Dr. Byrne’s Personal Experience with Light Box and Chronotherapy


I have always noticed that in the winter months I am more irritable and anxious. At first, I thought it was just related to the cold weather but after moving to North Carolina where the winters are mild, I realized it was more than that.

As a resident, I learned about chronotherapy and how light therapy can be used to treat seasonal depression. We learned about how this therapy works for Major Depressive Disorder and more moderate to severe forms of depression. For years I did not make the connection that it could help me because my mood changes were mild.

Then at a conference on adult ADHD, there was another session on chronotherapy for adults with ADHD and I was reminded of what I learned in residency. I often prescribe chronotherapy for my patients so I thought, what about me? Perhaps this could help my mild seasonal symptoms.

Last winter I used one of the Carex brand light boxes for 30 minutes every morning at work. I kept the light setup in my office so I could also show patients how it worked. I was very pleased that my seasonal mood changes were much improved after using the light regularly. This season, I started using the light box at the end of September and plan to use it daily through the spring.

If you would like more information about chronotherapy, I would highly recommend the book “Reset Your Inner Clock”, it is written by one of the experts in the field. You can also ask your doctor about chronotherapy. If you are interested in trying it out, we have the book and light boxes on sale for discounted prices here in the office.

Have a great winter,
Dr. Jennie Byrne

Dr. Jennie Byrne, M.D., PhD.

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