Hot weather seen as causing more stress

Hot weather seen as causing more stress

29 March 2008

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Thailand — A psychiatrist has blamed the hot weather for a rise in the number of people seeking medical help for stress in the Northeast. In Nakhon Ratchasima, the number of people suffering from stress-related illnesses has risen by 20% in the past four months.

Dr Norachart Rattanachata, the deputy director of the Nakhon Ratchasima Ratchanakharin Psychiatry Hospital, said the hot weather had caused many people to suffer from stress with a total of 201 patients being treated at the hospital, about 20% higher than in the past four months. Some needed medication.

About 400 people visited the hospital’s outpatient section a day and the number has kept rising, he said. The average age of patients suffering from stress was a little more than 40. Initial symptoms included difficulty sleeping, anxiety and depression.

The hot weather caused many people to suffer from stress. Other causes are family problems, debt, divorce and alcohol-related problems.

He said northeastern people mostly sought counselling from the hospital during the hot season or after the rice harvesting season.

To reduce stress, people should smile, take better care of their health and think positively, play music and sports and plant trees.

Meanwhile, Her Majesty the Queen yesterday asked the military to help tackle the haze crisis and put out forest fires in the North.

The Third Army Region yesterday called a meeting of military units in the upper North to discuss the haze problem following Her Majesty’s concerns.

Troops from two task forces were yesterday dispatched to survey smoke-hit areas in Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Forest fires were reported at 10 locations in Chiang Mai’s Chiang Dao district.

A campaign was launched yesterday in Chiang Mai to ask farmers to stop burning rice straw after the harvest. The campaign was aimed at reducing the amount of black smoke which has blanketed the North.

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department’s Region 5 division has declared 110 districts in six provinces drought-hit areas.

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