How To Cure Cabin Fever

Cabin fever  is clinically known as Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD). Cabin Fever is a severe form of winter blues or winter depression. It is a sort of mental malady induced by being in a confined area for a long period of time.

Causes of Cabin Fever

Cabin fever most often strikes during severe winters and due to prolonged confinement indoors. Experts agree that there is a link between decreasing sunlight during the winter months and a chemical imbalance in the brain. In the year 1980, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health, found that the intensity of light affects the natural release of metatonin hormone which is a regulator of consciousness. The two main causes of Cabin Fever are prolonged confinement and  lack of sunlight.

Symptoms of Cabin Fever

The American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association characterize the symptoms of Cabin Fever (SAD ) triggered by the onset of fall/winter as follows:

  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty in Concentrating
  • Craving for carbohydrates or sugar
  • Difficulty walking in the morning
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Social withdrawal
  • Reduced productivity
  • Irritability

Cure of Cabin Fever

There are many treatments for Cabin fever. Some of which are mentioned here:

Light therapy for Cabin Fever:

Light therapy in sufficient intensity and time are important components in the successful cure of cabin fever. Exposure to intense artificial light suppresses the secretion of the night time hormone metatonin and may enhance the effectiveness of serotonin and other neurotransmitters which are anti-depressants by nature.

Drug Therapy for Cabin Fever:

Anti-depressant drugs like Prozac give relief to the Cabin Fever symptoms but have serious side effects. Usage of drugs should be restricted only to a severe attack of Cabin Fever; other methods available should be preferred in normal cases.

Negative Ions Treatment for Cabin Fever:

Researches found that 58 percent of patients treated with high-density negative Ions have significant relief of their symptoms – almost identical to the number who improved with drugs but without the side effects.

St.John’s Wort cure for Cabin Fever :Â

St. John’s Wort is a derivative from Daisy flower family and is mood altering treatment. However, the use of this herb is limited because doctors have found that some individuals are allergic to the compound.

Light Box application for Cabin Fever :

Neil Wagner, of Alaska Nortern Lights, says that the light box is the only efficient means of shifting Citcadian Rhythms – the body’s internal time clock.  The Light box provides extra light, which is like getting extra sun in winter

Psychological approach to Cabin Fever:

Hypnotists propagate the theory that an individual’s personal belief system is imaged from their childhood. People need to change the picture of what winter is to their belief system. You can train your subconscious mind to change those beliefs and make changes in your mind with regard to the image of how one feels in winter.

Indoor Activities to overcome Cabin Fever:

Winter days needn’t always have to bring Cabin Fever. The cure for Cabin Fever can be as simple as spending value time indoors with family. Find something you enjoy doing indoors; playing family games or other indoor activities that everyone can take part in and having fun.

Some other symptoms of cabin fever are:

  • Hopelessness
  • Losing interest in the activities one used to enjoy earlier
  • Weight gain/ Weight loss
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Difficulty in processing information
  • Agitation
  • Change in the sex drive

Sadly, there is no known cabin fever prevention. If one manages to control the symptoms, one can avoid being affected by this condition. One can stop the symptoms from getting worse. One can start the treatment from the onset of winter or fall then one can keep cabin fever at bay considerably. You can also keep a check on any changes in appetite, behavior or attitude to detect the symptoms early.

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