Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

I consider myself solar-powered. During the long days of summer, it's not unusual for me to take the dog for a walk after 8 pm. In the winter, I'm falling asleep on the couch at 7:30 pm! Seasonal mood changes are common in Pennsylvania. When symptoms are more severe and impact functioning, mental health providers use the clinical term seasonal affective disorder or SAD.  

Many of the patients I meet with at Sig: Wellness Studio experience SAD or worsening of other mood disorders (major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder) every year.  I enjoy meeting with patients to share personalized recommendations for many of the same interventions that keep me from hibernating in the winter.  Some patients simply want to avoid medications, while others seek advice on how to help their current psychiatric medications work better.  

At a typical appointment, we discuss full-spectrum light therapy (10,000 lux), vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids. I can assist patients in finding the right supplements for them through my online dispensary.  One reason that I chose to work with Fullscripts is their commitment to providing educational newsletters that reference the medical research. Please enjoy this Penn State Health Medical Minute with some comments from local physician Madhavi Singh, MD.

Let me be clear, I view light therapy and supplements as medical treatments that should be reviewed with a medical provider; I limit what can even be viewed on my formulary site. Even light therapy can cause side effects, such as mania, if not performed properly.

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Author
Candace Good, MD Dr. Good is the founder of Sig: Wellness, LLC, an integrative psychiatry practice in State College, PA. Her office includes a mind-body studio to encourage yoga, meditation, and other healing arts for stress management. The space serves as an incubator for other female wellness practitioners to grow their presence in the community. Dr. Good welcomes freelance writing and editing projects relevant to her specialty.

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