How extreme heat can impact mental health

Extreme heat can have a negative impact on your mental health.

"There was a trend where people were seeing that in hotter temperatures there was an increase in suicide rates by almost 2%," said Dr. Asha Shajahan, with Beaumont Health.

Medical professionals say what some call summer depression can happen to anyone.

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"It can really impact anyone. You don’t have to have a history of mental health disorders," Shajahan said.

That’s because as your brain works to cool itself down from the heat, it’s allocating much of its energy toward doing so. Therefore, other areas of the brain don’t function as well.

"That area for emotional regulation is kind of diminished, and when it’s diminished you have more troubles regulating your emotions, concentrating, feel more irritable, and all these things combined can cause problems for your mental health," Shajahan said.

That’s why even crime often goes up when it’s hot outside.

"It’s that aggression, it's that inability to control your emotions," Shajahan said.

If you find that your mental well-being is impacted by hot weather make an appointment to see your doctor. There are also many things you can do on your own to help, including staying hydrated and avoiding alcohol, as well as getting enough sleep, meditating, and relaxing.


CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.