What Is Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder and How Can Light Therapy Help?

Depression
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Have you heard of summertime sadness before? Better yet, have you experienced it yourself? 

Many of us might assume that seasonal affective disorder is a condition that only happens during the gloomy winter months. However, it can actually happen any time of the year. Before we go into more detail, it’s important to know what seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is. 

The American Psychiatric Association refers to seasonal affective disorder as a form of depression. People who experience SAD experience frequent mood changes and symptoms that are similar to depression. While SAD typically occurs during the fall and winter months due to the lack of sunlight, this condition can occur year-round. Usually, the hardest months for people who have SAD are between January and February. 

While SAD is known as the “winter blues,” the symptoms can greatly affect one’s everyday life. Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulties concentrating and thinking
  • Weight gain
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Change in sleep pattern, oversleeping
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities

As we said before, seasonal affective disorder doesn’t only happen during the winter and fall seasons, though. It can also occur during the spring and summer months. We refer to this as reverse seasonal affective disorder. Clinical psychologist  Dr. Meghan Marcum, chief psychologist at premier mental health treatment facility A Mission for Michael says, "about one in 10 cases of the Seasonal Affective Disorder are contributed to the summer months (or winter, for those living in the southern hemisphere). 

Certain aspects of the summer contribute to reverse seasonal affective disorder, including the lack of routine, fear of missing out, financial issues around traveling, increased alcohol consumption, and body image concerns. These propel the symptoms of reverse SAD and can significantly affect someone struggling with the stated symptoms. 

While people worldwide suffer from reverse seasonal affective disorder, light therapy has been able to alleviate seasonal affective disorder symptoms and bring back the sunlight in people’s lives – literally. 

Light therapy and seasonal affective disorder

If you’ve been wondering, “Does red light therapy help seasonal affective disorder?” then we have the answer for you. 

The answer is, ‘Yes!’ Light therapy and seasonal affective disorder are a great match to help move forward from the condition and go back to living a healthy and happy life. 

Red light therapy for seasonal depression works very specifically by focusing on the body’s circadian rhythm, also known as our sleep-wake cycle. It’s the body’s natural cycle that functions on a 24-hour basis. When experiencing SAD, the body isn’t living in its typical sleep-wake cycle. In other words, it’s out of sync. Light therapy helps aid the body’s melatonin and serotonin production. Melatonin helps the body control the sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin regulates your mood by transmitting signals in your brain. 

One study found that light therapy in relation to SAD shows extremely promising results, particularly with symptoms such as delayed circadian phase and depression. With an MDA-approved and FDA-certified red light therapy device, you can focus on reducing your SAD symptoms from the comfort of your home. By sitting in front of the light therapy device in the morning and night, you can regulate your sleep-wake cycle and begin to heal from within. 

At Kayian, we’re one step ahead and have produced MDA-certified and FDA-approved light therapy devices that are ideal for at-home or clinical use. Whether you’re looking to private label your own light therapy products or to relieve your own symptoms from the comfort of your home, contact our team for more information. We would love to get you started on your light therapy journey.