SAD Light Therapy and Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a condition that affects people that are living in four season countries, especially during fall and winter times. The lack of sunlight and harshness and bitter cold of winter can bring out this kind of disorder leaving the people feeling depressed, irritable and fatigue. This condition is also commonly referred as winter blues. This is the condition that cripples the emotional stability of many individuals.

A  SAD light therapy box is proven to be an effective treatment for this condition. Light therapy boxes are said to be capable of treating and reducing the symptoms of SAD. It also serves as an alternative to taking regular prescription medication to ease depression because oral medication can cause other complications. However, lots of people still questioning how effective this light therapy is. Let see how it works.

Science has proven that people need sunlight to motivate their body to work. But during the winter season, the sunlight is not as long as summer so there is not enough light outside, SAD occurs thus making the people feeling sick. Light boxes are designed to help those people overcome SAD. They are a form of full spectrum light, which the sufferer is recommended to be exposed for a certain period of time.

The light from the box mimics outdoor sunlight. The brain is trick by the light coming from the box.  The eyes turns the light into electrical impulses, which travel along the optical nerve to the brain, triggers the release of mood altering chemical, serotonin and other chemical messengers. The light causes a chemical change in the brain that lifts the moods and eases other symptoms.

Serotonin is a hormone that acts as a chemical messenger that transmit nerve signals between nerve cells that causes blood levels to narrow. Melatonin is hormone that helps regulate and maintain the body’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock. Light helps the brain maintain the proper amount release of these hormones that keeps the body balance.

The Seasonal Affective Disorder has been known condition for over one hundred fifty years but it was finally labelled as a disorder in the early eighties. SAD light therapy boxes are similar to natural sunlight but it does not contain any UV rays that are harmful to our body, so it is safe to use. This method has been investigated for over two decades. SAD light therapy does have its side effects but is curable.

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