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Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 11/29/2005 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I was wondering how many of you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and if you do suffer from this have you tried light therapy?  Does it work?
 
It has been dark and dreary here for a number of days and it seems that my depression is getting deeper and I am beginning to wonder if it's possibly "the winter blues" intesified.  I have noticed a pattern, on sunny days I start to feel somewhat normal again but when there is no sun, I get more depressed each day without sun. 

**Sherry**
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1992
Meds currently taking: Colazal 750mgs-9 daily
Uc status: Remission (1yr but not sure if much longer)
Diagnosed with Secondary Reynaulds Syndrome in 2004
Meds currently taking: Niacin 650mgs-1 daily
SRS status: Very active.....give me 100 degree weather and I'll be happy!!!!!
Please donate to help Healingwell continue to help others like yourself!
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james73
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 11/29/2005 5:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a friend who swears by it but you have to follow the instructions for maximum benefit
J

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 11/29/2005 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I have done the assessment on the Apollo light website and it's possibly that I have moderate SAD but I don't want to go out and spend over $200 for a light if it's not going to work. This assessment also stated the time and how long I would benefit from the light.

Thanks james for the reply, how long has your friend been using this light and did he notice an immediate improvement?

**Sherry**
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1992
Meds currently taking: Colazal 750mgs-9 daily
Uc status: Remission (1yr but not sure if much longer)
Diagnosed with Secondary Reynaulds Syndrome in 2004
Meds currently taking: Niacin 650mgs-1 daily
SRS status: Very active.....give me 100 degree weather and I'll be happy!!!!!
Please donate to help Healingwell continue to help others like yourself!
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


Mentat
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/29/2005 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I deal with depression year-round, but I definitely feel worse in the winter. I bought one of those full-spectrum lights, but I don't use it much, so I can't say how effective it is. (I should start using it regularly. My doctor keeps telling me to.) I can say I've seen a bunch of scientific studies that show the lights help a lot of people, so it's not just some phony gimmick.

james73
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 11/30/2005 6:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Red ,I'll check with him and find out more for you ..and let you know!!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 11/30/2005 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been struggling with depression all year around too but I too notice that it's worse in the fall/winter months. I have been taking St. Johns Wart which has helped immensely but yesterday was absolutely horrible, I couldn't stop crying and I felt so sad and alone.

SAD has been medically recognized in the early 90's (I believe) as an actual disorder and the light therapy has been out for a while too. They claim to say that it has helped many people but I just wanted a first hand account that it actually works before I went and spent the money.

So if you could ask your friend James, I would highly appreciate it! :) Thank you

**Sherry**
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1992
Meds currently taking: Colazal 750mgs-9 daily
Uc status: Remission (1yr but not sure if much longer)
Diagnosed with Secondary Reynaulds Syndrome in 2004
Meds currently taking: Niacin 650mgs-1 daily
SRS status: Very active.....give me 100 degree weather and I'll be happy!!!!!
Please donate to help Healingwell continue to help others like yourself!
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


carla508
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/30/2005 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I, too, suffer from SAD. What i do is, which is not all that healthy anyway, but it works, is go to a tanning bed. Once a week. You don't have to stay in there long maybe 10 minutes. It works. But i know they do sell special light bulbs for the "winter blues" My mom got me some from a lamp store where i live. they were about $4 each but it seems to help.Or better yet, go volunteer at a nursing home once a week, that will put a smile on some of their faces that will brighten your life up!! coolie508@aol.com

james73
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 11/30/2005 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
He told me that it works for him,his brother uses it also and said it works for him...but that is just them two guys and I can only pass on what they told me as I have never tried it ..Hope this helps you out
J

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Putter
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 11/30/2005 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey all - I saw the posts on SAD and thought I'd toss in my two cents.

I'm just making the arrangements to get my own SAD light, but I bought a dawn simulator last year and completely swear by it. It did wonders for me - helped me reset my internal clock so I wasn't in such a funk in the morning. Otherwise I was never able to get out of bed on time and I was constantly late for work. It doesn't function the same as a standard sad light for light therapy, but did make a significant improvement for me. I'm usually awake long before the audible alarm sounds and I feel sharp and alert when I do wake up.

