Light therapy is a treatment in which you’re exposed to an artificial light source. It is also known as phototherapy, and the therapy primarily treats the major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns (formerly known as the seasonal affective disorder).
This seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs during a certain time of year, usually winter. Light therapy can also be used to treat other conditions, including sleep disorders and other types of depression.
How it Works – Light Therapy For Depression
Typically, light therapy is utilized to compensate for the lack of exposure to sunlight. This lack of exposure to sunlight is thought to be linked to major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns.
For light therapy to work, you’ll sit near a light box, which emits strong light that usually mimics natural sunlight (but there can be variations).
A unit of measure gauges the amount of light used in a treatment, with the standard output of a lightbox being between 2,500 and 10,000 lux.
Treatments usually begin in the fall and continue until early spring, and sessions commonly last from 10 to 15 minutes. The length of the session usually depends on how well you handle the treatment and the capability of the lightbox.
Someone new to the method may be given shorter initial treatments, since the more powerful the lightbox, the shorter the treatment session can be.
Why light therapy is effective is still understudies, but one theory is that light naturally triggers the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the brain chemical that gives us the impression of feeling good, and some experts believe that success with light therapy is due to a placebo effect.
Benefits of Light Therapy For Depression
- Clinical evidence proves light therapy can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Light therapy has been proven to help veterans struggling with the major depressive disorder
- Light therapy provides the same effects as an anti-depressant and/or anti-anxiety medication
- Light therapy is a natural alternative to prescription medications
- Light therapy provides the effects of natural sunlight even when indoors
- Light therapy provide sunlight in the dead of winter
- Light therapy helps regulates biological clock
- Light therapy helps maintains chemical balance in the brain
- Light therapy increases energy levels
- Light therapy reduce the effects of jet lag and improves mood
- Light therapy increases mental alertness, and result in Less anxiety
- Light therapy decreases depression
How to Treat Depression With Light Therapy
Few people know how important it is to stay in the sun and simply enjoy the feeling, because, the body, the brain, and the spirit need the sun to feel and remain healthy. Thus, the lack of exposure to sunlight has serious effects on one’s body and mind in the long run.
If you want to treat depression using light therapy, you might want to see your doctor first. However, it is common for doctors to usually recommend treatments that involve staying in front of a light box with a standard output between 2500 and 10 000 lux gauges.
Light therapy is a non-invasive method that can contribute to an individual’s well-being, but there are a few side effects that everyone should take into consideration when trying out light therapy.
A headache or sunburn is most frequent side effects. These effects can, however, be avoided by reducing the time spent in front of the light-box.
It is safe and convenient and light boxes are also available for home use.
Side Effects of Treating Depression With Light Therapy
As stated earlier, there are side effects to light therapy, including a headache and sunburn, but these are not serious, and most side effects can be avoided by adjusting the duration and intensity of the sessions.
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is a treatment in which one is exposed to an artificial light source. The therapy primarily treats the major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns.
Light therapy probably won’t cure the seasonal affective disorder, non-seasonal depression or similar conditions, but it may ease symptoms, increase your energy levels, and help you feel better about yourself and life as a whole.
Light therapy can start to improve symptoms within just a few days of use and comes cheap.