Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition where symptoms of depression occur primarily during the winter months. For people affected by SAD, symptoms typically begin during the fall or early winter months, and improve in the spring or summer.
Some symptoms include feeling tired most of the day or sleeping too much.
There are a variety of options for treatment, including discussing your symptoms with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist at Brightland Health.
Medications may help additionally; one common non-medication treatment option is to use a Therapy Light or “Light Box.” A Light Box is thought to help by mimicking outdoor light to ease your symptoms. There are many different models to choose from, so deciding on a product can be difficult.
So what should you look for when choosing a light box?
According to the Center for Environmental Therapeutics, the following criteria for a light box should be considered:
1. INTENSITY: 10,000 lux illuminance at a comfortable sitting distance have been used.
2. SCREEN SIZE: The bigger the better. The screen should exceed 200 square inches. However, if the screen is too big and mounted on the wall it may be too distant from you to deliver 10,000 lux to the eyes.
3. UV FILTER: Fluorescent lamps should be fitted with a diffusing screen and a polycarbonate filter that protect against ultraviolet (UV) rays.
4. SPECTRUM: Make sure it is “White Light.”
5. ANGLE OF GAZE: The light box should face downward at an angle towards the eyes. To do so, it needs to be raised off the table surface with adjustable legs or side supports. This may avoid visual glare.
A psychiatrist or therapist at Brightland Health can help you feel better this winter. Call or book now online.
For more information about Light Boxes, you may review “How to Select a Light Box” by The Center for Environmental Therapeutics.