Lightbox Therapy as a treatment for non-seasonal depression as well?

Re: Lightbox Therapy as a treatment for non Seasonal Depression as well?

i think it would work. i don't have a light box but rather one of those devices that simulates sunrise/sundown. obviously not needed in the summer, but very helpful in the winter. i was suffering from depression (not seasonal) when i bought it and it helped.

not sure if this is what you are looking for but that's my experience.
 

ladylore

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Re: Lightbox Therapy as a treatment for non Seasonal Depression as well?

i think it would work. i don't have a light box but rather one of those devices that simulates sunrise/sundown. obviously not needed in the summer, but very helpful in the winter. i was suffering from depression (not seasonal) when i bought it and it helped.

not sure if this is what you are looking for but that's my experience.

Where would one buy one of those devices and what is the cost? I'd like to get my hands on one of those things. :cool2:
 
I have a light box that I used this past winter. I never thought about using it every day. It certainly wouldn't hurt anything. I definitely think it helped me through the winter.
 
I would love one but its the price that stops me, they do a rental system here but its still alot of money per month about ?34 which is a lot for someone on benefits.
 

thephoenix

Member
I guess I'm just a bit unsure about ordering one as I don't think I suffer from SAD. I can't afford it, but if I thought it would help me to deal with my depression I'd make an effort to try and save up for it.
 

ladylore

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How much sun does your area usually get thephoenix?
 

ladylore

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I use to live in Ontario - the cold in your area would drive you inside I would think.
 

thephoenix

Member
Ha Ha. I grew up in Saskatchewan, so the cold in Ottawa doesn't bother me.

I don't think I would buy one because I'm not getting enough sun, but more because I read an article saying that it can be a useful tool to fight depression in general. Although I'm not sure how.
 

Daniel

daniel@psychlinks.com
Administrator
thephoenix said:
I read an article saying that it can be a useful tool to fight depression in general. Although I'm not sure how.

Interesting. The original research article is here:
The Efficacy of Light Therapy in the Treatment of Mood Disorders: A Review and Meta-Analysis of the Evidence -- Golden et al. 162 (4): 656 -- Am J Psychiatry

But it seems more like a statistical review rather than a review of the potential mechanisms. Looking at the 40+ references at the end of the article, I noted some papers from the 1990s that concern light therapy for nonseasonal depression.

A more recent article from 2007 is also optimistic about light therapy as a supplemental treatment for nonseasonal depression, at least in combination with antidepressants:

The available data show evidence for the efficacy of light therapy as an adjuvant treatment to antidepressants. Trials that evaluated light therapy alone (without antidepressants) in nonseasonal depression yielded inconsistent results.

Efficacy of light therapy in nonseasonal depression: A systematic review

Certainly, going out to get some sunshine is something I enjoy doing, but, living in Florida, I don't know anything about not getting enough of it.

On the not-so-optimistic side from the 2007 research article:

As there is currently no clear rationale for the use of light therapy in all types of nonseasonal depression, some subgroups of patients may bear specific circadian disturbances or other symptoms potentially within the reach of light therapy.

...The second approach to identifying light responsive patients would be to recruit depressed patients with symptoms that may reflect individual chronobiological characteristics such as increased diurnal variation of mood, early awakenings, etc.

Efficacy of light therapy in nonseasonal depression: A systematic review (requires library/paid subscription)

I never heard of the phrase "diurnal variation of mood," so the definition I found is:

Diurnal variation in mood is a prominent symptom of depression, and is typically experienced as positive mood variation (PMV ? mood being worse upon waking and better in the evening).

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T2X-4MVDVC2-1&_user=2139813&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=2139813&md5=46c8228855bb36ce5759dddf0038c56b
 
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amastie

Member
My primary diagnosis is not depression, though I experience (increasingly) low mood as a result of other factors in my life. I live in Australia where we have a lot of sun and I've never liked it at all - neither the glare nor the heat. I assume that I have drawn at some point in my life positive associations with cool and, especially, cloudy days. If I'm depressed, the sound of rain, even thunder, helps me. And I gravitate to very late night hours because I feel better at night, even if I've felt depressed during the day. For me, I feel safer and more at ease at night. When I lived in an inner-city suburb where the streets were considered less safe, I would walk alone along the narrow darkened streets and feel like they were my own private space. I know that's probably not safe thinking, yet it is how I felt.

The night shrouds me in its protection. Clouds hang like a cloak also to protect me.

Must be an association but I don't know why.

As for the sun, no thanks. Not ever. :)

amastie
 

NicNak

Resident Canuck
Administrator
I had inquired to my Psychiatrist, quite a while ago, about the UV lights for helping depression. A friend of mine had baught the lightbox (and from what she told me they are quite expendsive)

He was a researcher up until a few months ago and said the studies on it didn't show significant improvements with light therapy. (for the record he didn't mention specifically the lightbox, just UVA and or UVB light therapys) He also said there are other benefits of the sunshine, that make us feel good, that cannot be reproduced through these lights. He said sunshine is pretty much a cocktail of things that make us feel better in the summer. It just isn't the UVA or UVB.
===============
Just to add. I don't personally have SAD and have never tried the light therapy myself.

I believe it works for some, and not for others as in any type of therapy.
 
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Daniel

daniel@psychlinks.com
Administrator

For everyone else who’s feeling down or depressed — whether related to the season or pregnancy, or not — an early morning walk can offer similar light therapy benefits. A bright sunny day is about 50,000 lux, and a gray day is around 10,000 lux. "Strolling outdoors soon after sunrise, even on a cloudy day, provides almost the same amount of light exposure as a light box," says Dr. Schwartz.

On sunny days, the sun is bright enough to get a therapeutic effect even if you wear sunglasses (which protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, he adds). If you walk for 30 minutes, you’ll also get a healthy dose of mood-boosting exercise. But if time or mobility constraints make that goal too challenging, sitting outside for just 15 minutes at any time of day may make a difference in your mood, says Dr. Schwartz.
 

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