Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in seniors ranges from simplistic to involved. Simplistic treatment includes light therapy; moderate may include prescription medications and light therapy; while the most difficult cases may include both of these therapies in addition to psychotherapy.
It is really quite important that the diagnosis be correct. If the diagnosis is off, both light therapy and/or an antidepressant could have negative side effects or trigger a manic episode in the individual.
The Mayo Clinic Staff is precise when they talk about each type of therapy. Take for instance light therapy (which is also referred to as phototherapy). Light therapy just happens to be one of the first lines of treatment for SAD. The light typically begins to work in about two to four days, depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms.
An individual with SAD just has to sit a few feet away from a specialized light therapy box thus being exposed to bright light. The bright light represents the sun’s rays in the mind and causes a change in a person’s brain chemicals that are linked to their mood.
Just because you may hear this and suspect that you can self-diagnose the elder in your life, think again. It is truly best to speak with a professional before purchasing a light box – especially to avoid counter reactions. Remember that as a caregiver you should do whatever possible to display that With Age Comes Respect. In this case it is truly knowing your place.