A simple and therefore attractive and widely researched idea is that there is an inverse relationship between short duration of the local daylight period and the incidence of depression (Young et al., 1997). This correlation has not always been replicated, and possible confounds, such as seasonal unemployment, have to be considered (Murray & Hay, 1997). There is some evidence for the effectiveness of light therapy in seasonal affective disorder. (Lee et al., 1997). However, the usual irradiation at 10000 lx is not always without side effects. About half the patients suffer from headaches and visual problems early in treatment (Kogan & Guilford, 1998). There have also been reports of emerging suicidal tendencies during light therapy (Praschak et al., 1997), so that this treatment should not be given without psychiatric supervision. Proof that seasonal depression is in any way different from major depressive illness is still lacking. Its symptoms are consistent with (atypical) depression, with hypersomnia, hyperphagia, and tiredness. As in other types of depressive illness, symptoms respond to standard antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Ruhrmann et al., 1998).
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Are You Depressed? Heard the horror stories about anti-depressants and how they can just make things worse? Are you sick of being over medicated, glazed over and too fat from taking too many happy pills? Do you hate the dry mouth, the mania and mood swings and sleep disturbances that can come with taking a prescribed mood elevator?