Heatwave: Excessive heat directly affects the brain, risk of depression and suicide

Many states of the country are facing severe heat and heat waves these days. According to the india Meteorological Department (IMD), heat wave conditions may continue for the next five days in many states including Uttar Pradesh, the national capital Delhi. There has been a slight drop in temperature due to light rain and thunderstorms in many parts, although the maximum temperature in most areas remains between 43-46 degrees Celsius.

Health experts have advised all people to continue taking precautions to avoid problems caused by high temperature-heat waves. Heatwave not only poses a risk of heat stroke and blood pressure-related problems, but it can also affect mental health.

Psychiatrists say that extreme heat can also increase symptoms of irritability depression and cases of suicide. It becomes even more important for people who already have problems like anxiety, stress, or depression to keep protecting themselves from high temperatures.

Cases of anxiety and stress increase in the summer

Are you also experiencing anger or sudden mood swings while going out in the scorching heat of summer? If yes, then you are not alone. Researchers said that extreme heat has a bad effect on our mental health, which can increase cases of anger, frustration, and depression. Not only this, cases of suicide have also been seen increasing in summer days among people who already have depression and serious mental health problems.

What is the effect of heat on mental health? Let's understand this from a psychiatrist.

Effect of high temperature on mental health

Dr Satyakant Trivedi, a senior psychiatrist at a hospital in Bhopal, explains, that when our body is exposed to high temperature, it tries to cool itself by producing sweat and widening blood vessels. However, when you are exposed to extreme heat for a long time, it can also change the way brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine work. This condition can affect our mood. This is the reason why cases of disorders like irritability, anger, anxiety, and stress increase significantly in summer.

Apart from this, the production of thyroid hormone can be affected due to heat, which can cause fatigue, depression, and problems in thinking clearly.

Suicide cases increase in summer

Dr Satyakant explains, that more cases of suicide have also been reported on days with higher temperatures around the world. A link between increasing heat and suicides has also been found in european countries.

A study published by the website of the World Economic Forum (WEF) states that high temperatures can increase suicides and suicide attempts. Every 1°C increase in average monthly temperature can cause a 2.2% increase in mental health-related deaths. Due to a lack of serotonin, symptoms of mental health disorders start worsening, due to which the risk of such serious problems can increase.

Take care of these things in the summer

Dr Satyakant explains sleep-related problems are also considered to be one of the reasons for the increase in mental health problems in summer. To reduce the risks, make sleep a priority. Make sure you get enough restful sleep. Regularizing your sleep schedule and getting 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night has a positive effect on your mood. Also, do regular physical activity. Exercise releases endorphins which can improve your overall health. Light exercise like walking or swimming can also be beneficial.

If you notice increased symptoms of stress, then definitely consult a psychiatrist about this.

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