Light Therapy - SAD/winter blues - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 10-10-2007, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The clouds have rolled in and I feel "it". Gloom and ick in my head. I'm on the warpath to fight the winter blues, but I'd like to do what I can naturally before resorting to meds. I live in Oregon, and the sun breaks are few and far between during the winter.

Has anyone tried light therapy? Does it seem to be worth the expense or a waste of money?

I don't expect to be happy la la la every day of my life, but these winter blues can take a hike if you ask me!
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#2 of 25 Old 10-10-2007, 08:24 PM
 
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I completely understand the weighty, sad feeling of the gloomy dark winter days. I lived in the UK for a few years and the second year a friend loaned me a light box and it worked wonders. I loved it!! My brother also got one and he says it makes a huge difference. There are ones that are portable and easy to take with you to work or on trips. They are expensive, but meds get expensive too. Maybe you can borrow one to see if it helps first, and make sure you're getting all your b vitamins and see how that goes. I'm probably going to get one for this winter as well. Good luck!!
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#3 of 25 Old 10-10-2007, 09:41 PM
 
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It's my understanding that you can do light therapy at home and it's not all that expensive. I think Julia Ross touches on it some in her book the Mood Cure, check it out...I love that book!
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#4 of 25 Old 10-10-2007, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll have to take a gander at that book next time I get to the library. Thanks for the reference.

Funny, the thought never crossed my mind to go somewhere for light therapy. I guess that's just the term I've found to describe the lights that I've seen for sale.

I've been good about my B vitamins, and also take magnesium, prenatal vitamins, flaxseed and try my best to stick to whole foods and lots of fruit and veggies. But I have to be careful about what supplements I take as I'm pregnant right now. (Trying to get ahead of the game as far as Post Partum Depression - I've been down that road too

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it!
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#5 of 25 Old 10-10-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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The thing about light therapy is you really have to sit in front of the light for about an hour each day. It's probably easier to have it at home where you can multi-task while sitting in front of the light. It is an investment, but with any luck it'll last you a while. The ones I've been looking at cost just under $300. I've never seen places where you can go and get light therapy, but then again I've never looked either.
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#6 of 25 Old 10-11-2007, 08:52 PM
 
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Just to throw this in, I use my light box for 30 -60 minutes each day. 30 minutes works, an hour is better. It is best to do this at the same time each day too. . .and my light cost $125. I bought it at Costco, and I think they maybe offer them online this time of year too.

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#7 of 25 Old 10-11-2007, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I found one on Amazon for $109! Regular price was $140 - and I even got free shipping!

Hopefully it'll help make a difference. If I put it in front of my computer it'll give me an excuse to play on the Internet for an hour every day.

Thanks for the info everyone!
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#8 of 25 Old 10-16-2007, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow!!! I'm on day two after getting my light, and I feel as happy as July.

Just try to pull me away from that thing! I'm like a moth.
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#9 of 25 Old 10-17-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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fine! I'm sold. We had a real fall week (gloomy and cold) and I can here searching because I know how bad it can get.

how does it work and where can I do a little more research?

Carrie, The Birthteacher CCE and Doula, real mom to five; and womb-mom to G. born at 23w by emergency C. 12/09
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#10 of 25 Old 10-17-2007, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I googled "light therapy" and found tons of info. I just blogged about what a great difference this is making for me, and put a link to the light I bought on Amazon. I hunted Ebay and lots of other sites, but the one on Amazon was the best deal.

Hope it works as well for you as it is for me! I know I would be down in the dumps this week w/out it. It's so icky and gloomy!
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#11 of 25 Old 10-19-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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fine! I'm sold. We had a real fall week (gloomy and cold) and I can here searching because I know how bad it can get.

how does it work and where can I do a little more research?
Me too! Seattle winters are *so* hard for me to handle. I literally cry tears of joy when I start to see leaf buds in the spring. Next payday, I'm getting a light box.


Off to explain to DP that I'm going to spend $100+ on a light. Of course, he did mention the other day that "once the rain starts, you stop liking me for 10 months :"... so maybe he'll be thrilled
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#12 of 25 Old 10-20-2007, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's SOOOOO worth it!! Honestly, it's THE best $100 I've ever spent.

And last night before bed my dh said, "You're actually laughing at my jokes, and it's been raining all week?"

I cannot believe the difference it has made in my life. Sounds weird, but I actually feel like I did 10 years ago. And I'm patient with my kids, and I want to climb around and play with them on the floor (& I'm 8 months pregnant?!?).

