Extreme Heat Can Take a Toll on Your Mental Health
Jackson experiences hottest day of the year at 105 degrees
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Sunday was the hottest day of the year, clocking in at 105 in Jackson. The extreme heat trend raises red flags for many of us physically. But doctors explain it can also take a mental toll.
Heat exacerbates mental health challenges
Getting in your car and seeing temperatures in the triple digits while juggling everyday stresses can be a lot and as Dr. Jennifer Bryan explains, it’s not just for those already dealing with a diagnosed mental illness.
- Extreme heat can hamper your ability to deal with other distractors, other people’s feelings or emotions.
- It’s a gut check for everyone, causing irritability and impacting our perspective on the heat.
Psychiatrists observe an increase in calls during prolonged heatwaves
Dr. Katherine Pannel says as a psychiatrist, it’s not uncommon to see an increase in calls when the temps stay high for so long. Even simple things have a domino effect.
- Lack of sleep due to the heat can lead to irritability, anxiety, anger, and low mood.
- Heat can worsen conditions like depression and anxiety by lowering serotonin levels.
- Medication effectiveness can be compromised, especially for those with schizophrenia.
Managing mental health during extreme heat
If you’re not dealing with a diagnosis and the heat’s messing with your mood, it’s important to be aware of its effects.
- Find indoor outlets to release pent-up stress.
- Remember that the heatwave is temporary.
- Too much togetherness can strain relationships, so find ways to maintain personal space.
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