Benefits Of Light Therapy Depression Treatment For All Depressives


Benefits Of Light Therapy Depression Treatment For All Depressives

In some instances, the solution to addressing depression could be as simple as light therapy depression treatment.

You might have heard that light therapy is an effective treatment for seasonal depression. Indeed, studies have shown the effectiveness of light therapy in treating those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In fact, over seventy research studies have shown that bright light therapy can bring better results for SAD patients than medication, and with much fewer side effects [1].

But do you know that light therapy can be useful for all types of depression?

Benefits of light therapy for all depression

Daniel Kripke, a veteran light researcher and psychiatrist at the University of California in San Diego, proposed at an American Psychiatric Association symposium in 1997 that the value of light therapy for seasonal and non-seasonal depression is comparable. [2]

Effects of light therapy on depression sufferers

Through a review of various studies, Kripke found that bright light therapy depression treatment significantly hastened response to slow-acting antidepressant drugs, converted drug non-responders into responders, and sustained response to some normally short-lived anti-depressant (e.g. partial sleep deprivation). Bright light therapy also seems to augment the effects of psychotherapy. [2]

As such, Kripke suggested that most patients with depression should receive light therapy depression treatment in addition to any medication or psychotherapy they may be receiving. In fact, he proposed that they may benefit from incorporating exposure to bright light into their lifestyle on a long term basis. [2]

Evolutionary importance of light

You might be wondering why light therapy works for all forms of depression. Stephen S. Ilardi, Ph.D. pointed out that humans were all designed to get bright light on a regular basis – our eyes have special light receptors that respond only to the brightness of outdoor lighting. [1]

In addition, if we were to look at our evolutionary history, our hunter-gatherer ancestors spent most of their days outdoors. In fact, even as recent as a century ago, most people were still spending a majority of their waking time in natural daylight. [1]

This means that if we do not get sufficient bright light on a regular basis as we were designed to, problems are bound to arise. That is why many researches and natural therapists value the use of light therapy for all types of depression – you might not have seasonal depression, but you might be light-deprived because of the modern lifestyle, without knowing it.

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