Fibromyalgia #14 Depression and Light
It has long been known that a lack of light causes depression in some folks. For Fibromites this is often an exaggerated situation.
For those that a lack of light makes sad, just opening the blinds or shades is sometimes enough to help a person climb out of this depression.
Light therapy is also suggested. However, in order to safely get Light Therapy one must go to a qualified therapist or psychiatrist who is trained in Light Therapy.
First, this disorder is called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It affects most folks in the winter months.
When SAD is chronic, one should be diagnosed professionally and explore all aspects of treatment. Go forth, knowing you are proactive and helping yourself.
I know someone with SAD and wanted to write a simple explanation of what it is and how to treat it. Of course, because I know how my friend treats it, I thought I knew all about it.
Let me tell you, I did not! I have learned so much about SAD and other depression disorders that I could write a book. For now, I will simply write about the most basic approach.
SAD is described as folks having a worsening of their mood in the winter months when sunshine is at a low. Dark cloudy days are no help. SAD can also be a dangerous depression. If you suspect you might have it, please do not let it slide. Call on someone to help you help yourself.
Do you ever get up and simply not feel like opening your blinds? Do you basically stay in the darkened house all day? Does the bright light outside offend your eyes and cause them to water?
It may well be that you have trained your mind and body to avoid all bright lights. It may well be that you are depressed and do not even realize it.
The Mayo Clinic has all the answers you could ever want or need when it comes to depression of any kind. They talk a lot about Light Therapy. However, they have a lot of expensive lights for you to use in your therapy. Most are not yet covered by insurance.
It is my thinking that if you answer yes to the following, you have a simple avenue to follow which may or may not send you for more help at the psychiatrists.
1. Do you keep your house basically dark during the day? So much so that someone coming in comments how dark it is?
2. Does sunshine hurt your eyes?
3. Does daylight, without sunshine, make you squint?
4. Do you feel more alive at night when it is dark outside and you have lamps turned on?
If this describes you, there are some simple steps to start you out on your own discovery. (Not that I am saying to diagnose yourself; leave that to the professionals.).
1. Have your eyes checked, to make sure your vision is okay.
2. Make yourself open up every blind and shade in your home. If you only have curtains, draw them open for the day.
3. Keep a journal and log how you feel at the beginning and at the end of each day.
4. Do this for two weeks.
5. Make a concentrated effort to go outside each day, if only for five minutes. The longer you are outside the better.
If you find that nothing has changed then you need to get more professional help. It is painless and often simple. It is also important to get a diagnosis ASAP. Our minds tend to grab onto the worst scenario and not let go until it is proven false.
Sunshine is not only wonderful to have, it is a tool given us to help with many things; among them being Vitamin D and Light Therapy, the natural way.
Don’t be discouraged if this does little or nothing for you at all. There is a lot of help to eradicate the situation. At least you can rule out one step. And if this does help, you can more easily deal with the facts.
Sometimes just doing the above leads to more revelations about yourself. If you need more information, here are some things you can do to be proactive and prevent disaster.
Call a friend to help you out. It's always easier to do the hard task when you have support.
§ National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
§ Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
§ Call your physician, health provider or clergy
§ National Alliance on Mental Illness www.nami.org 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
I wish you bright light and bright smiles each and every day.