SADder in the winter? Try light therapy

illustration of woman reading next to light therapy lamp

by Mayo Clinic staff, from The Beacon

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that typically occurs each year during fall and winter. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

It is important not to brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk you must tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

The use of light therapy can offer relief. For some people, light therapy may be more effective when combined with another SAD treatment, such as an antidepressant or psychological counseling, or psychotherapy.

Light therapy boxes for SAD treatment are also known as light boxes, bright light therapy boxes and phototherapy boxes. Light boxes come in different shapes and sizes. Some look like upright lamps, while others are small and rectangular.

All are designed to do the same thing, but one type may work better for you than another.

A light therapy box mimics outdoor light. Researchers believe this type of light causes a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases other symptoms of SAD.

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