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The FBI’s Peter Strzok spends 10 hours in open testimony in Congress. Also on the Friday rundown: Granite Staters protest AG Sessions' approach to fighting opioid abuse, and Latino Conservation Week starts on Saturday.

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Is it Just Winter Blues or More Serious?

PHOTO: Michigan's worst winter in more than a century has taken a physical and emotional toll on the state's residents, and doctors say while some will feel better as longer days and warmer temperatures hopefully set in, others could need to seek professional help. Photo courtesy of M. Shand.
PHOTO: Michigan's worst winter in more than a century has taken a physical and emotional toll on the state's residents, and doctors say while some will feel better as longer days and warmer temperatures hopefully set in, others could need to seek professional help. Photo courtesy of M. Shand.
March 10, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The clocks have sprung forward and a small amount of snow has melted, so there are signs Michigan's hardest winter in more than 100 years will eventually yield to spring ... but if you're still not feeling a spring in your step, seasonal depression could be to blame.

According to Dr. Thomas Zelnik, the head of psychiatry at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, winter's "cabin fever" can turn into something more serious.

"Energy can be reduced, ability to enjoy oneself is diminished, reduction in interest in things that typically have been of interest, decrease in sex drive," are among possible developments, he said.

Zelnik said anyone experiencing several of those symptoms, along with changes in sleep or appetite, should consider seeking professional help.

Because it's likely the state will experience more cold and snow before winter completely bids farewell, Dr. Zelnik recommends that Michiganders make an extra effort to get out and enjoy that extra hour of daylight as much as possible.

"There's value in maintaining an active routine, because people tend to hunker down and stick around home, and that starts getting pretty confining," he pointed out.

Zelnik said those who have already experienced some sort of depression are often more susceptible to seasonal changes in mood, and should pay particular attention to their symptoms as the seasons change.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI