Tri-State mental health experts weigh in on summer heatwave
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Mental health experts say extreme heat poses some unique challenges for their clients.
Laura Day helps counsel patients with River Valley Behavioral Health.
She said on Friday that those clients can struggle with the heat.
“I’ve had several clients who have had problems with either heat stroke or heat exhaustion,” she said.
She said people who are working on their mental health can have extra trouble with dangerous weather partly from a lack of self-care.
“Because they feel so low about themselves, they’re not drinking enough water or being aware of when they’re getting overheated,” she explained.
She said many patients also have added stress from paying high utility bills or from overstimulation.
“They’ve brought all the kids in the house because of the heat,” Day said. “Everybody’s stuck in this one small area, and people get really irritable.”
For many people, medications can pose an issue.
Many anti-depressants can alter how you self-regulate, which makes you more intolerant of the heat.
Whatever the case may be, Day said that extreme heat is just another opportunity to make sure you’re taking extra care of yourself.
“I think that just the self-care alone, and looking at their own self-talk [can help],” she said. “What they tell themselves. If they feel helpless and they’re saying, ‘Well, there’s nothing I can do,’ Yes, there is something you can do.”
She said taking precautions against the heat by drinking water, staying indoors and wearing light clothes can be another step in helping your mind as well as your body.
If you have a medication that you’re worried might affect your heat tolerance, always make sure to talk with your doctor about how you can stay safe.
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