Snow, cold weather take psychological toll, can cause depression

The relentless winter is taking its toll on many New Jersey residents, and has very real effects on mental health. (2/17/14)

METUCHEN - The relentless winter is taking its toll on many New Jersey residents, and has very real effects on mental health.

Whether it's piling up snow, unrelenting cold, or impassable streets and sidewalks, psychologist Rosalind Dorlen says it is having a massive effect on everyone.

"I'm seeing this in my practice," she says, "with people that are really feeling tired, grumpy, irritable - feeling as if winter is never-ending."

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Dorlen says it's not just patients who are feeling this way. She says she's seeing it outside of her practice as well. "I see a lot more irritability. I see a lot of grumpy behavior."

Many share the opinion of Daisy Gomez, from Morristown. "I'm mad. I'm over this winter."

Dorlen says some people may even slide into depression, sleeping and eating more than they should. Others may feel cut-off because leaving their house is difficult.

"It's this added aggravation of the snow and having to shovel and having to navigate the streets," Dorlen says. "It's hard walking."

Dorlen suggests getting outside at least once a day especially if the sun is out, eating healthy, and trying to cultivate a sense of humor. She also reminds her patients to talk over their feelings with others.

 

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