Medical professionals the world over have become really excited about the potential that light therapy to help with depression, also known as phototherapy.

The most common kind of solution for depression is also one of the most frustrating – high-grade pharmaceutical drugs filled with all kinds of chemical compounds that have the kind of warning labels and side effects that most people are terrified of.

After all, there just aren’t all that many people that get excited about the prospect of popping pills that have side effects of making their symptoms even worse than they already are.

Medicine is supposed to help people, not hurt folks, and – unfortunately – that’s exactly what so many prescription drugs end up doing over the long term.

Thankfully though, with a light therapy treatment regimen (administered by professional doctors and using only the latest technology available), those suffering from depression no longer have to be nervous about side effects that can cripple their health.

Today, with light therapy, folks all over the world are fighting back against oppression and leading the kind of happy, healthy, and well-adjusted lives that they wanted in the first place. This isn’t to say that light therapy is perfect or over 100% effective by any stretch of the imagination – it isn’t – but it definitely is one of the most exciting new therapy solutions available to those hoping to win the fight against depression.

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into this medical solution.

What exactly is light therapy, anyway?

Light Therapy Help with Depression

As we mentioned above, light therapy (or phototherapy) is a treatment protocol that exposes individuals to artificial light sources aimed at disrupting the mental stress and pressure caused by seasonal patterns and seasonal affective disorders.

Millions and millions of people all over the world (especially those that live in colder climates) often struggle with seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that usually sets in after a handful of weeks of winter. The light is different, they are mood is different, and their prospects seem bleak – all factors that contribute to a negative state of mind and a sense of real and lasting depression.

With light therapy, however, SAD can be combated effectively – as can other types of depression that have nothing whatsoever to do with seasonal affective disorder.

Working to compensate for a lack of exposure to sunlight and an issue that has been clinically proven to be linked to major depressive disorders across the board, light therapy begins with the introduction of a lightbox amidst strong sunlight rays that are as close to natural light as possible (though there are variations available as well).

Treatments usually begin in the early part of fall and continue on until early spring, with 10 to 15 minutes sessions necessary at least three times a week to fight back against SAID and other depressive issues.

How does light therapy work?

light therapy

The verdict is still out as far as how light therapy works exactly, though scientists around the world are confident in the fact that exposure to specific spectrums of light increases the amount of serotonin produced in the brain.

Serotonin is a natural hormone and chemical in the brain responsible for feelings of happiness, and when you are able to stimulate the production of serotonin in the body you are able to dramatically improve your feelings, fight back against depression, and the depressive feelings disappear almost completely.

And though the actual underlying science behind the mechanism of light therapy is still, as of yet, not completely understood, no one argues with the results. This is kind of like not having to know exactly how electricity is produced or how it travels from the power plant to your home while still knowing that if you throw the light switch you’re going to light up an otherwise dark room.

What kinds of side effects are involved with light therapy solutions?

It would be disingenuous to suggest that there aren’t any side effects whatsoever when you go through a light therapy routine, but thankfully the side effects are nowhere near as devastating, dangerous, over potentially deadly in the way that more traditional powerful pharmaceutical drugs are.

The most severe kind of side effect you’ll ever have to contend with when you go through a serious light therapy routine is getting dry skin or headaches caused by exposure to the amount of light had to you’ll be exposed to during the treatment sessions.

Other issues include eyeballing irritation, sensitive skin, or a nose that continues to run. But compared to the alternatives, that’s really not anything too tough to deal with.

What are the benefits of light therapy? The drawbacks?Light Therapy for depression

The major benefits of light therapy treatment for depression include:

  • A completely noninvasive and nonchemical approach to fighting against almost all kinds of depression
  • A just about as safe as it gets a solution that has been clinically proven to work to beat depression
  • A convenient and enjoyable process that only takes 10 or 15 minutes of your time three or more times a week

… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

As far as drawbacks go, we’re talking about headaches, a little bit of mild insomnia, the potential for sunburn, and maybe some dry eyes and a dry nose or a little bit of fatigue.

Closing thoughts

And the end of the day, there are a lot of different solutions out there promising the moon and the stars went come to fight back against depression.

But when you get right down to it, there aren’t many solutions that can come close to providing you with the benefits that light therapy offers without any real drawbacks or downsides. It’s well worth looking into.


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