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Seasonal affective disorder and light therapy?

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  • Seasonal affective disorder and light therapy?

    Hello all! I'm looking for some advice about full spectrum lights for treating SAD.

    I'm going to be moving to a windowless office tomorrow, and with fall approaching, I'm starting to think about SAD. I get pretty down in the winter with the shorter days, and I've been reading recently about full spectrum lamps that are supposed to help. I've been looking at the Verilux HappyLite, but it has some mixed reviews.

    I was wondering if any of you guys might have some advice, or might be able to recommend some full spectrum lamps. They're generally pretty expensive, so I don't want to sink too much money into one without trying to find the best one!

  • I know someone who has battled depression and SAD most of their adult life. About 10 years ago, way before it was "cool", it was recommended that they try a full spectrum light. They sit in front of it for an hour every day and it has helped...it is NOT a cure all end all save all. It HELPS. The problem is that they are very bright...like having the sun on your desk and this may cause problems at work.

    I would be happy to find out more about their particular light if you are interested...send me a visitor message and I will respond.

    You knew they were expensive. Did you know that they were very bright too?

    As for the "best" who knows which is "best" for you. I think that word is terribly over used in our culture/society.

    Mild exercise, skin exposure to at least 15 minutes of sun each day (no more than 20), going out into the bright light (the kind that makes you squint) and leaving your sunglasses OFF for at least 10 minutes while you're out in the bright light...these things will also help you with your SAD.

    There is direct scientific evidence that bright sunlight has a positive impact as it pertains to mood, on the brain. Yes, I can support it with research if you like. This does not mean to stare into the sun or anything close, but just be out in the bright light. The kind that makes you squint...


    • Thank you Seeker! I don't think my SAD is severe, I just feel down in the winter, so I thought that the light might just be a bit of a boost. I love walking and hiking, but in the winter, I get really upset when I walk outside after work and it's already dark, it makes me feel like my entire life is just spent in front of a computer at work. I try to go for walks of at least 5 miles several times a week, but in the winter when I'm stuck inside all week, I don't get to do those walks in the sun.

      I've read a lot about sunlight and its affect on the brain, I know it works for me. I love to spend my weekends hiking, if weather and life allow it. I just get bummed out in the winter when I spend my entire week in a dark office, then I walk outside in the evening and it's dark. I hate only getting to see the sun in the morning!

      I have full spectrum lighting for my pets, they are very bright! I even enjoy their light, but they have too many UVs for me to be exposed to, so I'm trying to find something that is full spectrum without the UVs. Unfortunately I'm not sure when something is actually full spectrum vs. "natural light" bulbs, which are basically just very clean white lights.


      • They are available because the person I spoke of above also has battled skin cancer and nobody is going to recommend a high UV full spectrum light to anybody who is battling or has battled skin cancer.

        Perhaps this is why their desk lamp/light was so expensive...several hundred dollars. Replacement bulbs are about $100 each.


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