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Seasonal Affective Disorder in Children

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As with adults, the most popular, and generally most effective, treatment for SAD is light therapy. As simple as it sounds, there are many dos and donts to light therapy, which you need to be aware of in order to get the most out of it. This is one reason that your child should be treated by a doctor for SAD. Other treatments for SAD include psychotherapy and antidepressants, but in general light treatment is the first line of defense.

Here are some other ways to help your child combat Seasonal Affective Disorder:

  • Make sure your child eats a balanced diet. This is always important, of course, but more so when SAD brings on a craving for simple carbohydrates. In children, this can mean cravings for candy beyond the norm. Keep candy out of the house and make sure there are some sweet healthy snacks available, like fruit or low-fat granola.
  • Dawn simulation may help your child get out of bed more easily in the morning.
  • Increase the amount of sunlight your child gets wherever possible. Ask her teacher to move her seat next to the window, if she's seated anywhere else. Encourage her to participate in outdoor winter sports or take walks outside when it's sunny.

 

Resources

Children with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Children and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Intense Light Still Best Treatment for Winter Blues

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