Understanding Seasonal Depression
Winter weather, unfortunately, brings more than just snow, ice, and chilly weather. During these winter months, many of us will experience seasonal depression, scientifically known as seasonal affective disorder. This type of depression is characterized by feelings of depression during the fall and winter seasons while spring and summer are remission periods. While there are many causes for this type of depression, one of the most common causes of seasonal depression is lack of sunlight. The reason being is serotonin (a mood stabilizer) production increases with light. As a result levels of serotonin have been shown to be the lowest in the winter months. These low serotonin levels have been linked to mood instability and depression.
However, it is important to note that if you are experiencing depression you should seek treatment from a medical professional to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment if needed.
Light Therapy Treatment for Seasonal Depression
Light therapy is one of the most common treatments for seasonal depression. This type of therapy involves patients to be exposed to UV light for a specific period of time. During this treatment patients are asked to simply relax. Meaning, reading, cell phone use, etc. are normally not recommended.
Light Therapy, Where can I Find it?
Light therapy has become an extremely common practice. So common that you will find many salons and spas are now offering light therapy services at a fairly affordable cost. This type of service is completely safe for almost everyone. Meaning, even if you are not suffering from seasonal depression this type of treatment may still be a great way to relax and unwind. The treatment normally involves clients laying in a bed similar to a tanning bed in which red light is normally used. The client will then relax and enjoy their time under the lights for a specific period of time. This exposure to UV light may help to treat those winter blues by increasing serotonin levels. Light therapy may result in those feel good feels, meaning you just feel better after it.
With such low to no side effects of light therapy, why not try it?