Recent research has suggested that red light therapy for depression might have positive outcomes. Let us discuss what this therapy is all about and how it helps people who are affected by Seasonal affective disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) is a common mental disorder found in a large group of people with mental issues and stress. Light Depression is a treatment for skin and skin problems, but evidence has surfaced proving its positive effect against SAD in recent research.
We will be looking deeper into the relation between light therapy and mental health and will discuss the benefits of Red Light Therapy for Depression.
What is SAD?
SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a state of depression affecting an individual for a certain period during a particular season or time of the year. An individual may feel a recurrent state of depression and mood swings with an altering mood.
The effects of SAD, in most cases, begin with fall and can last during whole winters. Although in most cases, the person suffering already feels a healing state as the summer approaches.
The influence of weather on a person’s physical state can significantly influence his mental condition. With different hormonal activities in action, the state of mind can be substantially affected by the form of a person’s physical condition.
SAD has a wide range of effects on a person ranging from sleeping patterns to eating habits. SAD is also a state of depression, so it is also typical for those suffering from feeling down or in a state of poor mental health and peace.
You might also like to read: How To Help Elderly With Depression?
Symptoms of SAD
SAD can significantly influence the mental and physical state of an individual. It can have a wide range of effects from behavioral to mood and sleep patterns and has some easy to notice symptoms. You can check some of the most prominent symptoms of this condition from the list given below:
- Loss of Interest and Sadness
- Change in sleep pattern and excessive sleepiness
- Social isolation and lack of communication
- Craving for Carbohydrate and gain in weight
Effects of SAD
SAD is not a fatal mental condition, but the prolonged state of depression and loss of interest can significantly influence the daily progress of an individual.
Depression and anxiety can also have many severe effects on a person’s everyday life, and an increase in social isolation can have a harmful impact in the long run.
SAD can also prove fatal in the long run, as the repetitive occurrence of poor mental health can cause permanent mental disorders. Weight Gain also proves to be a significant issue in many people afflicted by depression.
If you are already suffering from any physical disease, it can prove to be fatal for you. An increase in weight also accompanies fatigue, laziness and obesity.
Possible Cures for SAD
If SAD can be diagnosed early it can also be cured with professional medical support and care. The method of self-care usually involves self-caring processes, including physical exercise and recreational activities of choice.
Self hypnosis for depression is also a popular cure in many regions and should only be performed under professional guidance,
Many therapies are involved that can positively affect this condition and help you in earlier recovery. Light Therapy or Chronotherapy is a popular means of treating SAD and has proved to be very effective in recent experiments worldwide.
One other popular method is using nootropics for depression which also produces a very rapid effect. A large number of people have also shifted to the side of medical treatment and started taking an antidepressant and other medications to help themselves.
Psychotherapy is also a popular means of treating seasonal depression. Although it may take longer than usual, it has a longer positive effect than other treatments.
You might also like to read: Dealing with Senior Depression – A Guide for Caregivers
What is Light Therapy?
Light Therapy is a treatment method for various mental health conditions and involves exposure to different light sources, including natural and artificial.
Light treatment or phototherapy is the primary treatment for SAD or seasonal depression. It has a very positive effect on SAD and provides results even with the first exposure to this method.
Light Therapy is one of the safest treatments, and unlike antidepressants or any other medication, it has very few side effects on the human body. The Light involved in the Light Treatment does not have any harmful impact on the human skin or body. The artificial Light used in this treatment ignites chemical changes in our brain, which helps the patients get over their poor mental state.
Different Types of Light Treatment
The light Treatment involved in the treatment of SAD can be categorized into two major categories: Natural and Artificial Light Treatment.
The Natural Light Treatment includes exposing the patient to fresh sunlight at his home or office desk to give them a positive feeling of their surroundings and ignite a better mental state.
The Artificial Light Treatment includes a lightbox that exposes the patients to artificial Light, which mimics almost the sunlight. These artificial lights spark chemical changes in the patient’s brains, giving them a sensation of exposure to sunlight and making them feel lighter and brighter.
Benefits of Light Therapy
Light Therapy has a wide range of effects on the human body and is a prime treatment method for SAD. It is practical, and its results can be seen from the first day of the treatment. Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of Light Therapy:
Helps in Depression
One of the significant reasons for going through Light Therapy is to reduce depression and its effect. The major problem associated with SAD is anxiety, restlessness, lack of mental peace, and composure can easily be treated with the help of Light Therapy.
Helps With Sleeping Disorders
Sleeping Disorder is a common problem associated with SA. In most cases, there is unusual sleeping behavior, and the patient feels more sleepiness than usual.
The Light treatment makes them feel lighter and reduces the tiredness to a great extent. It also helps in increasing the effectiveness of the antidepressant medication.
You might also like to read: How Do Changing Seasons Affect The Senior Mind And Body?
How does Red Light Therapy work?
Red Light Therapy is one of the most popular forms of Light Therapy and consists of the same treatment process as Light Treatment with different Light waves and patterns.
Light exposure gives the patients exposure to sunlight and gives them a more relaxing and soothing sensation.
