Color Therapy for Depression

Color Therapy for Depression

Color therapy, or chromotherapy, is meant to balance an individual who lacks energy due to an emotional, spiritual, physical or mental problem. According to Missouri Western University, studies on color therapy for depression have had mixed results, so it may or may not work for you. If you do decide to try color therapy, you should receive treatment from a qualified practitioner because too much exposure to a certain color could cause adverse side effects.

Effects of Colors
Different colors are said to have different effects on people. When color therapy was being developed, the Russian scientist S.V. Krakov found that exposure to pure red light had a stimulating effect, while exposure to pure blue light has a sedative effect. Red light tends to speed up heart rate and respiration while increasing blood pressure, and blue light tends to slow heart rate and respiration and lower blood pressure.

The different colors you might be exposed to in color therapy are red, which promotes energy; orange, which promotes pleasure and enthusiasm; yellow, which promotes mental clarity; green, which promotes balance and calm; blue, which promotes good communication and knowledge; indigo, which is a sedative; and violet, which promotes enlightenment or spiritual awakening.

Depression and Color
If you begin color therapy for depression, you will probably primarily be exposed to blue light. According to Vanderbilt University's Health Psychology page, the success of blue light in treating depression was first acknowledged by the scientific community in 1990 at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science .

If you have depression symptoms due to SAD (seasonal affective disorder), you will probably be exposed to white light or full spectrum light. This treatment is similar to color therapy, but is called light therapy, because the main goal for people with SAD is to simulate sunlight.