Seasonal affective disorder treatment

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Treatment for seasonal affective disorder is in restoring the normal brain biochemical reactions of the affected individual.
Seasonal affective disorder is somatopsychic condition wherein physical factors like change in brain chemistry and psychological stressful conditions due to short days contribute to melancholy and winter depression.
The procedure is to make the affected person to understand disorder and face it with positive and cheerful attitude.
Treatment of this disorder involves efforts to increase the serotonin levels and decrease the melatonin production.
There are a number of devices for daylight simulation, dawn simulation and ionisation of air available.
Antidepressant medicines are available for of winter depression and disorder, which help by increasing the production of serotonin and for decreasing the production of melatonin.
In extreme cases psychiatric treatment is advised as suicidal tendencies may arise due seasonal affective disorder.

Devices for seasonal affective disorder treatment:

Bright light for winter depression

The benefits of bright light in the treatment of winter depression has been proved in actual conditions and it is in vogue for several years.
There is drastic improvement in the seasonal affective disorder condition within a week on treatment.
However this must be continued throughout the winter depression season, as the condition reappears with the stopping of the medication.
For this lightbox is used. Various brands are available in the market and it is better to take the advice of physician in the selection of the right light box and treatment schedule for winter depression.
The light used for treatment must be preferably full spectrum light or white light and blue light also can be used. Ultra-violet ray filter must be used during exposure.
The light from tanning beds must never be used for the treatment, as it contains harmful UV rays.
Light doses of 2000-10000 lux can be used and the sitting sessions must be between 30-60 minutes.
The patient affected by winter depression is made to sit facing the light but direct gazing at the light must be avoided. It is always preferable to undergo the treatment for seasonal affective disorder in the morning.
Rare side effects like headache, eye strain and insomnia may be experienced during the winter depression treatment.

Dawn simulation has been found to be effective in tackling seasonal affective disorder

Irrespective of the shortening of the day the dawn simulator is used to light up at particular time.
It has controls for switching on the light at particular time and also has devices to increases the intensity of light, simulating dawn.
Bright light exposure must be continued throughout the winter depression season to avoid relapse of symptoms of withdrawal. Good results are achieved on continued use.

Negative air ionizing systems can be effectively used for seasonal affective disorder

This device releases negatively charged particles into the air.
If the negative ions are in sufficient density there is relief from the ailment and the energy levels of the affected person is improved.

Use of antidepressant medicines for seasonal affective disorder

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) like paroxetine, venlafaxine, sertraline or fluoxetine are prescribed for the relief from the disorder.
These antidepressants for the disorder must be used under the prescription of the medical doctor and in the right dosage prescribed by him.
There will be appreciable results in a week or two in these clinic visits. The treatment for the disorder must carry on for the winter depression season.
The administration of melatonin at correct times has been found to cure seasonal affective disorder.

Psychotherapy for the seasonal affective disorder affected

Persons affected severely require to be counselled by a psychiatrist as they may become violent, maniac and develop suicidal tendencies.
The moods and mental attitudes of winter depression patient must be pepped up with regular counselling and advice.
Depending upon the condition of the depression patient two or more methods can be used under medical supervision.
In some cases skin illumination has been found to be effective for of seasonal affective disorder and this requires further research.
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