While i completely agree on healthy diet and not sitting in the dark, the light you are talking can certainly help but i would just like to know that there are special lamps you can buy that will provide the proper light to do what we call luminotherapy. Luminotherapy was designed to treat seasonal depression but it is now proven to cope with regular major and minor depressions. You can order such light on the internet or maybe at your hardware store or pharmacy.
On the topic of healthy diet i have a post with extensive knowledge on the subject and how it can help depressed people and here's the link for those who are interested in learning that food and healthy lifestyle can really affect the same neurotransmitters that most antidepressants will reuptake the inhibition.
For more information on luminotherapy you can google it or ask to to me.
Thank you friend~
Before spending extra money on the lamp~ people should look around their homes and try the cheaper alternitive. MANY of us quit using as many regular lights to save money on electric...only to find out that the lack of even THAT light...was detrimental to our health~ and therefore more costly that a few cents worth of electricity per day.
I know that people are willing to buy these lamps~ and they can be useful.
Turning the lights we already own back ON, is a cheaper solution.
You know to get outside in the 'real' light is definately a help.
Even for 15mins a day and even in bad weather. We all need some daylight.
I wish everyone well !
Great post, Debra! I agree with everything you say. I certainly do have the "poor me" times and feel very suicidal, but I always end up pulling myself out by getting outside, walking, keeping the house whether I feel like it or not as well as eating right which means fruits and veggies even if you don't care for them because the reality is, as much as some of us would like to die Right Now, we are alive and simply MUST make the best of it and do our best to feel better and take advantage of the "good" days whether they are days or even just moments...
...oh, and I will try and turn on more lights at night. I open all my blinds during the day because the sunlight helps my mood tremendously, but only use dim lights at night because the lights hurt my eyes due to anxiety, but I am going to do my best to turn on more lights after the sun goes down because I know for a fact and from experience, the light theory is correct :)
And M4...thanks for all your great advice!!!
What you want to avoid is turning on light at night as it can disrupt you circadian rhythm which mean you body's internal clock. When you are exposed to daylight your body produces an hormone called melatonin. This hormone tell your body it's time to wake and such. When you are preparing for a night of sleep you must enhance your melatonin production by promoting a darkness room possible. Your sleep will be then better and more refreshing. What you can do about the curtains is to by an electric device that will open the curtains at the time you set it to keep a balanced circadian rhythm.
Once again the best light is the outside light but you want also avoid too much UV which can damage the skin. Reasonable exposure to daylight even with a full sun is considered ok. What you want to avoid is overexposure to sun which will damage your skin and overdamaged skin will promote skin cancer. The use of sunscreen will prevent a good absorption of Vitamin D so if you are a sunscreen user you might want to consider taking Vitamin D supplement.
The lamp i was talking about in my above post have nothing to do with fake light around the house. They are made to reproduce a daylight light which promote health and is a mood enhancer. But the cheapest solution would be to open the all the curtains during the day and avoid dark places. If you have no choice to be in a place where natural daylight is unavailable then i would suggest to by special luminotherapy lamps.
Thank you! You are correct about the night time lights. Low light in order to tell us its almost bed time.
I quit smoking near 12 weeks ago~ I have had insomnia for the last near 6 weeks...ever since I became nicotine free...
SInce then ~
I only sleep 2 to 3 hrs...then I am awake and only 1/2 asleep a few minutes at a time till finally get up at 6 or 7.
By KNOWING this is only a blip in my life..I am able to stay MOSTLY okay with the sleep loss!~ tho' I KNOW that it brings on depressive symptoms~ I am able to overcome them by KNOWING it is a physical problem ...that just happens to have the "blahs" as a symptom.
You can buy melatonin supplement at your local health food store to take 30-90 min before bedtime to help regulate your circadian rhythm and it haves a mild sedative effect that will promote sleep too. Valerian and Passionflower and Magnesium are also known sedative that promote sleep. Recommended daily intake of magnesium for a healthy human being should be 500mg a day. Wouldn't be a bad idea to take 500mg magnesium 1-2 hours before going to bed.
Please consider that I'm not a doctor and those advices should be discussed with a qualified physicians especially if you are under medication.
