Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Seasonal affective disorder is a recurrent depressive disorder that follows a seasonal pattern with treatment focused on antidepressant therapy, light therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy (Thaler et al, 201 1 ). The relevance of this paper is to examine the treatment options available for seasonal affective disorder and detem1ine the best practice management for the patient. The case described is a 55-year-old male patient with recurrent depression symptoms who was treated with antidepressant therapy with the consideration that this may be the best supported treatment option; however other viable options are available as well.

Literature review found that antidepressant therapy and light therapy had similar clinical significance as well as improved symptoms as compared to cognitive behavioral therapy. All treatment options have positive and negative aspects that would need to be discussed with the patient to determine a treatment option that is appropriate for the individual based on symptoms and outcomes desired. While isolated cognitive behavioral therapy demonstrated symptom relief; combination therapy was found to have superior outcomes and in certain areas access to therapy may be difficult. Antidepressant therapy offered improved functional capacity and symptom improvement, but had adverse effects such as agitation, sleep disturbance, and palpitations (Lam et al, 2006). Adherence to the daily use of light therapy, access to equipment, and cost of equipment were noted to be the biggest obstacles for light therapy (Thaler et al, 2011). Overall, seasonal affective disorder can cause disturbances in a patient's daily life and should be promptly recognized and treated in a patient centered approach