I've heard some doctors and medical offices can loan people SAD lights on a trial basis to see if it will help, rather than shell out the big bucks right off. I live waaaaaay up North in a little town, and we actually have a SAD light at the library people can go and use while they're there - I'm told its popular. The biggest thing is to use it regularly and consistently as directed by your doctor - they can usually "prescribe" a time schedule for when and how long to use it to gain the biggest benefit. A lot of insurance will also consider covering a portion of the purchase of a SAD lamp since they've been proven effective and often reduce the need for prescription medication which is far more costly than a single purchase. Just have your doc write a prescription for light and it will usually work, otherwise they may request a brief letter explaining the benefits of the therapy and the advantage over other treatment.

Good luck to all with these long days,

Putter


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 12/1/2005 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I think I am going to give the light a go and see if it helps then. I am not sure if I am just going to buy one or go thru the hassle of going to the docs. The doctors office is such a pain sometimes that it's not worth it. Darn HMO's!

I like the tanning bed idea but it gets a little hard to get out of the house because of my sick grandmother not to mention my own sick body. But I definately like that idea, get a tan and a smile! :)

**Sherry**
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1992
Meds currently taking: Colazal 750mgs-9 daily
Uc status: Remission (1yr but not sure if much longer)
Diagnosed with Secondary Reynaulds Syndrome in 2004
Meds currently taking: Niacin 650mgs-1 daily
SRS status: Very active.....give me 100 degree weather and I'll be happy!!!!!
Please donate to help Healingwell continue to help others like yourself!
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


james73
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 12/1/2005 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
hope it works out for you ..check drug store they sell them here ..just a though dont know where you'll be getting it from ..
goodluck
J

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Rianna
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 12/4/2005 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had SAD as long as I have had depression (all my life) and it's the pitts.  I am so glad that they have lights - light therapy for this now, as you never heard of SAD in the 70's or 80's and many people just suffered, or thought they had the "winter blues"..however, I knew something wasn't right, when I would feel sad from October thru March when I lived in sunny Florida.  I am also looking into light therapy on some web sites, as I have been unable to find them in any stores. I live in the Midwest now (Cincinnati).  The Psychiatrist said she would write a prescription for me, but it is expensive to shell out $200.00 for a good box with the full spectrum of light.  Do you ever read Newsweek Magazine?  They have some ads in there about some lights that help people with SAD and they are about $49.95 - I have thought about checking into that.  If you need more info let me know, and I can try to find the advertisement.  What is really weird, is that on weekdays, when I am at work all day in a training class under the bright flourescent lights, I feel better when I am coming home in the darkness..but on the weekends, when I am at home, I don't feel as good.  I am looking forward to the longer days.  I hate feeling this way...and I even am on antidepressant..

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 12/5/2005 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I've seen cheaper lights but I'm afraid of what I've read about them. Some of the lower priced lights are not as effective or they can have the opposite intended effect then the higher priced ones, according to what I've read about them anyway.

I went ahead and bought a Bluewave Techonology light at Costco (a wholesale warehouse) for half the price of what I've seen it on their website (go figure!) and I am 3 days into it. So far I have noticed that mentally I seem more alert and I am actually starting to look forward to Christmas this time. It's been a long long time since I've felt that way. Yesterday was sunny here and in addition to the light I was so light hearted it was great. I can't wait to see if it still helps on those long stretches of cloudy days.

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts :)

**Sherry**
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1992
Meds currently taking: Colazal 750mgs-9 daily
Uc status: Remission (1yr but not sure if much longer)
Diagnosed with Secondary Reynaulds Syndrome in 2004
Meds currently taking: Niacin 650mgs-1 daily
SRS status: Very active.....give me 100 degree weather and I'll be happy!!!!!
Please donate to help Healingwell continue to help others like yourself!
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


boo~baby
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 12/5/2005 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been following this thread with much interest and had to post after seeing that Red purchased an Apollo BlueWave light. I am looking into purchasing a used unit from E-bay...I've done some research and they are the leading industry when it comes to light therapy.

If anyone is interested in my results as well, I'd be happy to post them.

