Light and Depression: Round Up

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Light can have amazing effects and contrasts of light and dark. They can create beautiful effects or phenomena. This picture above is from a blog with 20 Most Incredible Light Phenomenas for your viewing pleasure. But light can also be used in depression.

Bright light therapy is an excellent candidate for inclusion into the therapeutic inventory available for the treatment of nonseasonal depression today, as adjuvant therapy to antidepressant medication. This was the result of a recent systematic review. To me light therapy for nonseasonal depression was new, which inspired the recent post on this blog about this topic.

Light therapy can also be an augmentation strategy for treatment resistant depression.

Light therapy is mostly known for it’s primary use in seasonal affective disorder.In this post it is explained what a seasonal affective disorder is according to DSM IV criteria and it also has links to 8 articles on seasonal affective disorder.

Chronotherapeutics are controlled exposures to environmental stimuli that act on biological rythms in order to achieve therapeutic effects in psychiatric conditions.I was especialy interested in the implementation on psychiatric wards. Psychiatrists are usually not aware of the influence of simple measures such as light and exercise on mood and mood disorders. Six years ago we implemented running therapy on our unit for depressed inpatients. It is still a valuable form of therapy to our patients. We should consider using light as a therapeutic. Follow this link about Chronotherapeutics and it’s use in psychiatry for more information.