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Cabin fever blues

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Its spring in the Mahoning Valley, but you wouldn't know it from Monday's snow fall.

While some are using their sleds to enjoy the snow, others say the cold weather has them feeling cooped up with cabin fever.

What's almost unbelievable is that peach trees blossomed at this same time last year, according to our 21 News archives, and the temperature was almost 60 degrees.

But this year, Mother Nature hasn't been so kind.

We're six days into spring, and there's enough of the white stuff on the ground for children in Austintown to build a snowman.

The Valley is still digging out of winter, and the temperatures are barely above freezing.

You could call it the perfect storm for some to experience what's commonly referred to as cabin fever.

Dr. Deirdre Petrich, the Clinical Director for PsyCare tells 21 News, "It's like anything else. When you know something better is coming around the corner, then you're just anxious for that to occur. So right now we have a lot of people who are just feeling restless."

While cabin fever is something you feel temporarily, if you continue to feel the winter blues or some form of depression you may have something more serious that requires a doctor's care.

"There is something called seasonal affect disorder that does have an association with depression and lack of sun, and we do see a lot of that in northeast Ohio. But when people are getting cabin fever, it's not as serious as seasonal affect disorder, but in northeast Ohio we do have a lack of light, and a lack of sunshine, and I think around this time we don't have the holidays anymore, and Easter will be coming and going and we're just ready to celebrate spring with all of its sunshine and blooms," Dr. Petrich said.

Over at the Adult Day Care Center on Westchester Drive in Austintown, which is run by the Mahoning County's District Board of Health, the staff works hard to make every effort to get seniors out of the house, to do something fun, no matter what the weather, and it works.

Eighty-one-year-old Ed Gabrick of Cornersburg said, "You get cabin fever in the winter, there isn't too much to do."

But Dr. Petrich says the best way to beat the cabin fever blues is to do exactly what Gabrick and others are doing, get out of the house and find something interesting to do, even if it's just a walk around the mall.

"Spring is around the corner, just hang in there," Dr. Petrich said.

Because remember, even as snow covers the ground, there are signs of spring in bloom everywhere.

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