Nature Deficit Disorder

Nature Deficit Disorder

Following on from the idea that a mind with a consistently weak/missing nature-bond is likely to be unstable and potentially psychotic is ‘NDD’ – a term coined in 2005 by Richard Louv in his book ‘Last Child in the Woods‘. NDD refers to the idea that a life devoid of exposure to natural environments will quickly develop a range of unhealthy psychological traits.

Some articles relevant to this theme:

Several international movements have begun to take this inbalance seriously and have addressed it through campaigns:
UK’s MIND Charity’s ‘EcoMinds
UK’s MIND Charity’s Eco Therapy campaign
US’s National Wildlife Federation‘s ‘Green Hour

What this means..
Simply put, if immersion in natural spaces is a positive experience for children and adults holding tangible benefits for emotional and psychological well-being then its a worthy destination for education, therapy, art, and culture. Preventing a breakdown in this human-wilderness relationship is extremely important and but also apparently extremely under-rated.

Extract from Gary Haq‘s blog:
The belief that the natural environment is good for our mental and physical well-being is not new. Many medical professions including Florence Nightingale encouraged people to go the country to convalesce. The natural environment is seen as being beneficial – a “restorative environment” – which enhances mental energies and reduces stress. Research has show that prisoners whose cells overlooked farmland and trees had 24 per cent fewer sick visits than those in cells facing the prison yard. A ten-year comparative study of post-operative patients found hospital stay for patients with tree views was significantly shorter, they required fewer painkillers, used less medication, and nursing staff reported fewer negative evaluation comments in the medical record.


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