfortunate truth is that the use of environmental toxins has increased greatly within the past 50 years. Pesticides and related chemicals can be found in a number of substances, including soil and makeup. Pesticides are more prevalent in our country than ever before and are likely to be used in the home.

It should come as no surprise that farmers that regularly encounter pesticides have a higher risk of depression compared to the general population. Pesticides known as organophosphates are considered highly neurotoxic and were involved in residential disaster from 1994 to 1996.

In this case, a pesticide that was only approved for outdoor agricultural use was illegally sprayed outside of homes in Ohio and Mississippi by unlicensed exterminators; more than 1100 people had to be relocated, and eight daycares were closed.

How to Reduce Pesticide Exposure

Even though precautions are taken by reputable pest control companies and the US government, it’s still possible that you may be or have been exposed to dangerous levels of pesticides. You can decrease your pesticide exposure in the future by:

  • Eating only certified organic produce.
  • Avoiding the use of toxic pesticide chemicals at home.
  • Refusing to use chemical bug repellents.

If you suspect that you suffer from depression that has been triggered by pesticide use, it’s time to seek medical help. Better understanding the cause of your depression could help you to find a more effective course of treatment to restore your quality of life.

Visit Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. for more information about advantages and disadvantages of pesticides.