Living in Ohio can be a little difficult in the winter months, as it is one of the cloudiest states in the country, coming in within the top six. Many people don’t realize how dependent a person becomes until there is a lack of sunshine. It can be even more of a struggle for someone that may have depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Read on to learn more about what SAD is and how light therapy may be something that could be helpful.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that is recurrent with a seasonal pattern lasting approximately 4-5 months. SAD can be a winter or even summer-related pattern.
The winter pattern symptoms may include:
- Oversleeping (hypersomnia)
- Overeating, particularly with a craving for carbohydrates
- Weight gain
- Social withdrawal (feeling like “hibernating”)
A type of treatment that is becoming more popular for winter SAD is light therapy. It has been proven to be effective for mild to moderate episodes of winter SAD as a form of self-help. When it comes to severe episodes it has been effective in combination with therapy and potential medication.
Are they safe and effective to use?
- Yes, as long as they are used as directed.
- Use no more than 30 minutes in the middle of the day.
- It is not recommended for someone diagnosed with bipolar depression.
- Use consistently for at least 2 weeks.
- If there are any pre-existing eye conditions consult an eye doctor.
The most important feature of a light therapy lamp is the strength of the bulbs. The light therapy lamp should be 10,000 lux. It’s also important for the light therapy lamp to be UV-free or filter out UV light so that you’re not exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. Never hesitate to call 988 if struggling with ongoing mental health challenges.