Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a major depressive disorder that primarily occurs in the fall and continues until remission in the late spring to early summer. It is considered a major public health problem due to the effects that depression can have on the general population (e.g. inability to work, unable to pay bills, not able to maintain healthy relationships). This disorder affects approximately 0.4 to 2.9% of the general population, primarily those living in the northern latitudes. There have been numerous studies which have looked at the effectiveness of light therapy in the treatment of SAD. Recent studies have also looked at the effectiveness of psychophannacology in treating this disorder as \Veli. Little research has been done on 3 comparing the effectiveness of one treatment over the other. In conducting a literature review of literature written in the past 10 years, light therapy and psychopharmacology were found to be equally effective in the treatment of SAD, although many researchers question these findings due to flaws in study methodology (size of sample, lack of treatment standards) for both treatments. Therefore further research into the effectiveness of light therapy and psychopharmacology for the treatment of SAD is warranted act at this time, patient preference and other considerations should be the deciding factor when dete1mining what the course of treatment should be in the management of SAD