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Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

(Also Known As: Seasonal Affective Treatment, Depression Treatment, SAD Treatment, Seasonal Mood Disorder Treatment)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Are The Available Treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Although seasonal affective disorder happens during similar times of the year, it should not be taken lightly as it can become a serious condition. Fortunately, there is a wide range of treatment options available for an individual suffering from the “blues”. 6

Eating the Right Diet

People suffering from seasonal affective disorder crave junk foods and soft drinks during the shortened days of winter or fall. This is because carbohydrates can enhance energy levels in the brain. For other people experiencing seasonal affective disorder, they consume huge portions of complex carbohydrates, such as rice and pasta, and simple but healthy carbohydrates such as fruits and juices. Individuals suffering from seasonal affective disorder should stay away from unhealthy snacks that would provide temporary relief but ultimately lower energy and increase their weight. Gaining weight can bring about low self-esteem and aggravate depression.

Light Therapy

Light therapy has been proven to restrict the secretion of melatonin in the brain. In this method of treatment, the patient is exposed to light which is ten times greater than normal domestic lighting for a period of 4 hours daily. While under light therapy, the patient can resume normal activities such as eating or reading while having treatment. The most common device used for light therapy involves a bank of white fluorescent light on a metal reflector and a shield with plastic screen. Light therapy is proven to be effective in 85 percent of cases diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. 7

Individuals suffering from mild symptoms of seasonal affective disorder can spend more time outdoors during the day or renovating their homes so it could receive more sunlight. In their workplace, they can arrange to be positioned near the window where they can be exposed to more sunlight.

Having regular exercise can also be effective in treating seasonal affective disorder. Studies show that one hour of aerobics produces similar benefits as two and a half hours of light therapy indoors.

Limiting sleep to 8 hours a day on a regular basis can also be helpful in relieving seasonal affective disorder. Oversleeping can increase melatonin level, which can worsen depression.

Could You Have Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Adjustment Disorder – psychological response to a known stressor, emotional changes
Anxiety Disorder NOS – pathological fear and anxiety, chronic anxiety, panic disorder, phobias
Bipolar Disorder – psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, suicide, hypomania, hypermania