As winter sets in many of us will suffer the effects of sunlight deprivation. In some people this can manifest as depression. I have personally found my energy levels drain during winter months and perk up in the Spring and Summer. As I have visited places further North I have found this effect to be particularly noticeable.
This brings me to the power of light. Not only is light important for getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D it also helps ameliorate depression in some people. An interesting study released in November in the Journal of the American Medical Association set out to examine the effects of light therapy on 122 adults suffering from moderate to severe depression. They had four treatment arms: Light monotherapy, Prozac plus light, Prozac monotherapy, and placebo.
The results may surprise you. The best results came from combination Prozac and light therapy with light monotherapy coming a close second. Prozac monotherapy and placebo were equivalent.
In conclusion, if you find yourself depressed consider light therapy especially if you have limited daily sunlight exposure.
Of course, each individual case is different and the advice in this post should not substitute for getting a consultation with your doctor.
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1. JAMA Psychiatry November 18, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2235
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