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Greta Thunberg's Mom Opens Up About "Emotional Toll" Her Daughter Faced

by | February 23, 2020

Opera singer Malena Ernman has spoken of her daughter Greta Thunberg’s early years of depression, and the emotional toll that climate activism has had on the teen.

Writing in a new book, Malena has shared that aged eleven Greta was “disappearing into some kind of darkness,” and that she wouldn’t eat, laugh, or talk.

“She no longer has the energy to take the stairs and her scores on the depression tests she takes are sky high,” wrote Malena.

She goes on to explain how her daughter was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and high-functioning Asperger syndrome.

malena ernman greta thunberg mom
Greta Thunberg’s mom Malena Ernman has opened up in a new book (Liv Oeian/Shutterstock.com)

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In the book, Malena explains that Greta became interested in the environment after watching a film at school about pollution in the oceans.

Writing on how her daughter reacted to the film, Malena said, “She saw what the rest of us did not want to see.”

“It was as if she could see our CO2 emissions with her naked eye.”

Shortly after this experience, Greta began her Fridays For Future strikes outside the Swedish parliament.

“Better than ever before”

The young activists mom reveals in the book that her family could see the emotional toll the strike was having on her, and that they would try to convince her to go home.

It wasn’t until her third day of striking, when activists from Greenpeace came to join her, that Malena saw her daughter eat a “whole serving” of vegan noodles. She describes the teen as appearing “better than ever before” during this time.

The book — Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis — is due for release next month.


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