Seasonal Depression - SAD

By: iTopTopics Staff

5. Depression: Treatments for SAD

Depression: Treatments for SAD

- With medication. You may need to try several different antidepressant medications before finding the one that improves your symptoms without causing problematic side effects. Make sure you describe your symptoms clearly to your doctor so he/she can give you the best advices and the right treatments.

- Light therapy. Light therapy has been a mainstay of treatment for SAD since the 1980s. The idea behind light therapy is to replace the diminished sunshine of the fall and winter months using daily exposure to bright, artificial light. Symptoms of SAD may be relieved by sitting in front of a light box first thing in the morning, on a daily basis from the early fall until spring. Most typically, light boxes filter out the ultraviolet rays and require 20-60 minutes of exposure to 10,000 lux of cool-white fluorescent light, an amount that is about 20 times greater than ordinary indoor lighting.

- Psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is type of psychotherapy that is effective for SAD. CBT-SAD relies on basic techniques of CBT such as identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive thoughts along with a technique called behavioral activation.

- Vitamin D. Low level of vitamin D found in people with SAD. But some studies suggested that the vitamin D supplement treatment has very little effect on SAD.

Please talk to your health professionals for any symptom or treatment.

Take this quiz to find out if you have signs of SAD.

Reference: National Institute of Mental Health