Lightboxes and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Bright light, such as that found in light therapy boxes, is highly effective in treating SAD. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Treatment [for SAD] with bright environmental light is generally a first-line therapeutic approach.” Four out of five people with seasonal difficulties (either SAD or S-SAD) should expect to benefit from bright light therapy.

Light boxes and seasonal affective disorder have long been studied together, and the research offers hope for those who have suffered from SAD. “Several qualitative review of the literature…have concluded that bright light therapy, administered by fluorescent light boxes…is an effective treatment for SAD, with response rates of 60% to 90%.” According to Norman Rosenthal, former Chief of Clinical Psychobiology at the National Institute of Mental Health, “The most effective, practical, and best-studied way of enhancing your environmental light is by means of a special light fixture or light box, the most commonly used method for administering light therapy.

SAD Treatments for Adults

Other SAD treatments that may be helpful include changes in diet and exercise, stress management, sleep restriction, psychotherapy, and antidepressant medications. Try these methods in addition to administering light therapy light. You will find the right combination of treatments for your body.

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