Caroline Shipsey

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Seasonal Affective Disorder Depression

Just over a week ago I started to use light therapy in desperation to try and help with the depression that has really knocked me this winter.

It's difficult to tell with depression whether you really are depressed, just feeling a bit down in the dumps or have some kind of clinical depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is sometimes referred to as 'Winter Blues' because many people in the UK are only affected during the winter months when the clocks go back an hour. It is caused by a lack of sunlight during the winter – light that the body relies on to function correctly.

Lack of sunlight which the body requires to produce two essential chemicals - serotonin and melatonin - causes SAD. When the body is exposed to sunlight it produces serotonin which is connected to feelings of well-being, and also the trigger to stop producing melatonin which prepares the body for sleep.

When you don't get enough sunlight, typically during the winter months, then you can feel lethargic, slow and weary, generally down. By using special lamps which emit light at the correct intensity, the body behaves as though it's received a healthy dose of sunlight.

I've always been wary of whether this is true, possibly because I've been depressed and on medication for several years now, but no matter, I always feel much worse during the long grey days of winter.

The winter of 2010/2011 has been a particularly dismal one up here at Priddy - day after day of rain, fog, cold, grey, dark skies - and even now it still isn't very spring-like outside.

So in desperation I thought I would try a neat little product called the Litebook. As it has a 60 day guarantee I had nothing to lose and having spoken with the suppliers was confident returning it wouldn't be a problem, with no questions asked.

I could hardly wait to get to this bit - IT WORKS!! My miserable, pessimistic mood has completely gone, I've got new energy and my concentration and my thought process is so much better too. I've only had it a week but there is no way I could be kidding myself about this, I'm almost scared though, that I'll wake up one morning and the gloomy mood will be sitting on my shoulders again. However, this does feel quite different to just a passing moment of euphoria and I would certainly recommend anyone who has an inkling of SAD to try the Litebook.

You can see images of Litebook SAD Light and read about the other conditions it can help with.
I would like to add that I received mine the next day after ordering and subsequent contact with customer services has been excellent.

You can read more about depression on my website, starting with the depression checklist.