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Are there alternative treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal affective disorder is recurrent episodes of depression that are associated with different times of the year (frequently wintertime). Light therapy has been as effective a treatment as antidepressants and is usually dosed for approximately one hour each morning. Antidepressant medications may be used in similar doses as in major depression. Counseling is another option for the treatment of SAD.
There are several alternative treatment options that some people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may find beneficial. A popular alternative therapy is just going outside, which will allow outside light to affect your brain and mood. Heading outdoors within two hours of waking is especially helpful - even on cloudy days. Making your indoor environment brighter and sunnier can also help. Of course, regular exercise can have a very positive impact on your mood and overall health. Being fit can help your mood while the exercise works to decrease and anxiety.

There are also herbal remedies that may be of help. St. John's wort might be useful in mild or moderate cases. Taking melatonin supplements can help balance the chemical in your brain and Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to relieve depression symptoms. Other alternatives include massage, acupuncture, meditation, and yoga.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.