Keep your Mood from Falling with the Leaves this Season!

(October 2010)


As fall changes to winter, do you sense a change in your mood? Do you feel slowed down or unmotivated to wake up as days get shorter and darkness more plentiful? Do you have difficulty focusing on your work or relationships? Do you just feel "blue" and down in the dumps?

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions you're not alone. What you're experiencing might be seasonal changes in mood and behavior, also known as seasonality or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


SAD affects about 6% of the U.S. population and can actually cause a great deal of distress and difficulty in functioning at work and in one's personal life. Symptoms of SAD include, but are not limited to: depression, fatigue or loss of energy, overeating, anxiety and irritability, and difficulty concentrating or processing information. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to alleviate the effects of seasonality. Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation, a treatment using mild electrical stimulation to adjust levels of activity in the brain, is one of the several options available to safely and effectively treat symptoms of SAD so you don't have to suffer this winter.


SAD is a condition widely accepted by the medical community and the public. Although SAD should not be confused with a full depression diagnosis, SAD is a mood disorder associated with depressive episodes and related to seasonal variations of light.


If you notice subtle changes in your mood that may not be drastic enough to seek professional help you may be experiencing a lesser form of SAD, known as the "winter blues." This condition can make you feel less cheerful, energetic, creative, and productive during the dark winter days than at other times of the year.


To maintain your energy, focus, and mood why not try a safe effective alternative to drugs in the treatment of your anxiety and/or depression during these fall/winter months? Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is an FDA approved treatment using micro-current levels of electrical stimulation applied across the head via electrodes. The micro-currents influence areas of the brain called the thalamus, hypothalamus and the reticular activating system, restoring normal electromagnetic communication between cells. CES produces a state of relaxation combined with mental alertness and creativity, counteracting the effects of seasonality. It is safe, non-invasive, non-addictive and has no side effects, making it superior to medication.


CES is superior to medication in another way: It successfully improves both state and trait anxiety. State anxiety is anxiety that is brought on in response to a specific situation; for example, the stress many experience in undergoing a dental procedure is considered state anxiety. Trait anxiety is more of a chronic anxiety that is ingrained in the personality and is not related to a specific occasion. Medications only work as long as they are taken, but CES has demonstrated excellent long-term effects on trait anxiety. It has also proven effective in preventing rebound depression in patients being weaned off medications.


CES can be used in conjunction with psychotherapy, biofeedback and other therapies to re-establish homeostasis in the brain and restore balance. It often augments the effects of other treatments. CES is typically administered once a day to once every other day for 30-45 minutes. Micro-current stimulation is applied using electrodes through prescribed placement by an experienced practitioner. The patient feels a gentle tingling sensation. Often, positive results are experienced immediately.


To help demonstrate the dramatic impact of CES, a brain map is recommended prior to beginning treatment and again once treatment has concluded. This illustrates for patients the positive shifts in brainwave patterns caused by CES.


Find out more about Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation and other integrative treatments for SAD and the "winter blues." Call 312-276-1212 or email the Raby Institute at to schedule an appointment with our Integrative Behavioral Health Specialist, Dr. Cynthia Kent.


"Through the skill and intellect Dr. Raby brings to the healthcare profession it is clear that she continues to do research and study about the relationship between integrative medicine and traditional medicine."
- Raby Institute patient