Light Therapy and Depression

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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/29/2007 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Something I have found that may help some of you with your depression is light therapy.  I've been thinking for a while that I had SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) because I tend to go into hibernation mode in the winter--sleep a lot, eat a lot, do little.  So I finally broke down and bought myself a light therapy desk lamp (you can also get the traditional light boxes, or even like hats with the lights in the bills).  They're quite popular in Alaska where it stays dark so much, but they can be for anyone.  I live in Tennessee, and most people would probably think it's not too cold or dark here, but gosh, I don't think we've had one full day of sunshine since before Christmas, and more days than not are overcast from beginning to end.  I mean it constantly looks like rain, day in, day out. 
I've noticed that I've perked up some since having it, and am sleeping a bit less.  I'm still having motivational difficulties (I keep putting off mopping the kitchen and I can't seem to get the laundry put up and I drag doing a minimal amount of exercise), but I haven't been using it very long yet either, and it can take a couple of weeks to get built up. 
Anyways, I thought some of you with depression might want to consider the light therapy to see if it helps a little, especially considering that IBS keeps many people indoors where they get even less sunlight. 

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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 1/29/2007 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it is a very real problem. I moved to Washington state in 85 and had a terrible time and had to return to California. I just could not handle the lack of sun. I don't like hot weather but I have to have light. At that time they were just beginning to talk about SAD. I did not want to get out of bed in Am, slept all after noon and just general depression. I really wanted for it to work as I liked the people and area but I had to come back to CA and leave my poor husband there till he could get a transfer back but at that point he was glad to see me go. I think my dog had it also. He came back with me and was so happy when he saw his home again he ran around in circles. I felt like doing that also.

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 1/29/2007 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
You know, I should buy one of those lights and keep it at work with me during the winter. I go to work and it's dark, I leave work and it's dark... the only time I see daylight is on the weekends. I don't even have a nearby window at work that I can gaze through. Are these lights expensive? Big? I need to look them up....
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/30/2007 2:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I got mine from the Nature Bright Company. It is the size of a standard desk lamp and very lightweight (it could stand to be a bit heavier in the base because it can get overblanced easily if you have the light aimed up high). But I carry it back and forth between work and home, so it's just as well it's not large or heavy. It has a "dawn" feature that turns the light on 30-90 minutes before your alarm time and has the light get brighter as it gets closer to alarm time. It has a soft beeping alarm (I still use my clock radio as my primary alarm as this one is pretty easy to ignore and snooze lasts 10 minutes). It's LED light, which looks odd because it's blue compared (incandescent light is very yellow), but it's supposed to be closer in actual hue to sunlight. It certainly looks like sunlight at dawn; I noticed the sunlight in the bathroom the other morning was the same shade of blue. It was also the cheapest lamp I could find at about $150 plus shipping.

I know what you mean about work. I have a little closet-office on an interior hallway, so I can't see the sun unless I get up and walk around the office and look through other people's windows. But it's funny: it's like I can tell if it's sunny or not even when I can't look out a window. When it's sunny, I forget about using my lamp. When it becomes cloudy, I feel the need to use it. Maybe it has something to do with sensing the barometric pressure.
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