Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD) is a subset of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) that occurs mainly in the winter months due to decreased exposure to sunlight. The disorder is especially common in latitudes north of the equator. Although the disorder is easily identifiable, the appropriate treatment for each patient varies. In this case report a patient case is presented describing assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for SAD. The two most widely efficacious treatments for SAD are light therapy and pharmacologic therapy. Search engines such as Academic Search Premier, PubMed, the American Psychological Association, and PsychINFO. Search terms included Seasonal Affective Disorder, light therapy, fluvoxitine, Prozac, and compliance were used to find relevant articles and studies. Randomized controlled, double blind, and meta- analysis published after 2005 were the preferred types of resource. The pros, cons, and effectiveness of each treatment will be detailed in the following literature review. This report includes a discussion of literature comparing efficacy of light therapy and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) :fluoxetine (Prozac) to determine which treatment is most beneficial.