Wishing you all the best! And hope you weathered that nasty windstorm yesterday Woobysma.
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#13 of 25 Old 10-20-2007, 12:51 AM
 
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And last night before bed my dh said, "You're actually laughing at my jokes, and it's been raining all week?"
That TOTALLY sounds like something DP would say. I hear ya!
I feel the need to for a pre-emptive strike this season. I hate that "batten down the hatches, there's a storm a'brewing" has a whole different meaning in my house

We did OK last night... most of our trees had already fallen last year We lost power early in the afternoon and were ready for another week w/o electricity, but it came back on at about 9:00. I might have to take back all the nasty things I said about Snohomish PUD last fall
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#14 of 25 Old 10-22-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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Yogabear, I'm thinking about getting a lightbox & I'm almost sold by what you've told us. Just a question, do you feel like your eyes are being blinded when you sit in front of it? Obviously you shouldn't be staring right into it, but if you sit in front of it & read your eyes are not bothered? Do you know how long the bulbs last before they burn out?

"While Eeyore frets ...and Piglet hesitates...and Rabbit calculates...and Owl pontificates...Pooh just is."
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#15 of 25 Old 10-22-2007, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I first turn it on it is definitely REALLY bright, but I don't stare right at it the whole time. It is safe to look directly at the light because the UV rays are blocked, but it's not necessary to get the effects.

I have mine set up right next to my computer (our office is nicknamed the cave because we have no windows in it). My eyes are about two feet away from the light, and once my eyes are dilated I don't really notice it? I must be so deficient I just soak it up??

DH says I look like a glow worm.

The instructions on the light I bought say that the bulbs don't really burn out completely but over time lose their intensity. The one I have measures 10,000 lux. They suggest replacing the bulbs every year or so depending on how often the light is used.

I really honestly cannot believe how much of a difference it has made for me. I'm very surprised by it. I was quite skeptical because of the cost. My dh said yesterday, "I don't care if it's a placebo effect or really working. It's worth every penny."

I hope if you decide to get one you have great results, too!
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#16 of 25 Old 10-22-2007, 11:07 PM
 
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I was in a SAD study last year and used a light box. It definitely helped. Try to find one that is 10,000 lux (not less) and sit within 18 inches of it for at least 30 minutes. You don't look at the light; I usually read in front of the light box (which is on my desk) every morning. They are somewhat spendy but totally worth it.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#17 of 25 Old 10-23-2007, 12:47 AM
 
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Has anyone looked into alternative "do-it-yourself" lightboxes?
My SIL says she read somewhere that you could use a combination of a flourecent and conventional light somehow (like a "grow light" and a lightbulb ?). She says it was about 10 years ago when she read it, when light therapy was fairly new, so she wasn't sure how effective it would be.

We both want to try it, but if we could save $100, all the better.
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#18 of 25 Old 10-23-2007, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you did a self-built light I'd just be really careful about the UV exposure. I found this link, and it seems to cover lots of info about light therapy. (doesn't say anything about building your own though)

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sea...sorder/MH00023
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#19 of 25 Old 10-23-2007, 02:19 AM
 
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Thanks, I'll check it out.

Frankly, $100 isn't THAT much if it helps as much as I think it will. I just love a good deal and hate paying retail
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#20 of 25 Old 10-23-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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DH says I look like a glow worm.


thanks mama! I think i'm gonna get one!!

"While Eeyore frets ...and Piglet hesitates...and Rabbit calculates...and Owl pontificates...Pooh just is."
taken from The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
 
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#21 of 25 Old 10-24-2007, 09:35 AM
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I'm glad I found this thread. I had a really bad winter last year, and now that fall is here I can feel myself going down. I'm going to look into the light box.
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#22 of 25 Old 10-24-2007, 09:36 AM
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I found one on Amazon for $109! Regular price was $140 - and I even got free shipping!

Hopefully it'll help make a difference. If I put it in front of my computer it'll give me an excuse to play on the Internet for an hour every day.

Thanks for the info everyone!
Would you happen to have the link for that. Thank you.
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#23 of 25 Old 10-24-2007, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Would you happen to have the link for that. Thank you.
I put a link on my blog.
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#24 of 25 Old 10-24-2007, 11:45 AM
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Ordered it. Can't wait to receive it.
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#25 of 25 Old 10-25-2007, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks mama! I think i'm gonna get one!!
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Ordered it. Can't wait to receive it.

I want to know if it works for you, too! Please KUP!
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