Can light therapy help with major depression?

Can light therapy help with major depression?


Join us for an open house of the new Women and Babies Unit! September 2, 2-8 pm, Sunnybrook Sunnybrook: Something new for depression Monica Matys [narrator]: There is something in the air, the question is can you feel it? Bright light therapy has long been used to treat Seasonal Depression that occurs during the winter months, so has ion therapy, both helping to boost feel-good brain chemicals. But do these approaches, when combined with medication, help with major depression? Sunnybrook is part of a three-year Canadian study to find out. Dr. Anthony Levitt: They’re using treatments in the study that have already been shown to be effective in depression, we’re just looking for another combination that is better. Some people appear to respond preferentially to medications, some respond preferentially to light, and the idea is that if we can somehow give both, maybe we can actually cross those groups and have one successful treatment. Monica [narrator]: Major depression is one of the most common medical illnesses, affecting about 1 in 4 people at some point in Ontario alone. And according to the World Health Organization, major depression is poised to become the number one public health problem in the world. Dr. Levitt: If we can find a treatment that’s more effective that’s more effective than the treatments we have, this will be a tremendous public health issue. Monica: To enroll in this study, you must be between 18 and 60 years old, and experiencing major depression. That means you’ve been feeling sad or down or have lost interest or motivation in your usual activities for 2 weeks or more. This may also be accompanied by a loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping or concentrating. Participants will be recruited over the next 3 years. For more information, call the study line at 416 480 4444, or, you can visit my blog [sunnyview.sunnybrook.ca]. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.

21 Replies to “Can light therapy help with major depression?”

  1. I have suffered chronic and severe depression most of my life. Sometimes it would become so severe, I would completely dissociate, unable to remember entire days, weeks, or even months of my life. Meds very often only made it worse. For the past 2 years, I have been using a special UV light. In that time, I have only been depressed about 3 times. Each of those occurrences lasted only a few hours. I am so thankful to be living a normal life now, free of debilitating depression. I wish more people could be made aware of light therapy. Sadly, I doubt the pharmaceutical industry would allow it.

  2. I have a light Box what I use regularly. I can vouch for it's effectiveness that it can help relieve symptoms of depression. I believe also taking Vitamin B 12 and Vitamin D supplements also helps

  3. what about safety for eyes? is there any studies done yet on how it impacts eyes or could possibly damage the retina? just curious, i think its a great idea, Im weary of doing it as Im a photographer for a living & need to protect my eyes. thanks for any thoughts!

  4. I wouldn't call it depression, but whatever. If you feel tired or suffering from insomnia during the darker days of the year, def give it a try.

  5. I've heard these are great for people with seasonal affective disorder. I have major depressive disorder, so would it work for me as well? I'm not only depressed in the winter months, I had an episode that lasted pretty much all of last year, even in the summer months.

  6. Can anyone recommend a cheap ($50- $60) to buy that works well and lasts? I see Amazon has a bunch but not sure where to start I never tried this before and don't want to get too invested or waste money on a light that goes to crap in a month. Thanks

  7. I suffer from depression, finding out what's making you depressed and unhappy is the first step to getting rid of depression. Its so stupid when I hear people taking prescriptions to fix their depression, those do nothing but get you hooked on a fake make you feel better drug.

  8. Just mounted a 500w halogen floodlight 1meter outside of my window in the balcony. It does ~10000 lumens @ 2700kelvin. It shines through yellow window roller. It looks the same in the room as it was the Sun shining outside. It really really works, tricks your brain, that its sunny outside. You lay in bed, in a sunny room, and feel how your mood rises.

  9. That's an excellent model. That light box is not only cheaper when it comes to replacing the bulbs, but was — at the time I bought it — the only one that had been found clinically certifiably effective. If your depression gets bad enough, you might need it year round instead of just those short dark Winter months.

  10. I just ordered a SAD therapy light today.. I actually live in Florida believe it or not but get seasonal depression very badly, I’m really hoping this works

  11. 85 percent of all depression is now caused by medications prescribed for other "illnesses". statins are a major offender! They cause depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies.

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