By: Jadon Webb, MD, PhD
If you need help for depression, or are wondering how to help a friend with depression, you first want to know what all of your options are. Most of us know about psychotherapy and medications. These are indeed great things to help with depression, but there are many other types of natural treatments worth considering. One of them is photons (light!).
We’ve known for centuries that many people tend to get more depressed in the winter when things are darker (seasonal affective disorder), and we’ve known for decades that administering bright, white light in the morning can help with depression. What surprised us is that this treatment also works in people who have regular major depression, not just in people with seasonal affective.
We love using natural treatment methods whenever possible, and a review paper from 2019 brought us a happy surprise: bright light therapy works as well as antidepressant medications used alone. Amazing!
Even better, when bright light is combined with antidepressants, they work even better than either does alone. This is huge news! Nature provides us with powerful tools to help with our mood and mental health. We should use them whenever possible.
If you need help dealing with depression, talk to your provider about adding in bright light therapy. It may help you feel better, faster.
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about the authorS
Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
Bloom Mental Health
Disclaimer: this blog is NOT intended as medical advice and does not imply any kind of specific guidance or treatment recommendations, and should NOT be used to guide a treatment protocol. (read full disclaimer)
DNP, MSN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner