Freeman Medical Focus: Seasonal Affective Disorder

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It’s estimated that ten million Americans are impacted by seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that worsens in the colder months of the year.

“It’s this seasonal pattern of typically depression that occurs most frequently during the late fall and the winter months lasting until early spring,” says Dr. Cody Bond.

Treatment can range from psychotherapy to medication. But vitamin D supplements can also help.

“Vitamin D is one of those important things, important nutrients and also really kind of interesting light therapy. There are these devices, these light boxes that are attuned to a certain spectrum of light that you sit in front of for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes a day, typically in the morning to help alleviate some of those symptoms,” says Dr. Bond.

But it has to be a very specific kind of light.

“Having something that is you know going to mimic the same you know UV light that we would experience at a healthy level from natural sunlight is ideal,” says Dr. Bond.

Experts theorize that replacing that lost daylight during the winter months can trigger an internal response.

“You know the lack of daylight this also goes into that vitamin D production, the less vitamin D which is very important for serotonin in our body which is one of our primary neurotransmitters,” says Dr. Bond.

The Freeman Medical Focus was sponsored by Freeman Health System.

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