SAD Solutions to Lighten Your Mood

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Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine discovered something interesting after reviewing 20 studies. “We found light therapy is an effective treatment not only for SAD but other types of depression as well,” says study leader Robert Golden, MD, professor and chairman of psychiatry.

Dr. Golden and his researchers reviewed studies of people aged 18 to 65 with a diagnosed mood disorder. Participants were grouped into four categories: bright light for SAD, bright light for non-seasonal depression, dawn simulation (simulating early dawn with artificial light at lower levels) for SAD, and bright light with antidepressants for non-SAD. In every category, participants’ moods improved. Even greater improvement was found with a combination of antidepressants and light therapy. “The findings [for light therapy] are as strong or as striking” as those for conventional medications used as treatments for depression, according to Dr. Golden.

Dr. Golden says, “Light therapy may be a reasonable alternative to more established forms of treatment, including medication and psychotherapy.”

If you suffer from SAD or any type of depression, there’s good news coming from the research. Light box therapy can help lighten your mood. If you have never tried light therapy before, why not test it out yourself? It may make a big difference in your life.

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