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Light Boxes May Help Melt Those Winter Blues, Help For Depression

November 19, 2011|Uncategorized

With winter approaching, the days are getting much shorter.

That means we are being exposed to less sunlight than we are during the summer months. Reduced exposure to sunlight is thought to result in changes in mood and can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a form of depression resulting from the low-sunlight seasons.

For some, simply using light boxes that mimic exposure to sunlight can help minimize or combat SAD. However, for many people the light boxes will not provide sufficient relief from SAD. And, for many people, the cause of their depression might not be SAD. For those people, depression treatments such as psychotherapy and counseling and/or psychopharmacology may be needed.

If you struggle with depression or sadness, help is available. Call us or complete our online intake form to learn more.

Excerpt from New York Times article:

For the millions of Americans who suffer from mild to severe winter blues — a condition called seasonal affective disorder, or S.A.D. — bright-light therapy is the treatment of choice, with response rates comparable with those of antidepressants. “Your natural clock is usually longer than 24 hours, and you need light in the morning to set it and keep it on track,” said Dr. Alfred Lewy, a professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University and an expert on seasonal depression and light therapy.

Yet many experts think light therapy is underused, given its affordability and relative lack of side effects, in large part because there is little profit to be made from it and no commercial incentive to promote the treatment.

Patients generally sit in front of the light box, which can be as small as 9 by 11 inches and 5 inches deep, with the bright light emanating from the square surface, in the morning. “With the natural dawn being later in winter, the body rhythms drift late,” Dr. Lewy said. “If you can fix the drift, you can fix the depression.”

via Light Boxes May Help Melt Those Winter Blues – NYTimes.com.

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