Doctors: Winter Can Be Depressing, But Rarely Seriously

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you feel like being cooped up inside because of the cold weather is making you a little nutty, you’re not alone; but experts say the cold rarely poses a serious psychological problem.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that can trigger depression, but University of Chicago psychiatry professor Dr. Royce Lee said that’s due to a lack of sunlight, not the frigid temperatures.

Lee said the weather affects different people differently, and most people don’t have any problem with it.

He said barometric pressure can trigger migraines in some, while inflammation can drive depression and angry outbursts.

Dr. Pedro Dago, head of the psychiatric emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital said those people who do struggle with the extreme cold frequently have issues with how disruptive it is.

He said for those people who must have order, the cold can wreck a schedule.

Lee said some folks feel a loss of control because of the extreme weather.

Both men suggest those people work to preserve structure and routine in their days.

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