Red, good luck to you and I hope you continue to experience great results from your light :P

boo
"Patience is a waste of time"


boo~baby
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 12/5/2005 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Red,

Just wanted to ask one thing...are you, or were you experiencing a loss of appetite at all? And if so, has the light improved that? Okay, that was two questions! I'm overweight, so I shouldn't be worried that I have absolutely no appetite, but it's weird that I'm not hungry very often. I see that this is a symptom of S.A.D.

boo
"Patience is a waste of time"


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 12/6/2005 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
boo, I've usually have no appetite because I have Ulcerative Colitis but I found that I actually wanted to eat everything in the cupboard lately. Not that's its a bad thing in my case since I'm underweight. Of course it doesn't help that it's a week before I'm due to start my monthly either! lol I always eat twice as much then. This is after I started the light therapy so for me to actually want to eat is a good thing. Loss of appetite or weight gain, either one can be a symptom of SAD.


**Sherry**
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1992
Meds currently taking: Colazal 750mgs-9 daily
Uc status: Remission (1yr but not sure if much longer)
Diagnosed with Secondary Reynaulds Syndrome in 2004
Meds currently taking: Niacin 650mgs-1 daily
SRS status: Very active.....give me 100 degree weather and I'll be happy!!!!!
Please donate to help Healingwell continue to help others like yourself!
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


Rianna
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 12/6/2005 5:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Red-34 - can you please tell me how much you paid for the Blue Light at Costco? Is it full spectrum (10,000IU)..I am interested in hearing more about it..

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 12/6/2005 8:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I believe it was around $140 at Costco.  To learn more about the Apollo Bluewave you can go to either http://www.mygolite.com or http://www.apollohealth.com/new_content/light_therapy/dose_response.html
 
 

**Sherry**
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1992
Meds currently taking: Colazal 750mgs-9 daily
Uc status: Remission (1yr but not sure if much longer)
Diagnosed with Secondary Reynaulds Syndrome in 2004
Meds currently taking: Niacin 650mgs-1 daily
SRS status: Very active.....give me 100 degree weather and I'll be happy!!!!!
Please donate to help Healingwell continue to help others like yourself!
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 12/6/2005 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi boo, So nice to see you here again :)

My appetite has actually increased also since the weather has changed. I didn't think that it would be related but I have made the connection since you have pointed it out.
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
 
~My reality check bounced
 
 
Please help Healing Well continue to help others by donating  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 


boo~baby
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 12/6/2005 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi dbab!

It's so nice to see some familiar "faces" on the forums! I have to say, I normally have an increased appetite with S.A.D. too and typically gain about 10 to 15 lbs. But for some reason...maybe because I'm in school and have other stressor in my life...I just am not hungry. It only concerns me because the other night I didn't eat for 9 hours!

Anyway, how the heck are you? I hope doing well :)

Take care,
boo
"Patience is a waste of time"


boo~baby
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 12/6/2005 9:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Red,

UC? Yuck, I bet that's not fun to deal with at all! We think my mom might have UC ontop of having other severe health problems. She has bouts of severe cramping, diarrhea, and bloating. I told her she should get tested. Hope yours is under control. Take care :)

boo
"Patience is a waste of time"


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 12/7/2005 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Having Uc is no picnic that's for sure which is one of the reasons I believe I have depression. Alot of people that have a chronic illness suffer from depression, who wouldn't right?? If those are your mom's main symptoms I would suspect IBS instead of Uc. Usually Uc involves alot of bleeding. Not that IBS is fun either but if I had to choose, I think I would rather a IBS diagnoses then an IBD!

If you start doing light therapy I would be highly interested in knowing if it helps you. I had to skip yesterday and I am feeling kind of "off" today. Tired........very very tired! So I do believe the light is helping me.

**Sherry**
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1992
Meds currently taking: Colazal 750mgs-9 daily
Uc status: Remission (1yr but not sure if much longer)
Diagnosed with Secondary Reynaulds Syndrome in 2004
Meds currently taking: Niacin 650mgs-1 daily
SRS status: Very active.....give me 100 degree weather and I'll be happy!!!!!
Please donate to help Healingwell continue to help others like yourself!
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


snohare
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2088
   Posted 12/8/2005 9:41 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi guys !

