Bright light therapy is a potent, nonpharmaceutical treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), nonseasonal major depression, other depressive and mood disorders, and circadian sleep-wake disorders, with a minimal side effect profile and convenient at-home administration (with preferable clinician guidance of dose and time of day). This entry reviews administration of light therapy including treatment outcomes in various clinical disorders, timing, dose and placebo issues, side effects, and mechanism of action of antidepressant effects.

Efficacy of Light Therapy

Light therapy is a highly successful example of the application of circadian rhythm or chronobiological concepts to the clinical domain. Light therapy is the first line of treatment of choice for SAD and is also efficacious for other mood disorders, including nonseasonal major depressive disorder.

SAD and Subsyndromal SAD

Bright light ...

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