Fourth Industrial Revolution and Future of Mental Health: Is Depression Becoming a Global Epidemic and Should Governments Regulate 5G...?


How Can Electromagnetic Fields Cause Mental Dysfunction in Humans?

Pall’s paper, called “Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression,” sheds some light on the mechanisms by which EMFs can cause these unhealthy effects.

One way that EMFs are observed to influence human biochemistry is that they activate voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs). These channels regulate the amount of calcium taken in by multiple types of cells throughout our bodies. A disruption in the delicate intracellular balance of calcium to other ions can in turn wreak havoc on key physiological processes.

“VGCC activation has been shown to have a universal or near universal role in the release of neurotransmitters in the brain and also in the release of hormones by neuroendocrine cells…Both the high VGCC density and their function in neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine release throughout the nervous system suggests that the nervous system is likely to be highly sensitive to low intensity EMFs.“

You’re probably familiar with some of the most well-known neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. A proper balance of these chemicals is vital to a healthy and stable mood, good sleep, motivation, ability to focus, and calming of anxiety. If these chemical signals are released in the wrong amounts, mind-states like depression or anxiety can become the new normal for us, regardless of how stable our lives are.

Another neurotransmitter, melatonin, is responsible for regulating our sleep-wake rhythms. It has been established that EMF exposure suppresses the secretion of melatonin by the brain’s pineal gland. As referenced by the cohort study, research from multiple sources shows a relationship between low amounts of melatonin and greater incidence of depression.

EMFs have also been shown to cause unhelpful changes to the central and peripheral nervous system in rodents. In this case, two major tissues that are adversely affected are the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, which have the important role of synthesizing and releasing various hormones that are needed for regulating growth, body temperature, hunger/thirst, parental instincts, metabolism, and attachment behaviors. That isn’t even an exhaustive list.

What’s more, research says that while EMF-related neurological damage is (for the most part) reversible, it may become permanent with chronic, prolonged exposure.

It may seem extraordinary that news of the harmful potential of EMFs hasn’t become common knowledge, but it doesn’t make the threats posed any less real. If you experience periods of depression, anxiety, or other mental distress, this is something worth following up on, especially if you work and/or live in an environment with high levels of emission. It’s helpful to know the sources–cell phone towers, high-voltage power lines, smart meters, and of course our mobile electronic devices all contribute to the transmission of EMFs, and that list will only grow with time.

Though it is difficult (if not impossible) to completely avoid all sources, reducing your usage always helps. Others have found relief from EMF-related symptoms by relocating to a less urban space, using ethernet cables versus a WiFi connection, and using EMF-shielding with their devices.

Borrowing a grim but accurate statement made by one of the researchers in the review cited above,

“The primary questions now involve specific exposure parameters, not the reality of complaints or attempts to attribute such complaints to psychosomatic causes, malingering or beliefs in paranormal phenomena.”

Here is link to the full paper:

Public Health
Industrial Revolution 4.0
United Nations
Equilibrium Analysis
Adeshola Kukoyi
21 months ago

4 answers


Depression is a global problem ( However epidemic is too strong word for this in my opinion). The good part is depression is more talked in today's world than ever before. Now come to 5G, I think government should not regulate 5G in terms of mental health. This is not practical and arguments against this are heavily debatable. Similar arguments had come in past for mobile networks, radio and radar.

5G is a frequency and the impact of the frequency depends on a lots of things such as hardware, tower, intensity, power etc. Creating regulations for devices is one option and its already there.

However, I would suggest working on depression is something that government and society should focus more.

Hitesh Mathpal
21 months ago
Thanks for your comment and contribution, Hitesh. I understand your viewpoint but would like to draw your attention to the World Health Organization's fact sheet on depression as well as the growing resistance to 5G technology. I believe that there is information and communication gap between tech companies and the people on strategies to manage or end the established threats to public health... - Adeshola 21 months ago - Adeshola 21 months ago
If the hazards affect ability of people to function effectively or lead to suicide. Is there not a need to limit terrestrial space involved in its deployment or introduce a 'hazard tax' in order to enable governments invest more in healthcare infrastructure, research and provide more insurance coverage that would mitigate the existential challenges so that people's fear or concerns is allayed...? - Adeshola 21 months ago
Interesting article. - Maya 21 months ago

Internet and depression are related. It doesn't matter if its 2G or 5G in my opinion.

Maya Kharkwal MA, BEd
21 months ago
Agree, - Charu 21 months ago
Thank you, Maya, for your comment. Can you please shed more light on your viewpoint; especially if you know people affected by EMF exposure or specific medical case linking Internet with Depression...? - Adeshola 21 months ago

In the early days of radio technology (cell phones) the power levels of phones were so high that there likely was a medical danger from the use of phones. Today, the power levels and signal levels are so low that they are unlikely to have any effect from the signal. The key design consideration in cell phone networks is to design so that the battery will last. The battery is the biggest point of failure for cell phone networks and by keeping power of devices at the lowest level possible based on your distance from an access point is the best strategy for keeping your service running. The network regulates the power out put of your phone.

Should the government regulate 5G? What are you kidding? That could only lead to disaster. Does that ever work?
Think of the irony. If it wasn't for the government, we wouldn't have cell phones and iPhones today. In 1984 the government DEREGULATED the telephone business so anyone could get into building phone networks and devices. Until then we had a government run phone system called AT&T. The deregulation created the tech boom we've enjoyed since.

The internet is a completely organic technology that has become a utility. It drives the government crazy that they can't regulate it.

History proves that when the government regulates innovation dies.