I've had SAD for more than 25 years (not non-stop, thank God) and I've long since been down the full spectrum light road; and I also have Crohn's Disease which affects my mood as soon as a bad flare hits. So here's my tuppenceworth: yes the lights work, tons of scientific evidence there, biochemically proven, lots of psychiatric hospitals in the UK use them (due to the lack of cost), not too sure about the flashing LED visors you get though. Personally, back in the days before I managed to buy a light on the installment plan the manufacturer was offering, I used to find a very bright halogen desk lamp would at least help stabilise my mood and sleep patterns, although it would not prevent the problems. White/blue wavelength light is definitely the charm. When I did get the lamp, within a couple of weeks, for the first time in years I was suddenly fit to work in winter, and got myself a job that more than recouped the cost. But it wasn't all sweetness and light - if I missed too much of the dose, I'd revert to feeling lousy,usually within 48 hours. Eventually I found that the best way to use my lamp was not to sit it on the breakfast bar - something was always distracting me, dragging me away from the light, decreasing the lux I got. Instead, I set the light on a timer switch next to the head of my bed, and used it as an artificial sunrise to wake up by - half an hour of artificial melatonin stimulation. smurf By the time the light went off my radio alarm had gone on, and I was ready to get up. (And by the way, if you want to hear the radio in the morning, you really want the light EM shielded, or it's like a V8 truck with unprotected sparkplugs.)

The problem with this might be if you have a sleeping partner. I used to go away at weekends, staying in dorm type accomodation, and there were two reactions to my light in the kitchen. Some people would cluster around it like bees to honey, reacting very positively, and say things like "Oh maybe I should get one of these", and others would shield their eyes and complain bitterly, really not liking it at all, sometimes requesting me quite insistently to turn it off. 

In the end, I stopped using the lamp I bought partly because it was the size of a small suitcase and very inconvenient to carry around, and partly because I found it difficult to get the dosage right. Too much light and I would get either very irritable or rapidly crash out like I'd been mickey finned: too little and I would still find myself tired and/or depressed, with an enormous craving for carbohydrates each evening. (For me, fatigue then carbohydrate cravings come before depression - physical then emotional symptoms.) I passed it on to a relative, and a decade later it is still doing the rounds of my first removeds, who like it but never quite manage to use it as regularly as they should. I'm actually thinking of buying it back.

Any time I get a bad flare up of my Crohn's it takes three days for me to get "instant SAD" regardless of weather. I suppose this is due to the fact that my gut stops being able to make serotonin due to the damage it is suffering, and this causes an overall shortage. The silver lining to this cloud is that I was prescribed Prozac to recycle my serotonin, and found that unlike all the other SSRIs, it worked beautifully at stabilising my mood and alleviating my munchies. Mild nausea, prevented by taking it before going to bed, a tendency to get manic prevented by taking the occasional day or two off the pills...I'm still not as energetic in winter as in summer, but on a scale of 1 to 10 I must be up around 7 or 8 compared to the bad old days of "hide the guns".  eyes I think I'm that rarest of rare creatures, a happy, safe, SSRI user.

I still crave sunlight in winter though...and I've just been given a halogen heater that to my delight has a nice cheery golden glow.Mmmm...I wonder if I put it next to the desklamp...? tongue


Jinxed
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/8/2005 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   

I live in a prairie province in Canada...we have been known to get tempuratures as low as -70...that's celcius people...the winters here are long, cold, dry, and harsh

exposed skin can freeze in minutes, eyelashes freeze and form ice on them

by February, to the end of April it is harder to cope with the weather...sometimes we get one last smack down by mother nature as late in the season as end of April, early May

SAD is real, I have seen people suffer from it and I have had it myself

as for the lamp therapy, I have no idea

cheers

J


punky
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 94
   Posted Today 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Snohare.  you're a friend of my husband-vietvet.  Anyway you people here have helped him so so so much that I thought I would give it a try.  I have a family background of depression. long story- wil get there later. Anyway, basically I HATE THE HOLIDAYS!.....Not only is the weather bad, the days are short, but you have to be nice to all the people you've hated all year long.  I am presently on Celexa 20mg.  I have up'd it to 30mg once about a year ago for 2 months. Don't even remember what tragedy it was that kicked me then.   I have cried myself to sleep many nights.  Drank too much.  Tried to clean the entire house in one day.  I'm 48 years old and I still can't figure this depression stuff out.  My question is,  Is it really depression or does life just suck more for some?
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