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Shine a light on depression

My friend, Christmas is over, and we’re in the darkest time of the year — literally.

With the passing of the winter solstice, our days are shorter than ever, and those dark nights can feel like an eternity.

Add to that the chore of taking down the tree…putting away the decorations…and braving the mall for those unavoidable returns…the magic of the holidays most definitely seems to be over.

But before you update your Facebook status with a morose message of your mood, there are much better ways to spend your time!

Instead of popping a Prozac and staring at your social media feed, try spending that time under a healing light.

No, I’m not going daffy. There IS such a thing as healing light. Light therapy can heal physical conditions and mental conditions alike — most famously a form of depression common this time of year called seasonal affective disorder (a.k.a. SAD).

That’s also known as the winter blues…or depression that strikes when sun levels are lowest, like right now.

But you don’t have to be SAD to benefit from light therapy, because the latest research finds this completely safe drug-free mood-booster is effective against other forms of depression, too.

In fact, light therapy is more than TWICE as effective as Prozac against non-seasonal depression!

Folks given light therapy on average had double the improvement in depression symptoms than those given Prozac. Even better, nearly half of those given light therapy went into full remission, versus just 19 percent of those on the drug.

Heck, Prozac actually did WORSE than the placebo in this study!

The downside here is you can’t just move the Christmas lights from the yard to the living room and stare at those for half an hour, and you’re certainly not going to get much help if you stare at the dim flicker of the TV.

Even some of the “light boxes” marketed for seasonal depression are practically worthless.

You need to do a little homework and purchase a light box that offers the full-spectrum lighting that mimics sunlight, which has a mood-boosting effect on the brain.

Decent ones start at under a hundred bucks and can run several times that in some cases. If you’re not sure which one to buy, speak with a doc first.

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