Doctor insights on:
I Have Seasonal Affective Disorder Does Sad Light Therapy Help You Much At All
Seasonal Depression (Sad) (Definition)
Seasonal affective disorder is a psychiatric condition in which individuals with otherwise normal mental health experience symptoms of depression during seasons with less sunlight. Commonly, individuals are affected during the winter time. ...Read more
Yes, but ...: While in recent years the blue light wavelengths were thought to be most effective, recent research shows that they may also speed the development of macular degeneration, a potentially eyesight-threatening disease. Do your research and ask your doctor. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
For seasonal affective disorder, is there a difference between full-spectrum and light therapy lamps?
Shouldn't be: The light therapy lamps should be using full-spectrum bulbs, and should say that somewhere on the package. If not, i would avoid them and use a product that uses this description. The ott lights were the original bulbs of this type, and can now be found in many hardware stores (lowes, home depot, etc.). ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Does light therapy help your seasonal affective disorder? Will regular halogen or fluorescent lights work?
Yes: Light therapy is the most effective treatment for sad. Light boxes are no more than a bank of fluorescent bulbs with reflector shields to concentrate the light to about 5000 - 10, 000 lux at 2 ft. Some evidence suggests that lower end of the visible spectrum (i.e. Blue) may contain the most effective wavelengths. Halogen lights don't deliver much blue light and haven't been studied in sad. ...Read more
It's gone!: Years ago it was a separate diagnosis, but in the recent diagnostic manual it is no longer classified as a unique mood disorder, but is a specifier for recurrent major depressive disorder called "with seasonal pattern" that occurs at a specific time of the year (usually winter) and fully remits otherwise. It seems to be caused by the lesser amounts of sunlight and the affects that has on the body. ...Read more
How prevalent is seasonal affective disorder? What are the criteria for a SAD diagnosis? Is it treatable in some cases w/out antidepressants?
Yes: If you are asking it is worth a consultation. If you are worried about your treatment, know that there are lots of different treatments and that you aren't obligated to do any of them. If you don't have insurance, or are worried about cost check into sliding scale psychotherapy or community clinics. Someone can point you in the direction that is best for you. Best wishes. ...Read more