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Questions and Answers About Winter Depression

What else can I do, short of moving to the tropics, to help winter depression?

Light therapy has been proven effective to treat seasonal depression. It can be used in combination with talk therapy, antidepressant medication, and supplements of the hormone melatonin, which can help synchronize the body clock.

Light therapy involves using a 10,000 lux light box indoors for about 20-30 minutes each morning. Ask your doctor which type of light box he or she prefers, and get specific instructions on what time of day to use it, and for how long.

Getting outdoors in sunlight also helps some people with depression symptoms. So does getting regular exercise, maintaining social activity, and talking with friends.

Resist the urge to overeat. Most experts recommend a diet with enough protein and plenty of complex carbohydrate-containing foods such as whole grain products and starchy vegetables (instead of simple carbohydrates such as candy and soda).

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on September 07, 2014

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