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The Heat and Your Mental Health

Despite enjoying some shade at Recreation Park on Thursday, Kari Gronros says she's spent most of her time indoors this week.

"It makes me anxious because I'm eager for the weather to just go away.  I want some wind or some rain to break it up so I can move on with my life," said Gronros.

Many associate Seasonal Affective Disorder with the winter months but doctors say stretches of hot humid days can also cause depression and irritability.

"I warn people this time of the year, people are more reactive than they usually would be.  Our frustration tolerance is less," said Dr. Michael Lavin, Psychiatrist Director at Lourdes Hospital.

Lavin says the heat often changes a persons daily routine and keeps them indoors.

"We encourage exercise and activity and in this kind of weather, it's so difficult to do that and for so many of us, exercise is a great stress reliever,  keeps us feeling good and is good for our physical and mental health," said Lavin. 

Dr. Lavin says along with exercising indoors, it's crucial to make efforts to socialize with others to elevate moods.

Lavin says symptoms of SAD include no appetite or increased appetite, fatigue and irritability.

If symptoms continue or become worse, Lavin says don't be a afraid to get help. 

"There's definitely more admissions to the hospital this time of the year. People can have trouble with their mood and may actually have more in the way of suicidal thoughts.  So that's definitely a concern and something you want to make sure you get help for that," said Lavin.

**Ali Warner Fox 40 HD News**

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