Light therapy seems to be the way today. A lot of people in the US, are turning to this therapy to ease of depression. The weather acts as a trigger today. Winter signals the arrival of the depression in many individuals. If Covid-19 was not enough, people are now succumbing to depression. The short and dark winters ahead, are acting as a trigger now. This is also called seasonal affective disorder. Many people would have already heard of the term SAD. Coronavirus cases are on the rise, and so is SAD. People do not like it anymore. The shutdown has further affected people’s psyche.
Seasonal Depression Or SAD Decoded
People across the US, are trying to maintain social distancing and in the process, are moving away from loved ones. This is having an effect on the mental health of the individuals. Dorothy Sit, an associate professor of psychiatry has said that mental health is going down, as a direct effect of the virus.
This is an annual disease that is affecting Americans. This is a form of clinical depression, that is taking a toll today. The individuals have a feeling of sadness and gloom today. Moreover, they are also feeling fatigued, and are even contemplating suicide and death. However, many experts are saying that this is treatable. Light therapy can enhance the mood. It can actually transform the mood.
The SAD lamps or the bright boxes, are designed in a manner, to produce bright light. It has to be of the same intensity that comes from the sky at day time. It will try to simulate early dawn. The artificial light is brought forth from fluorescent lights. UV rays are filtered, so that it does not spoil the eyes.
How Does Light Therapy Help With SAD?
There is no definitive understanding regarding how it works. It actually changes the photoperiod. It refers to daylight hours. Photoperiod is believed to have a strong influence on the mood and behavior. It depends on weather -dependent variables. They are temperature, humidity, precipitation, and brightness.
Light therapy is said to jump-start the circadian rhythms. It emulates the summer time. There are special cells in the retina. They can detect the brightness of light. Those cells are supposedly connected to the hypothalamus and other parts of the brain.
It affects the brain’s clock. Though experts may not be able to suggest exact reasons, SAD lamps are said to be effective. Exposure to bright light early in the morning can actually trigger active hormones in the body. It is believed to decrease the severity of depression. Many scientists are coming up with drugs that can reduce the symptoms of SAD.
People are asking, how to take the decision to buy SAD lamps. If one is getting winter blues, then definitely. There is no stringent norm, as one size does not fit all. It is a sort of trial and error.
Experts say, that there is no hard and fast rule to buy a lamp. Experts recommend looking for a lightbox, that emits light at least 10,000 lux. The standard for effective treatment is different. Ideally, a good SAD lamp should be large.