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Scientists do not have decisive studies of the effectiveness of curing seasonal affective disorder with light therapy -- also called heliotherapy or phototherapy. There are many accounts by patients, physicians, and therapists testifying to light therapy and its usefulness in treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Light therapy is the use of full-spectrum light, such as that emitted from the sun or tanning beds, to inhibit the production of melatonin in the brain. For some, light therapy is treatment enough. For those who do not respond to light therapy, an alternative seasonal affective disorder treatment is the use of antidepressants used under the supervision of a doctor.