Overcoming Seasonal Affective Disorder

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2017 Nov 1;55(11):10-14. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20171016-03.


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) significantly impacts the lives of individuals around the world. The mood fluctuations that occur are not only exhibited during the winter months but also during the spring and summer. The key to identifying SAD is the distinct seasonal onset and spontaneous remission of symptoms over the course of a season. Nurses are in a unique position to identify the symptoms of SAD and offer treatment recommendations to reduce the negative impact of these seasonal mood fluctuations. As holistic health care practitioners, nurses provide patient education regarding healthy lifestyle interventions, which can aid in minimizing the disruptive symptoms of SAD. Advanced practice nurses can offer pharmacotherapy interventions to address symptoms contributing to the individual's inability to function across domains-individual, family, and social. Finally, after reading the article, nurses of all disciplines will have a better understanding of the evidence-based bright light therapy (also known as light box therapy) and how to incorporate this treatment when caring for patients with SAD. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 55(11), 10-14.].

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder / therapy*
  • Seasons


  • Antidepressive Agents