Light Therapy acts on a deeper level inside the body, acting on the serotonin level of the body. It creates immediate brain stimulation, serves on the body’s circadian rhythm, and helps the patient get over their depression.
Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Red Light produces a wide variety of positive effects on the human body, including helping against depression and improving sleep patterns and physical health. We will be looking at all its impact on details so keep reading.
One of the significant benefits of Red Light Therapy is its effectiveness against SAD. According to research, it was concluded that one of the prime reasons for SAD is due to the phase delay in the internal circadian system.
Light Therapy helps correct the circadian cycle, thus improving depression and SAD. It also increases the artificial photoperiod and reduces the nocturnal melatonin secretion during winters to help get over SAD.
Sleeping Behavior And Laziness
People suffering from SAD find themselves sleepier than usual during winters and spend most of their time feeling tired and lazy. Light Therapy helps them improve their sleep pattern by giving them the required amount of daylight which was initially reduced due to the seasonal change in the amount of sunlight.
Physical Benefits And Self-care
People suffering from SAD also tend to eat more carbohydrates, which in turn causes overweight and obesity. The Light Treatment gives the patient a fresh feeling and reduces the intake of carbohydrates by reducing their tendency to consume them. Hence, almost every problem associated with SAD can be treated through the Light Therapy Method.
You might also like to read: Best Light Therapy Lamps To Buy Online In Canada
Does Red Light Therapy Help Serotonin?
The reduction in the level of serotonin in the body is a significant reason behind the cause of depression, and Light Therapy also helps maintain the serotonin level in the body.
The Red Light Therapy helps improve the Circadian Rhythm or the biological clock in your brain.
When sunlight strikes our eyes, it sparks a chemical reaction in our brain that produces and helps in the movement of serotonin. Light Therapy gives you similar effects as sunlight which helps in the production of serotonin.
How Long Does It Take for Light Therapy to Work for depression?
The Light Therapy produces a very effective result on the SAD, and its effects are prominent from the very beginning. However, it requires a series of treatments before the SAD can be fully cured. The amount of time needed for the Light Therapy to fully work depends on person to person and their condition.
The time required is variable, and although you can keep getting the treatment even after you feel better, it can have certain downsides. Prolonged exposure to the red Light can prove harmful to your skin and hair, so it is better to follow professional advice rather than following instincts.
You might also like to read: Winter Safety Tips For Seniors
How To Get Motivated When Depressed
Depression is one of the most damaging mental states of an individual, and people suffering from depression cause harm to both themselves and others around them.
Depression causes a significant amount of mental breakdown, and people suffering from depression can easily be overwhelmed by the smallest of problems.
It can be caused due to a wide range of reasons and it sees no difference if you are over 50 unemployed and depressed or in your teens and depressed over academics.
They must maintain a level head and a specific mental and emotional peace level. If you also know someone suffering from depression, you must try to help them in any way possible.
Given below are some valuable tips which you can follow to help an individual get motivated when depressed:
- The first step to fighting depression is acknowledging its presence and building up the will to resist and fight it.
- Start by focusing on your daily work and give yourself time to think over and relax.
- Start exercising or going for a walk. Physical work can help you reduce the build-in frustration.
- The decrease of serotonin in the body is the primary cause of depression, so you can also try getting medical help or treatment to increase the serotonin in the body.
- Listen to music which uplifts your mood and matches your vibes. Music can be a good remedy in case of depression.
- Make a routine, try your best to stick to it, and give yourself the required feeling of achievement and goal competition.
- Start with the most straightforward task, and then you can keep increasing the difficulty as you keep moving forward.
- Socializing can prove to be a very effective method of fighting depression. Getting to know others and talking to others about your lie and problems can help you share your emotions and feel even lighter.
- You can also try socializing online with others if you have a hard time confronting new people upfront.
You might also like to read: Light Therapy and Mental Health
How to regain confidence after depression?
Depression can have a very prolonged effect on individuals and can leave them with permanent problems like confidence loss, anxiety, social fear and many others.
Depression can be caused due to a wide range of reasons, and unlike the Seasonal Depression, the self-induced one doesn’t have a fixed arrival or departure time.
They must get treated as soon as possible before there is a chance of any further damage. Confidence loss can be harmful in many different stages of life, so it is necessary to reduce its detrimental effect to the lowest and as soon as possible. Given below are some tips that can help you regain confidence:
- Start By Accomplishing the smallest and easiest tasks you have kept on hold over time. The feeling of achievement gives an immense amount of satisfaction and mental peace.
- Dressing up can prove to be very helpful in gaining confidence. A proper dress of your liking can prove to be very helpful in gaining confidence and help you in easily expressing yourself.
- Socialize and get to know more people, and express yourself more confidently in front of others. Making new friends
- You can also try keeping a journal and keeping a tab on your daily activities to help you keep a note of your achievement and states.
- Spend more time with your close friends and family and try talking about your problems with them.
Depression and SAD can affect anyone. Red Light Therapy is a promising and wonderful treatment option for patienst with SAD. It does not involve any use of nootropics, medicines and other drugs.
We hope this article gave you all the information that you need about red light therapy and its use in the case of SAD. Thank you for reading, and let us know if you need answers to any further questions.