Seasonal Affective Disorder. Ironically, it is also referred to as “SAD” and is a form of depression that occurs around the same time of year: the fall and winter seasons. What triggers this particular disorder is the fact that as it gets colder outside and daylight savings time changes, the sun sets quicker, plus it doesn’t always shine as brightly or as often as it does during the spring and summer months. As a direct result, it can cause people to experience certain symptoms that are directly related to depression.
And while this is something of a cause for concern, there is good news. One very effective form of treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder is what’s known as light box therapy. If this is something that you would like to learn more about, some information is provided below:
What Is Light Therapy?
There are a lot of reasons why doctors recommend using light therapy to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. One of the main ones is that it’s really easy and extremely safe; so much in fact that it’s the kind of treatment that you can do in the comfort of your own home. What it consists of is a light box that is brighter than your standard bulbs. In fact, the light that’s inside of the box is as much as 20 times brighter than traditional indoor lighting. Once the box is installed in your home, your doctor will tell you how long you should sit in the light’s presence. It tends to vary based on the level of intensity that you need but in most cases, 30 minutes to 2 hours is required.
How Does It Benefit Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Being that Seasonal Affective Disorder happens during the times of the year when it tends to be darker outside for a longer period of time, that’s why light therapy is so effective. Since the seasonal changes are oftentimes drastic, it can affect one’s biological clock and that can affect one’s moods. There are also studies which indicate that a lack of light can alter the brain’s serotonin levels, too. However, with the help of light therapy, your biological clock can be reset and as an added bonus, light therapy has very few side effects. This is why many doctors recommend it as an alternative to some of the medications that are traditionally prescribed in order to treat this particular kind of depression.
How Is the Procedure Done?
As far as how the light box therapy procedure is technically done, first put the box on a table or desk. Then leave it on while you’re doing something in its vicinity such as reading a book or working at your computer. It’s important that the light reaches your eyes; however, make sure that you don’t stare directly at it for more than a few seconds. If you make a point to remain in front of the light (during evening hours) from 30 minutes to 2 hours, you should notice a difference in your depression within 3-5 days. For more information on light therapy boxes, visit Alaska Northern Lights.