‘This actually makes so much sense’
Feeling hot and bothered? Rising temperatures may be impacting your mental health, according to a concerned health expert.
Recently, pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Kali, MD (@drkalimd) took to TikTok to explain how high temperatures can exacerbate the symptoms of dementia and pre-existing mental health conditions, including irritability, depression, aggression, and even suicide risk.
Rising temperatures can also be dangerous for people on certain psychiatric medications. These drugs impact temperature regulation, making it easier to become dehydrated. Dehydration can also cause medications to become toxic.
@drkalimd It’s not “just hot.” #mentalhealth #drkalimd #climatechange ♬ Agape – Nicholas Britell
“In recent weeks, temperatures have felt like we have been on the surface of the sun,” Dr. Kali said. “Climate change can impact your physical and mental health now, immediately, and should not be ignored.”
Experts say rising global temperatures are bringing more outrageously hot days. Urban areas (with their abundance of heat-trapping cement and concrete) especially feel the burn.
That’s why we must safeguard our mental health in the face of rising temperatures. Simple solutions include staying hydrated, wearing loose clothing, and seeking cooler indoor spaces when it’s blistering out. Checking on elderly neighbors and those without adequate cooling is also recommended.
We can also call on city leaders to add shade trees, cool roofs, and other heat mitigation measures. Let’s turn up the pressure before the pressure turns up the heat even more.
So, while the forecast may look hot and hazy, the path forward is clear. It’s time to take action so extreme heat doesn’t boil over into a mental health crisis.
Commenters largely expressed alarm over the revelations. Many shared personal stories of feeling on edge, angry, or depressed during heat waves. Others asked for more public health warnings about the mental health effects of extreme heat.
“Couldn’t figure out why all of a sudden I couldn’t stand the heat,” said one commenter. “Turns out a long term effect of my mood stabilizer is heat intolerance.”
“This actually makes so much sense and [explains] why I can’t handle the heat way more since being on my psych meds,” said another. “[T]his summer heat was brutal.”
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