Addressing Seasonal Depression
The shorter daylight hours of the autumn and winter seasons can affect sleep, productivity and state of mind. Light therapy (also known as phototherapy) may help. It uses specially designed boxes that emit full-spectrum light to simulate sunlight. While still a relatively unknown treatment, light therapy has been shown to have positive benefits in addressing many health issues, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), severe premenstrual syndrome, bulimia, and as a non-drug treatment for depression. Some research suggests that vitamin D deficiency might underlie SAD symptoms and that supplementing with vitamin D might help. It is estimated that more than 70 percent of the U.S. population is D-deficient, a number that is consistent with what our Integrative Medicine Fellowship graduates are reporting
If you have been suffering from SAD or just feel a little blue this time of year, light therapy may be an option worth trying and be certain to have your 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood level checked as well during this season to ensure adequate levels.Depression is a treatable condition, contact your physician or healthcare provider if your efforts are not helping or things seems to be getting worse.
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