Light Therapy Research Papers

By that winter, if I was sitting at my desk at home, the light box was also on.”Because it requires a time commitment each day and a routine, a study conducted by Roecklein found that only about 12 percent of people with SAD who are given a light box will actually continue using it the next winter.“Light therapy can be effective if done properly, but it must be used as directed, every day, in order to feel its full effects,” Roecklein says.

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Inman has been using light therapy successfully for years, but she was skeptical at first.

“I read about light therapy online during the fall of my junior year of college, but I didn’t initially purchase one because they were expensive to me, and I was not sure if they worked in the first place or if it was some sort of pseudo-science fad or placebo,” she says.

When used correctly, the treatment can take effect within a week.

However, even for those who try it, it’s not a guarantee.

Vitamin D, though popular among those who experience SAD, has had inconclusive research results as a form of treatment compared to light therapy, Roecklein says.

“People with SAD often have low levels of Vitamin D, which could be caused either by lack of sun exposure or by not getting enough of it in their diet.In high school, Kristen Inman, now 23, started noticing patterns in her mood.Struggling with undiagnosed depression, anxiety and self-harm, she became more conscious of how the seasons affected her. population experiences a form of seasonal mood disorder and depression known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.Vitamin D isn’t currently recommended by itself as a sufficient treatment for SAD, but it can be used in combination with light therapy, medication or psychotherapy.”For Inman, the combination of three treatments — light therapy, increased medication and vitamin D — has worked, and she thinks light therapy specifically has made all the difference.“Even though I still feel the effects of SAD, they are milder than they would be without it,” she says.“It alleviates in the spring, which, like last year, could be as early as February or sometimes as late as April.”Researchers still don’t know the exact causes of SAD, but there is a strong correlation between SAD and sunlight, Roecklein says.“Some of this can be attributed to daylight saving time.“These therapies have the patient identify negative thoughts and work to replace them with more positive, self-serving ways of thinking and behaving,” Roecklein says.The treatments can be used individually or together.SAD isn’t just the “winter blues,” which involves feeling fatigued and less interested in typical activities during colder months.Also known as “subsyndromal SAD,” the winter blues is much more common, affecting about 14 percent of U. adults, but they don’t technically meet the current medical criteria for SAD, Roecklein says. In fact, it’s considered a subset of clinical depression, not a separate disorder, Roecklein says.“Unlike major depression, though, SAD is characterized by its predictability: It sets in when the seasons change — usually from summer to winter — and it returns in the same pattern for at least two years in a row,” she says.


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