Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Winter Blues. How a light box can help lift the depression
A lightbox can dispel the Winter Blues
The curse of Seasonal Affective Disorder or Winter Blues
Of all the things I have to thank God for inspiring me to put into my life, a lightbox must be one of the most beneficial. In this short article I will attempt to sing the praises of lightboxes and explain how a lightbox can literally lighten up your life and dispel the dreaded Seasonal Affective Disorder or Winter Blues.
At this time of year with the long winter nights placing a cloak of gloom round our shoulders and the feeling that the delights of the Spring days are, at least four or five months in the future, some of us succumb to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or it’s less debilitating relation Winter Blues. These conditions are caused in many by the lack of bright light reaching the retina, and the symptoms can include feelings of depression, as well as, a lack of energy, and a tendency to fall asleep in the evenings.
These are conditions that I have suffered from in my own life, especially in recent years, as I lived in a flat where, even in summer, there was always a lack of natural sunlight. Fortunately I do not live there any longer, but the legacy of depression, lethargy, and the tendency to fall asleep in the evenings, pursued me to my present more healthy home. This was probably because I moved in October, and the days were already getting shorter anyway.
A light box cured my disorder
I had often heard of light boxes in the past, but for reasons not unconnected with the emptiness of my wallet, I was always unable to acquire one to see what the effect would be. But a recent easing in my pecuniary circumstances meant that I had some disposable income. Accordingly I took the time to log in to my Amazon account, and order myself a light box. I also ordered one for a friend who suffered a lot with bouts of depression, and who also lived in a flat that lacked the blessings of lots of natural sunlight.
When my light box arrived it was a particularly dull foggy day, such as is the norm in the southeast of England in November. I was feeling somewhat down, and devoid of energy. I unpacked it, and switched it on. Immediately the room was flooded with a bright warm white light. It was almost as if someone had flushed my low feeling down the toilet. The effect was instantaneous. I left the light on for around one and a half hours. That night, although I had a strong coffee, around nine o clock, I felt no desire to fall asleep. This was the first time in over a year that I managed to watch television for three hours, without nodding off. That same night I slept soundly for eight hours with no interruptions. Also, a first for a long time.
When I spoke to my friend, I discovered a similar transformation in his life, although in his case it was more graduated. But in each of our cases, the lifting of the depression, and the regaining of the “Joy de Vivre”, dates from the day that we acquired the light boxes.
How a light box works
With a good quality light box, it is not necessary to sit staring into it for hours. You can just have it switched on, diagonally from where you work. The light does have to reach your retinas in order to give you the full benefit, but at 11,000 lumens, which mine gives, indirect exposure can be sufficient. There are some cheap light boxes available, but these do not have the same illuminesence, and you may have to stare directly into them to feel the benefit.
The actual light tubes in a good light box, should last for 500 hours before needing replacement. That should give you around a year of constant use.
If, like me, you suffer from feelings of depression, and lethargy, during the dark days of the year, give consideration to adopting my solution to the problem. Let the light back into your life. Get a light box.
My light box is still lifting my spirits and banishing the Winter Blues
It's almost a year since I purchased a light box and it is still doing its job quite effectively. The depression, that I used to suffer from on gloomy days, is a thing of the past. My brain feels more active and I no longer fall asleep in the evenings. Although its principal usefulness is during the winter months, the bad summer we have been enduring means that it has been switched on almost every day. Despite this extra use, none of the bulbs have gone and it is still working as perfectly as the day I bought it. My light box was definitely a worthwhile purchase.
Some glorious music to go with your enhanced mood.
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