Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment Chesapeake VA

The primary cause of SAD is light deprivation, so light therapy ranks as the first line of defense. Light boxes contain white fluorescent bulbs behind a plastic UV filter, and regular use can reset your body clock and increase serotonin. Effective light boxes generate 10,000 lux (a measurement of intensity); to put that therapeutic amount in perspective, traditional lighting produces 300 to 500 lux, and the sun produces more than 100,000 lux on a bright summer day.

Robert P Pitsenbarger
(757) 547-9334
224 Great Bridge Blv
Chesapeake, VA
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Stephen C. Ganderson
(757) 548-9996
PO Box 2739
Chesapeake, VA
Services
Individual Psychotherapy, Behavioral Health Intervention involving Medical Conditions/Disorder, Psychological Assessment, Problem Related to Abuse or Neglect (e.g., domestic violence, child abuse)
Ages Served
Adults (18-64 yrs.)
Adolescents (13-17 yrs.)
Children (3-12 yrs.)
Older adults (65 yrs. or older)
Education Info
Doctoral Program: Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology
Credentialed Since: 1996-03-29

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Priti Vipin Shah
(757) 846-7272
402 Plane Tree Mews
Chesapeake, VA
Education Info
Doctoral Program: Georgia State University
Credentialed Since: 2009-08-17

Data Provided by:
Ingrid Schmedtje
(757) 547-9334
224 Great Bridge Blvd
Chesapeake, VA
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Kearley Mary Ann Lpc
(757) 547-9007
860 Greenbrier Cir
Chesapeake, VA
Industry
Mental Health Professional, Psychologist

Data Provided by:
Frank J Gripka
(757) 547-7877
126 Kempsville Road
Chesapeake, VA
Services
Individual Psychotherapy, Couples Psychotherapy, Mood Disorder (e.g., depression, manic-depressive disorder), Anxiety Disorder (e.g., generalized anxiety, phobia, panic or obsessive-compulsive disorder)
Ages Served
Adults (18-64 yrs.)
Adolescents (13-17 yrs.)
Older adults (65 yrs. or older)
Education Info
Doctoral Program: Southern Illinois University
Credentialed Since: 1997-02-05

Data Provided by:
Richard Hill
(757) 547-9007
860 Greenbrier Cir Ste 100
Chesapeake, VA
Specialty
Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Muhammad S Quidwai
(757) 547-9334
224 Great Bridge Blvd
Chesapeake, VA
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Paris Donna Lcsw
(757) 410-0072
1015 Eden Way N
Chesapeake, VA
Industry
Hypnotherapist, Mental Health Professional, Osteopath (DO)

Data Provided by:
William L. Mulligan
(757) 410-0700
637 Kingsborough Square
Chesapeake, VA
Services
Individual Psychotherapy, Couples Psychotherapy, Family Psychotherapy, Mood Disorder (e.g., depression, manic-depressive disorder), Anxiety Disorder (e.g., generalized anxiety, phobia, panic or obsessive-compulsive disorder)
Ages Served
Adults (18-64 yrs.)
Older adults (65 yrs. or older)
Education Info
Doctoral Program: Yale University
Credentialed Since: 1975-02-25

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A Look at Seasonal Affective Disorder

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By Matthew Solan

For 12 years Helena Davis’ life resembled a light switch. When daylight-
saving time arrived in spring, it flipped on—she felt energetic, focused, and active. In winter, however, it switched off. She struggled to do the simplest household chores. Her weight ballooned. She could go to work and function at some level, she says, but it was obvious that something was wrong. “All winter I felt like a slug moving around in peanut butter,” says Davis, now 64.

She finally realized that her mood change coincided with her move to upstate New York, an area with few sunny days. A visit to her doctor filled in the diagnosis: Davis was one of 10 million to 25 million Americans, 75 percent of whom are women, who suffer from a subtype of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

You’ve no doubt heard of SAD. Also called “winter blues,” it often gets mistaken for clinical depression as the two share many symptoms—sadness, anxiety, lethargy, lack of sleep, diminished sex drive, and increased appetite. The difference lies in their duration and severity, according to Norman Rosenthal, MD, author of Winter Blues: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder (The Guilford Press, 2006). SAD typically strikes around September or October and then fades away in March and April. (Depression on the other hand can occur year-round.) Merely troublesome and potentially disruptive at first, SAD can be controlled if you take appropriate action, but “left unchecked, the changes in mood and behavior can become so powerful they can create significant problems in your life and may manifest into year-round major depression if not addressed,” says Rosenthal.

Light therapy
The primary cause of SAD is light deprivation, so light therapy ranks as the first line of defense. Light boxes contain white fluorescent bulbs behind a plastic UV filter, and regular use can reset your body clock and increase serotonin. Effective light boxes generate 10,000 lux (a measurement of intensity); to put that therapeutic amount in perspective, traditional lighting produces 300 to 500 lux, and the sun produces more than 100,000 lux on a bright summer day.

Rosenthal recommends using light therapy for about 20 minutes a day at first, ideally in the morning. How early depends on the individual’s body clock, says Michael Terman, PhD, who heads the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.

If you suffer from SAD, try placing a light box 1 to 3 feet away while you eat, read, go through your mail, or meditate. If your symptoms remain unchanged, increase your treatment to 45 minutes a day, says Rosenthal. Reevaluate your symptoms on a weekly basis and make adjustments. “You should feel the effects within two to four days,” says Rosenthal. “Almost everyone should feel the benefits within two weeks.” (Find light boxes at www.lightforhealth.com or www.lite book.com.) Brighten up your living and...

Author: Matthew Solan

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