Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that generally occurs each year during fall and winter. A light therapy box is a proven seasonal affective disorder treatment. Light therapy boxes for seasonal affective disorder treatment are also known as light boxes, bright light therapy boxes and phototherapy boxes. All light boxes for seasonal affective disorder treatment are designed do the same thing, but one may work better for you than another.
You can buy a light box over-the-counter, without a doctor's prescription. Or, your doctor may prescribe a particular lamp for Seasonal Affective Disorder. In some cases, health insurance companies require a prescription from a doctor to cover the cost of a light box.
The light from a SAD lamp mimics outdoor light. This is thought to cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases other symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Light therapy can also be used to help adjust daily sleep cycles (circadian rhythm), which may play a role in mood. SAD lights are generally used for 30 minutes or longer each morning, with bright light shining indirectly toward your eyes.