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Beat those Wintertime Blues

sad girl on the windowsill looking out the windowWintertime blues may not be unfamiliar to those of us living in the Chicagoland area due to the long and dark winters we encounter. Clinical Program Fellow Sara Morrow. MSMFT, explains that less sunlight can be challenging for everyone, no matter where they live. Some people, however, experience more severe mood changes with the onset of fall and winter.

Officially termed “Depression with Seasonal Pattern”, seasonal depression is characterized by depressive episodes that happen and remit with the changes in seasons. People with seasonal depression may notice low mood, loss of energy, increased sleep, increased appetite, weight gain and irritability during the wintertime, which then goes away when the season ends.

A recent article in The Atlantic illustrates how light-therapy has been a common way to manage these symptoms but requires daily, 30-minute use of a light.

Another option that may have longer-term benefits is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), in which a person learns to examine their thought patterns and behaviors.

If you think that you might be suffering from a seasonal type of depression, the CBT team at The Family Institute can help. TFI’s Cognitive Behavior Therapies program specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and depressive disorders. Using CBT, clinicians work collaboratively with their clients to identify personalized, time-limited therapy goals and strategies, which are then continually monitored and evaluated throughout treatment. If you think that you or someone you know suffers from anxiety, OCD or depression, or if you would like additional information, please email

The Family Institute offers affordable, effective mental health counseling for families, couples and individuals in Evanston, Chicago, Northbrook and Westchester. Learn more about our services on our website.

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