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Why Do We Feel Depressed in Autumn?

by Maryann Pisano on October 4, 2015


The information presented in this website and the comments from Dr. Hughes are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or psychological disorder. The information presented is not a substitute for medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment. You are advised to seek professional medical and psychological help as necessary.


Dr. Hughes, why do we start to feel depressed in the fall?

Some people feel depressed in the fall.  For those people, they are typically mourning the loss of summer.  This may relate to weather or to times in childhood when summer represented freedom.  Some people anticipate winter and fall indicates cold weather is on the way.

For other people, fall feels like a new year, replete with new opportunities and adventures.  This may also represent flashbacks to childhood where fall represents a fresh start with an academic year.

If you are someone who gets depressed in the fall, that’s ok.  Try to get outside as much as possible and perhaps plan a few short trips to sunny climates over the next few months.  Try to reframe the loss of summer as a beginning to another season.  And as always, if you are severely depressed in fall or any other time, do not hesitate to seek help.

Dr. Carsi Hughes received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northwestern University Medical School. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in adult psychopathology, clinical neuropsychology, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Academic appointments include Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology and Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Studies at Dominican University.

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