Has anyone had a good experience with a natural light lamp for treating depression?
Yes! I'm from the Pacific Northwest, where this can be a huge problem, especially in Nov - April months. You don't have to buy one of the expensive lamps, but any natural spectrum lightbulbs can work. I got mine at a big name hardware store.
I found I just used mine by turning it on and making sure I stayed in it at least at hour a day or so. I used to time to read, pay bills, etc. It's not like you have to "sun bathe" under it. I found usually within about 20 minutes, I felt a lightness to myself, I found I had more desire to get up and do something and I felt like I had more energy.
I have always had better luck with being in the actual sun. But, these natural light lamps do help when those winter months roll around, bringing limited access to the suns healthy rays. Make sure the lamp you choose is a proper light source for healing depression. Some companies make lights that claim to help, but are in fact simply a regular old lamp.
Good luck, and good mood!
if you have seasonal affective disorder (winter blues, SAD), bright light may help. the key is that the light works best if it is the brightness of 10,000 lux. one fact that helps you figure out the brightness of your light source is that if you sit at a distance of one foot from the light, lux = lumens. lumens rating is on the package of most bulbs.
i had one of those expensive light boxes, back in the day when only 5000 lux was being recommended. i found that the flourescent light in it gave me headaches. i had my dad make a vented box with three 75 watt incandescent bulbs. it helped.
if you plan to use light therapy, you should be under the care of a doctor. there are side effects at times, including mania (having way too much energy).
if you have depression without a seasonal cycle, i don't know that light would be useful. in depression, antidepressant medication (which may also help SAD), cognitive behavioral therapy, and exercise all are known to help.
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