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How does light therapy work in treating seasonal depression (seasonal affective disorder)?

ANSWER

A full-spectrum bright light shines indirectly into your eyes. You sit about 2 feet away from a bright light -- about 20 times brighter than normal room lighting. The therapy starts with one 10- to 15-minute session per day. Then the times increase to 30 to 45 minutes a day, depending on your response.

Don't look directly at the light source of any light box for long times to avoid possible damage to your eyes.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Seasonal Affective Disorder."

National Institute of Mental Health: "What Is Depression?"

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5.

Fieve, R, MD. Rodale Books, 2006. Bipolar II,

National Institute of Mental Health: Science Update: "Properly Timed Light, Melatonin Lift Winter Depression by Syncing Rhythms."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on April 13, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Seasonal Affective Disorder."

National Institute of Mental Health: "What Is Depression?"

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5.

Fieve, R, MD. Rodale Books, 2006. Bipolar II,

National Institute of Mental Health: Science Update: "Properly Timed Light, Melatonin Lift Winter Depression by Syncing Rhythms."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on April 13, 2018

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How long does it take for light therapy to help treat seasonal depression (seasonal affective disorder, or SAD)?

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