Thank you, M4. I understand about low lights before bed, too. What I meant was turning on more lights after 5pm when it gets dark so early meaning I will try to tolerate more than a 15watt bulb lol.
Oh, and I never ever overexpose myself to the sun anymore. Those days have been over for a long time. I walk everyday, but will wear a baseball hat and DO use sunscreen but just the 15 on my face, not my whole body. I also take supplements...
I have considered one of those lamps you speak of for a long time as it seems as soon as the days become shorter and then daylight savings goes into effect, my mood just spirals down down down...
In fact what you should do is dim down the light after 5 or 6pm to tell your body you are going to bed soon ( even if it is at 10 or 11pm this means soon for your body ). Promoting the installation of dimmers to the light switch is a good idea. This way when you are going to bed your melatonin production have already started and you will have a much more better sleep and refreshing sleep due to the fact that your REM sleep will happen sooner if your melatonin production have already started before going to bed. Fatigue and seasonal depression you mentioned above are closely related and should be managed adequately by promoting good rest, good daylight exposure during the day and a natural circadian rhythm.
Hope that shed some light on the topic ;),
Forgot to tell you that if you buy one of those lamps you should do a session as indicated by the seller before dimming down the lights.
Thank you for the advice on meletonin M4~ I am sensitive to man made meds and actually "got stuck" recently IN a weird awake/asleep panic after taking JUST one advil/night time pill. I could not move or wake up completely ..but my mind was awake and already having scary thoughts.. Years ago I was on pain meds for a degenerative spine... Those meds produced depression, as did any quit smoking pills.
I am NOT sure if the natural sources will have the same effect...so I have not bought any.
Mostly~ What has seen me through this far is ...God~ And knowing that He has seen me through many abuses and traumas dealt by people.
My current state is allll about having no nicotine any more after a 35 yr addiction.
Here are a a few factors that will HELP with S.A.D. during the winter~ or for anyone who has a history with depression.
Starting these things at the beginning of depression of any type helps.
In the 70's we started being told told to save energy ..turn off lights..so we STILL do so .
We are also buying the energy saving light bulbs which give low and odd colored light.
Multitudes of people end up seeing our doctors.(SORRY DOCs!) Many end up in the mental health system.
Instead of being told that the symptoms of depression are from A PHYSICAL problem.
We also spend EXTRA cash on sun lamps, so I do not see a money savings by conserving electricity.
Our minds and bodies NEED more light. We are seeing more depression due to these things.
Lack of light lowers our production of the "happy chemicals" and increase our melatonin production , which makes us sleepy and duller during the day.
These changes start the chemical imbalance which causes depression symptoms.
Our energy savings is costing us MORE than turning the lights back on!
Another winter problem is lack of vitamin D~ IN northern states with the lack of sun, we have this deficiency .
It also brings down our production of the needed chemicals . A daily vitamin does not have enough to supply our real need, but adding a "D" supplement to it helps.
As does spending at least 15 minutes in the sun each day it comes out in the fall and winter.
I was put on 50,000 IU once a week for 6 weeks to bring mine back up to par.
Thirdly, START a regular routine of exercise ~get into the routine in order to prepare and to produce the "HAPPY CHEMICALS" production . Any extra activity IS GOOD, even if it is a 10 minute walk. Once you start, your body will crave the movement and want more.
Lastly , you need to start snacking on healthy foods like baby carrots, nuts and raisins and whole grain foods ~NOW.
This helps us to have healthy eating patterns for when the winter blahs are starting.
We will be in the habit of taking care of ourselves.
In starting before winter, we are preparing before that sad S.A.D.. season gets here.
This is an awesome post. I think it hits right on the money for me. I have been extraordinarily depressed for 2 days now and it has been gloomy here and I do tend to sit in the dark a lot. One thing I do to help with my anxiety and depression is I move furniture around or change pictures on my wall. Seeing the same ole thing day in and day out seems to get me down. Just my 2 cents worth :)
Your are blessed to have the inclination to do this activity! When I got to my worse~ I dreaded owning a face and it being my job to wash it~~
These things really do work~ it also makes us OWN and FIX what is wrong instead of "just getting through it".