With the hot summer months bearing down on us, it is important to talk about how excessive temperatures can affect our mood. The correlation between summer heat and behavioral health has been well documented the last several decades. In the general population, the higher temperatures make people cranky, agitated, and depressed.
In people with behavioral health issues, these changes should be monitored carefully. Someone with a depressive disorder that has been functioning well on medications and therapy may dip into a dangerously depressed mood. Those with anxiety issues may have an even more difficult time sleeping or getting relief during periods of excessive heat. Many medications can be affected when a person starts to sweat and becomes dehydrated.
The methods of preventing these issues are simple. People need to stay cool and hydrated to maintain both physical and mental health. The unfortunate part is that the homeless and low-income population do not have easy access to air conditioning or clean water. If you know someone that is at risk, keep in touch with them and maybe think about referring them to the Coalition for the Homeless – Crisis Intervention Hotline 1-888-358-2384.