Research finds bright light therapy to help with non-SAD depression

The January, 2016, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published, “Efficacy of Bright Light Treatment, Fluoxetine, and the Combination in Patients with Nonseasonal Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial.”  This is a brief report about an interesting study which found that bright light treatment has benefits for patients with non-SAD depression.  The study compared light therapy only, medication only, light therapy and mediation combined, and a placebo treatment.  Interestingly, the medication-only treatment was found to NOT be superior to the placebo treatment.  Light therapy was found to have significant benefit, and the combination of light and mediation therapies was most beneficial.

This information may be helpful when evaluating treatment for patients/clients with non-seasonal major depression who are not responding to conventional treatment.  Light therapy must be used early in the day, but otherwise the study found that it was “efficacious and well tolerated.”

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