If you’re struggling with a seasonal affective disorder, then finding someone or something to provide you with the care that you need is important. There are two general forms of therapy that are recommended for SAD: light therapy and antidepressants.
Before purchasing the best light therapy products or talking to a doctor about the signs and symptoms of depression, it is important to discuss whether or not you have bipolar disorder with a medical professional. Bipolar disorder can cause periods of manic depression, along with periods of very elevated moods. It can cause episodes of mania where you may feel abnormally irritated or energetic.
Both common SAD therapy options have the potential to trigger a manic episode if you have bipolar disorder. If you haven’t been evaluated for bipolar disorder, get evaluated. Then find the best care you can for SAD.
How Light Therapy Helps with SAD
Light therapy products provide what is called “phototherapy.” You would sit a few feet away from a therapy light that exposes you to bright light. It mimics the natural light that is produced by the sun. Research into this therapy option is somewhat limited, but it is believed to help cause a change in brain chemicals that are linked to mood onset.
Light therapy is generally used for Autumn/Winter-onset SAD. It may be recommended by a doctor or can be used by purchasing one of the best light therapy boxes with the amount of lumens that you want or need. It may take up to 14 days before results begin to appear.
How Antidepressants Help with SAD
Some people who experience SAD will benefit from having antidepressants added to their treatment plan. This is especially true for those who are experiencing severe signs and symptoms.
A doctor must prescribe the antidepressants for you.
There are extended-release antidepressants that can help to prevent SAD episodes during your trigger season. It may also be recommended to take the antidepressants after your SAD symptoms decline to prevent a relapse from occurring.
Two common antidepressants that are used for SAD are Aplenzin and Wellbutrin. It may take several weeks for the medication to reach therapeutic levels so that the signs and symptoms of the disorder become less bothersome.
How Can You Treat Your SAD Today?
If light therapy has been recommended, then the reviews of each light therapy box or lamp can help you pick a solution that will best meet your needs. Several features may be included with light therapy products that are worth considering as well, such as aromatherapy or variable lumens outputs.
You may also wish to seek out psychotherapy solution. Talking about how you feel during an episode of SAD can help you be able to identify and change negative thoughts or behaviors. It may also provide you with healthy ways to cope with the signs and symptoms of the disorder and give you tools to help you manage stress.
Getting outside, exercising regularly, and making your environment sunnier will also potentially help.
Receiving the best care for SAD often starts with your local doctor. Make an appointment, discuss your options, and then secure the solutions that will help you conquer this disorder.