Ben Levitan
21 months ago
Thank you, Ben, for sharing your thoughts. Do you agree that EMF exposure is a potential cause of neuropsychiatric health challenges, including sensitivity disorders and depression? What do you suggest should be done to address the concerns and fears of people around the world about the hazards of 5G technology...? Best regards. - Adeshola 21 months ago
I agree that EMF appears by the science to be a hazard however 5G and cell phones are not the culprit. This akin to people who believe that Global Warming is man-made attacking cows farts rather than city buses that run empty day and night. - Ben 21 months ago
And certainly government intervention would be counter productive. If this is a true issue, the companies will be motivated to fix it. - Ben 21 months ago
Good submission! You may also agree that EMF exposure hazards are already affecting the ability of some people to function effectively which has social health insurance implications. The economic costs of depression and suicidal tendency should warrant some form of legislation to ensure public safety; otherwise victims may resort to litigations and that would not be good for business either... - Adeshola 21 months ago
UPDATE ON 5/4/2019 - There seems to be an internet campaign on this topic. The theme seems to be "5G causes depression and therefore should be government regulated." - Ben 21 months ago
This topic had been posted on numerous forums in the last week. I'm suspicious. - Ben 21 months ago
I wish to assure you that this particular topic came from me and it has nothing to do with internet campaign against 5G. On the contrary, it was done to generate intellectual discussions on the research Information and create awareness about challenges people currently affected by EMF exposure face. I believe that it is in the interest of innovation that we encourage open debate not sentiments... - Adeshola 21 months ago
As an engineer we see patterns and they help our work. I see this topic on many of my technical blogs this week. The topic of the dangers of radio frequencies has been postulated since the 1930's. There were claims that overhead electric wires emitted a radio frequency that was killing cows in the fields. This was thoroughly debunked. Certainly radio frequencies have efffects. - Ben 21 months ago
They can be used to heal bones quicker. They can be used to burn cancer. They are used in Sonograms. But to suggest that such low levels of radiation used in Cell phones is causing depression and suicide is simply fake science. There must be an agenda. The comment-er online all suggest regulating 5G. This is a campaign. If there is an honest reason to regulate 5G tell us. We may agree. - Ben 21 months ago
Thank you, Ben, for your submission. Unlike the controversies of climate science, the potential effects of EMF radiation from Gamma and X-rays to Infra red and radio waves are well known. What is being discussed is the proliferation and continued exposure as it relates to public health, now or in the near future. The threat to people who are EMF-sensitive is a genuine cause for health concern... - Adeshola 21 months ago

If we speak of depression and internet, maybe should less focus on technology like 5G, but more on social media. Facebook and Instagram show an ideal world and sell this as reality. Many users compare this with their own lives and may conclude that cannot keep up with such profiles.

Patrick Henz
21 months ago
Thank you, Patrick, for the insightful contribution. There are people who strongly believe that social media culture is more responsible for the increasing rate of depression often associated with loneliness. Perhaps there is a connection between social media culture and EMF exposure. Are you suggesting that governments should rather regulate social media and ignore the health hazards of 5G...? - Adeshola 21 months ago
Agreed that people use social media in an unhealthy way. But this is a parenting issue, not solved by regulation. Social Media is simply free speech. The truth is that the internet is a free and open utility. It drives the US government crazy that they can't regulated it. - Ben 21 months ago
Take away social media and people will obsess with something else. Smoking, TV, Food, Alcohol, - Ben 21 months ago
Adeshola Kukoyi , all identified risks should be addressed. This should not mean that social media should be regulated, but of course it has to comply with law, like data privacy. Humans biases have to be discussed, including in families and schools. - Patrick 21 months ago
"Regulation has a variety of meanings that are not reducible to a single concept. In the field of public policy, regulation refers to the promulgation of targeted rules, typically accompanied by some authoritative mechanism for monitoring and enforcing compliance. Accordingly, for a long time in the United States, for example, the study of regulation has been synonymous with the study of the..." - Adeshola 21 months ago
Freedom of speech, democracy and free market capitalism rely on the rule of law to thrive. In that context, regulation has been an important exercise of government authority from election financing and immigration to banking and stock exchange market. Every essential regulation ought to be in public interest and not necessarily to undermine innovation or businesses... - Adeshola 21 months ago
"...cannot keep up with such profiles..." In the 1960's we were taught that we did not have to "keep up with the Jones".. Nothing has changed. - Ben 21 months ago
I am confused as to how government regulation to 5G or Social Media would reduce suicides and depression. - Ben 21 months ago
Yes, you can cook with microwaves, but not at the levels used for communications. I attended a lecture yesterday where the speaker told us that Chicken Soup contains cancer causing chemicals....True, but in amounts so small that they have no effect on human health. Latin: sola dosis facit venenum. The dose makes the poison say Paracelsus (1541) - Ben 21 months ago
Adeshola Kukoyi , agreed. the strange thing is that exactly the freedom of speech on social media turns against it, as such forums open space to all kind of groups promoting their messages of hate and ignorance. Also it is not only space for humans to speak openly, but also bots. - Patrick 21 months ago
Ben Levitan , yes, it was tought since the '60s, but the message not reached everybody so far. Also humans are born to compete, so difficult to stop this based on logic. - Patrick 21 months ago
Ben Levitan , as you see many US americans eat daily microwave-food, maybe there is a negative impact. You may see for exampling the rise of allergies. - Patrick 21 months ago
What then is the best way forward? Every business is expected to have Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Policy. Besides the standard principle for business or corporate sustainability today is People, Planet and Profit and it is a matter of responsibility for everyone to demand it... - Adeshola 21 months ago

Have some input?