Monday, November 26, 2012

OCD and Light Therapy

It feels like the lights have gone out and the gloom and doom has set in. Depression takes a huge toll on the body, both mentally and physically. It may help if you notice your physical symptoms. Along with feelings of sadness and tiredness, you may get body aches, headaches or stomachaches which you may not realize is depression-related.

Depression often co-exists with OCD and many other mental disorders. All too often, depressed people don’t have the energy to seek help, and when they do, they are prescribed prescription drugs which often only mask the symptoms and do nothing to help underlying cause. Also, there are the unwanted side-effects, some of which are low libido and weight gain.
There is a form of depression called SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which afflicts many people in the dark days of winter. The symptoms are sad mood, sleepiness, carbohydrate cravings, weight gain, lethargy, and loss of interest in activities. I have been a victim of SAD for many years, until I discovered LIGHT THERAPY!
Light Therapy is administered by exposing the eyes to 10,000 lux of light for about a half hour in the morning, upon arising. I have have spent many days reading up on the safest and best Light Therapy devices before purchasing an Alaska Northern Lights Northstar 10,000 light box- It has no UVA Rays as they are not needed to treat SAD. I turn it on in the morning and position it two feel from my eyes while I check my email and a pleasant half hour is gone in no time, and I feel great, just like a spring morning in June. I have had my light box for several years, and it has performed perfectly, I have never even had to replace a bulb. There is no glare, as there is a protective screen.
There are many other light devices that work for SAD, but I advise not getting one with UVA light, or even one with a UVA shield. I am confident that you will feel a lot better in about 2 days. The benefits are only consistent if you use it every day, or else the SAD will return. Other known benefits of Light Therapy are better sleep, jet lag, bipolar disorder, just to name a few.
Besides Light Therapy, I recommend taking Vitamin D, as people north of Florida cannot produce it from the sun from November to March, and many are deficient. This will also help the Winter Blues.
I hope this helps some of the depressed people out there. I wish you happiness, light, and sunny skies forever!


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Anonymous said...

It's simply not responsible to say that medications only mask the symptoms of depression, particularly when the scientific literature expresses something entirely different. People can and do die from depression on a daily basis. To suggest that the medications that directly target the neurotransmitters associated with depression and that have been repeatedly shown to help depression are simply "masking symptoms" isn't scientific or accurate.

Light therapy is a nice adjunctive treatment for moderate-to-severe depression or potentially a nice alternative treatment for mild-to-moderate depression. It is not a first-line therapy, and the data to supports its use is nowhere near as robust.

Michael Steven said...

You have described the therapy in a good way. Depression can kill your happiness. Few months back I was depressed and felt lack of motivation. I was looking for a better solution and I found out that best light therapy lamps can be helpful. I'm happy I did, I'd love to recommend it to others.