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Treatment of seasonal affective disorder: Unipolar versus bipolar differences

Abstract

Evidence-based treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) include light therapy and pharmacotherapy. We briefly review the diagnosis and treatment of SAD, focusing on clinical and treatment differences between patients with unipolar and bipolar illness. Special considerations for the management of SAD in patients with bipolar disorder are discussed, including the need to monitor for emergence of manic and hypomanic mood switches, to use mood stabilizers in patients with bipolar I disorder, and to be aware of potential interactions between bright light and medications used in treating bipolar disorder. Chronobiological treatments such as bright light therapy may be combined with pharmacotherapy to enhance therapeutic effects, reduce adverse side effects, and optimize treatment in patients with seasonal and nonseasonal bipolar disorder.

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Sohn, CH., Lam, R.W. Treatment of seasonal affective disorder: Unipolar versus bipolar differences. Curr Psychiatry Rep 6, 478–485 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-004-0014-z

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Keywords

  • Melatonin
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Fluoxetine
  • Light Treatment
  • Moclobemide