Phototherapy Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Are you feeling depressed during winter or have low energy, moody or feeling fatigue? You are maybe suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a mood disorder in which people experience depressive symptoms every year, repeatedly. Symptoms tend to start from around September each year lasting until April, but are at their worst in the darkest months. It is a depression caused by lack of enough bright light to trigger various hormones that affect the body’s circadian rhythms and is more common in females than in males.

Though there are two types of SAD, the fall-onset SAD and the summer-onset SAD, the fall-onset type, also called as winter depression or winter blues, is the more recognized. Many people experience mood changes as winter sets on like, hopelessness, anxiety, and irritability. People with sad also experience loss or energy, increased need to sleep, weight gain due to increased appetite with carbohydrate craving and loss of interest in activities or social withdrawal.

Physicians have many options in treating SAD but if you have another type of depression, the treatment may be different. Most doctors recommend that patients with SAD try to get outside early in the morning to increase their exposure to natural light. In the evening, treatment for SAD includes light therapy (phototherapy). Researchers have proved that bright light makes a difference to the brain chemistry.

People with SAD need more winter lightings like the kitchen lighting, patio lighting, or garden lighting. Light on every part of the house must be suitably bright. The ideal level of light is about as bright as a spring morning. For other people sitting in front of a light as bright as on a lucid day for around 30 minutes a day will be enough to ease the symptoms.

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