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"Let There Be Light"

Dr. Guterson - It’s that dreary time of year and I’m falling into a depression once again. Does light therapy actually work? A: Absolutely! Although, like everything, one has to be careful. Light therapy has become a standard treatment for winter depression. Research has shown that light therapy can be as effective as antidepressants. The extra light can alter those neurotransmitters which are important for mood, like serotonin and dopamine. Also, getting outdoors (dress appropriately!) for a nice refreshing walk can be a big plus. There are lots of factors that need to be considered with light therapy: the type of light box, how many minutes per day and what time(s) per day to sit near the light box, how far away to sit from the light box. And one thing to be very careful of - light therapy could trigger a manic episode in those with Bipolar disorder. For all these details you need to follow the directives of your psychiatrist. Finally, try singing “Here Comes The Sun” while you’re in the midst of your light therapy. That always works.

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