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Prolonged Cold Snap Taking Toll On Pittsburghers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Miserable, look it up and you'll find the definition - wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable. That pretty much sums up the impact of the weather lately.

"We're more likely to feel sad or down or blue because of the decrease of dopamine and serotonin," said Glen Getz, Ph. D., a psychologist at Allegheny General Hospital.

See, there's a good biological reason why this weather is a drag.

Dr. Getz says cabin fever is a vicious cycle.

"We're also more likely to do less activities, not go outside and be as physically active, and we know exercise is important for our mood. Some people may resort when they're home more to eating unhealthy," he said.

He says get out if you can, reach out for human contact and seek light - the sun or bright artificial light will suffice.

"Ideally, it's like 20 to 30 minutes a day," Dr. Getz says.

"It gives you a whole new sense of your mood," said Leslie Wiernik, of Moon Township. "The sun's out today; it's cold, but the sunshine, it makes you feel kind of good."

Of course, there are some people who just love this cold weather.

"I really like it. I have to be perfectly honest with you, I love going out and shoveling. I love the exercise. As long as I have good mittens on, I'm ready to go," said Melanie Glazer, of Carnegie.

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