Is "Cabin Fever" Real?

We are into the homestretch. March is when the days are getting longer and winter is nearing its end. For the next handful of weeks we’ll combat the dragging on of cold and snow with our faint memories of summer as we await the eventual warm-up. In the meantime, however, we’re still bottled up inside. So we ask, is ‘cabin fever’ real?

There is no formal diagnosis given to cabin fever, but medical professionals largely recognize the phenomena. The general population does experience physiological changes to their mood resulting in added stress and anxiety. Symptoms are typically small and hard to notice. Yet people who are more vulnerable to stress may experience more extreme symptoms and even depression. Luckily, when symptoms are truly triggered by climate they are often short-lived and easily reversed.

Limiting cabin fever is as simple as taking care of yourself. Exercising regularly, getting good sleep, maintaining your social rhythms, and reducing alcohol consumption are some simple steps to take. You should always consult your doctor for medical advice. Cabin fever is a household term, but related and more serious conditions exist such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a clinical diagnosis.

This time of year most of us are feeling a little too cooped up. So we say to you, “Hang in there!” The warm air is on its way. Embrace the final weeks of winter with your last bit of endurance. In the meantime, get outside when we have a warm-up, and take care of yourself as much as possible.