Light Box Therapy Is Revolutionizing Depression Treatment Options

Tough often stigmatized, depression is more common than we think. In fact, many people begin to experience feelings of sadness or depression in association with the colder, winter weather upon us. The shorter days and longer nights that come with the turn of the season can make coping with these feelings even more difficult. It is a proven fact that several different sources of light can help ease feelings of sadness and depression.

Bright light therapy is often used to treat symptoms of seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder. Researchers recently began testing light therapy against depression in relation to bipolar disorder. While there is no definite link between the lack of light and seasonal affective disorder, is has been assumed that the colder, darker days may inhibit the production of serotonin. With light therapy, researchers are looking to replace the benefits provided by natural sunlight with artificial light.

In a recent study conducted by Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, researchers enrolled 46 patients who were dealing with mild to moderate depression. The group was then divided evenly, having one half receive bright white light box therapy, while the other half received a dim red placebo light. While not required to stare directly into the box, participants were told to place the lightbox within 1 foot of their face for 15 minutes, increasing their exposure weekly.

At the close of the study, nearly 70 percent of patients who were using bright white light therapy experienced a significant decrease in their symptoms while only 22 percent of patients who received the placebo light achieved remission. Your text to link… For most people, light therapy works best recommended the morning, before the start of daily activities. Though most people notice improvement within 4 days, it is recommened that patients begin therapy in the early fall, as symptoms may not improve for seveal weeks.