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Beating Winter's Woes

If your mood is as cold and dark as your landscape, you're in good company. But here's how you can ease that seasonal slump.


In addition to sunlight -- or more specifically, the lack of it -- the cold temperatures of this mean season may also play a role. "There is some evidence that people with a higher tolerance to cold tend to be less depressed than those who are more susceptible to cold," says Charles Raison, MD, of Emory University's Mind-Body Program and an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at its medical school.

"We also know there's a greater tendency toward depressive symptoms immediately following a viral illness," he tells WebMD. "When you get a cold, your immune system is stirred up in a way that it's a risk factor for depression." And you'll note, it is the cold and flu season.

So if you've got the winter blues -- especially in a deep shade -- here's your excuse to cash in those frequent flyer miles: "Sometimes, something as simple as taking a week or two vacation to Florida or somewhere sunny during January or February can make a really big difference," says Raison.


Reviewed on January 21, 2004

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