Light Therapy

I like to use my therapy light while using my computer.
I started using light therapy when I was having shock therapy in 2008 and 2009. The psychiatrist who administered my shock treatments prescribed the Day-Light Classic, and I bought it at a local medical supply store for $200. He instructed me to use it for 30 minutes in the morning, as soon as I wake up, so I did, and still do. I think it helps. I know that if I use it for too long, or too late in the day, it can cause me to begin to feel manic, so I don't do those things. I believe that, for me at least, it works better to prevent depression than to relieve depression. I use it from fall through spring. I just started using it on Sunday, and predict that I will be using it through March, although it will really depend on how I feel. Sometimes I have felt better by the end of February.

By nature, I'm a spring and summer person. I'm already missing my outdoor summer swims in the bright sunlight. So many people love the fall. There are many wonderful and beautiful things about the season, but watching the days getting shorter and darker has always bothered me. However, I have noticed that I feel better in the fall, the more time I spend outside in the daytime, and at night, so, I try to do that, and it helps. But there have been times, over the years, that I haven't spent as much time outside as I needed to, and I almost always became depressed during those times.

Saturday was a typical early fall day where I live. It was dark and dreary, and I spent the day inside and started to feel somewhat melancholy. That night, however, I had plans to go to a street festival in the art district of my city. I got there around sunset and it was beautiful. My boyfriend and I ate dinner from a booth serving food from one our favorite local restaurants, outside at a picnic table, in a dining area that was part of the festival. While we were eating, we watched the sun go down. I enjoyed taking in the beautiful pinks, blues, and purples, of the sky.

After dinner, we walked around, looked at booths from local vendors, and watched a band play as it got darker. I gazed up at the dark blue night sky behind puffy white clouds and felt happy. At that moment, I thought of the importance of spending time outdoors in the fall, even though there is a temptation to hibernate. I have had good falls and winters, and those have been when I have tried to appreciate the seasons for what they offer, and have allowed myself to get caught up in the merrymaking and festivities that abound during the darker months. And the light therapy can't hurt, so I'm going to continue to use it.

6 comments:

  1. We just picked up a lightbox today for R. to use to see if it helps in the morning. I may try it, too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It will probably help. The difference in mood is subtle and builds over time. It is important to use it every day, and also not to overdo it. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I bought a light box very recently which I intend to start using in the mornings also. What do you do while you have the light on - read? computer? meditate?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I either read or use the computer. At first, I didn't really like taking the time to do it, but now it is part of my morning routine, and I look forward to it. I do think it helps.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do you know if the light therapy helps those with a panic disorder? I have a tremendous anxiety issue caused by the panic disorder. The anxiety comes out of nowhere and has no reason for occurring. I am at a loss as to what to do anymore and I saw your blog about the light therapy and wanted to know if you thought it may help me?

    Thank you for reading :-))

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have heard of it being used for panic disorder, so it is possible that it may help. It is important to consult with a psychiatrist who will prescribe a light and explain how to use it. It is not something to experiment with. There is a dose that is individual, just as with medication. Also, an effective light will cost around $200, so I wouldn't buy one unless you found a doctor who thought it would help. I hope you find relief.

    ReplyDelete