PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Winter weather is not just tough on our cars, roads and pipes, it can also take a toll on our bodies and minds.

This winter, a lot of people just want these dreary days to go away. But there are ways to fight the winter blues.

Even if you love the cold and outdoor winter sports, you’ve got to admit this has been a tough season.

Not only is it brisk outside, but shorter days and longer nights can bring on the blues.

It’s estimated at least 12 million Americans suffer from a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

Doctors say in severe cases people with SAD become depressed.

Many patients claim they just can’t function.

That’s because the brain goes through a chemical imbalance due to a lack of sunlight, which can lead to a number of symptoms, such as fatigue, lack of energy, oversleeping, difficulty concentrating and cravings for foods high in carbohydrates that can cause weight gain.

There are ways sad can be treated, like modifying your diet and exercising more.

There are also specially designed light boxes that are used to treat those with SAD.

If the problem becomes serious, some doctors will recommend anti-depressants or psychotherapy to help patients get through the dark days of winter.

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