The Science Behind Cabin Fever

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The Science Behind Cabin Fever

The Science Behind Cabin Fever

Despite the first days of spring, winter’s not over yet. The snow has yet to melt and April showers have yet to fall upon us. Most people in the southern hemisphere are lucky enough not to deal with the hair-pulling experience of being shut in, with nothing to do for a really, really long time. Cabin fever is the extreme irritability and restlessness you might be experiencing right now, aimlessly trolling the internet and looking for some kind of escape from the idea that there is no light at the end of the seasonal tunnel.

Looking at the science behind cabin fever may help relieve some of its symptoms and help us to understand why we get the way we do after the novelty of a warm fireplace fades to the battle of never ending black slush on roadways and salt eaten jeans standing in the way of our latest Netflix binge and junk food.

Lack of mental and physical stimulation can have real, substantial effects that have an impact on someone suffering from this cabin fever. It’s been speculated that people that already suffer from mental imbalances can be dramatically affected. Oftentimes, people that have SAD are prescribed medications that may be temporary or permanent, depending upon the diagnosis. Take a look at a cult-classic example of Stephen King’s The Shining as a good example of how isolation can drive a person mad.

 

We also have a tendency to pack on pounds during the colder months, causing weight gain and general sluggishness. While comfort foods are, well, comforting it turns out that bulking up for the cold isn’t the best idea not only for our physical selves, but our mental selves as well. High-carb and high-fat foods when we have nothing else to do, seem like the natural choice but create lethargy. The other thing we do is sit around and drink coffee, which is also bad because that feeds agitation. (Noooo!!!!!)

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Although this is not a scientific diagnosis, cabin fever is a well-recognized phenomenon and can often be dealt with by embracing the cold months by interacting with our environment, even if it is less than ideal. Most information available suggests that lifestyle changes are the best bet for busting the winter blues. These changes are all-around healthy and will actually help you in sustaining your mind and body in the long run. Anything from a new hobby, a romp in the sheets, or vitamins and supplements may have an impact on keeping cabin fever at bay until the sun decides to make an appearance.

Related topics cabin fever, coffee, cold, disease, Food, hobbies, mental health SAD, psychology, science, Stephen King, winter
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