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Beating the winter blues

Updated: 02/27/2014 5:46 PM
Created: 02/27/2014 5:08 PM WHEC.com
By: Josh Nichols

Thursday’s windblown snow and bitter temperatures are just another reminder of the severity of this winter. It is a reminder many of us would rather forget. Considering the number of below freezing days has outnumbered those above freezing by a margin of two to one, some of us are affected by this harsh winter more than others.

No matter where you go, no matter where you look, it seems like this winter has been varying shades of gray and white, a frozen landscape free from almost any color. This combined with little sunlight and days below freezing is making it particularly tough especially for those with seasonal affective disorder, a depression some people suffer from in winter and it's only made worse in a brutal winter like this one.

Dr. Mathew Devine, Highland Family Medicine, said, “It’s more common in women than men by 4 to 1. And it's more common in the ages of 15 to 55.”

Dr. Mathew Devine is the Associate Medical Director at Highland Family Medicine. He says this winter the number of patients coming in for treatment for possible seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has gone up. And for this area, that's not uncommon.

Dr. Devine said, “The evidence shows that it's about 10% of the population that's prone to SAD in the northern hemisphere. So total in the United States, it is 1 or 2%. But, if you take where we are, you're really increasing the risks of that.”

Most of us are searching for little signs of spring and a quick remedy to escape the cold. Fortunately, in Rochester, the winter blues can be chased away without going very far. A quick trip to Highland Park's Lamberton Conservatory might just do the trick. Since 1911, people from across the Rochester area have enjoyed displays of exotic flowers and plants from around the world, some of which can send you right to the tropics without even having to hop on a plane.

Carol Barclay said, "This is helping a lot. I'm a rabid gardener. So, I need to smell it. I need to hear the water. I need to see the flowers. So it's fantastic especially the smell."

Jim Barclay said, "It's great to see what might be a little taste of spring around here. It's kind of refreshing. It keeps you optimistic about spring."

In spite of the chill and the forecast, there is some good news.  News10NBC looked at data from the U.S. Naval Observatory and we're gaining daylight more rapidly than any other time of year, nearly three minutes a day. As we head for the vernal equinox or the first day of astronomical spring, it's set to take place March 20 at 12:57 p.m.  



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