Light therapy is one of the ways through which seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and various other conditions can be cured by exposure to artificial light. It is simply a type of depression that occurs at a certain time per year.
Light therapy might not wholly “VANISH” the seasonal affective disorder, but it surely will ease the symptoms of the patients. Many doctors even recommend this therapy for various conditions or depressions.
Although, it’s highly advised that those who are patients of diabetes or those who have photosensitive skin (an extreme sensitivity of UV light from the sun or other sources) or retinal conditions.
What people may experience due to SAD symptoms?
Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, loss of interest, mood swings, or sadness.
Sleep: excess sleepiness, insomnia, or sleep deprivation.
Whole Body: appetite changes or fatigue.
Behavioral: irritability, social isolation, or even suicide.
Also Common: depression, lack of concentration, or weight gain.
During light therapy treatment, patients sit next to a light therapy box through which an intense light is given off that imitates the outdoor natural light. And also it’s risk-free if used properly and even if few slight side-effects occur it tends to go away with few days of use.
Why is Light Therapy so important?
Depression can be a real pain if it’s not cured properly. Literally, no one wants to suffer from such a disorder that will HAUNT THEM EVERY YEAR!!
This therapy affects the very brain chemicals that link the mood & sleep of the patients and hence easing the SAD symptoms. And amazingly it can also cure other conditions like sleeping disorders (e.g insomnia) or even Dementia. This therapy will surely help those who are suffering from such conditions. As if it’s not treated in the right way then it can also prove fatal!
But no need to worry as through this article, we’ll get to know the 5 steps to properly use light therapy!!
1. Position the box at eye level or higher
It’s very important that you position the light therapy box correctly in your regular use. The distance between the box and your eyes will surely make a difference. If you have a weaker light box it’s fine to sit close to it, but if the light box is powerful enough (i.e 10,000 lux) then sit at least 2 feet away cause you really don’t want to hurt your eyes!!
2. Light Therapy must be used for 20 to 60 minutes depending on individual uses.
Initially, the patients can start with 20 to 30 minutes of light therapy sessions in the morning. By this, they will be able to observe whether the therapy is boosting their mood or not. If they don’t feel any drastic changes then the duration of use can be increased to 60 minutes every morning. And the fun fact is, you can do other work like drinking coffee, reading books, or chatting with your friends and family while taking the therapy!!
3. Consistency is a MUST!!!
As the old proverb states, “Rome was not built in a day”.
Consistency is a must if you want to see amazing results! The regular use of this therapy will surely give you the best results and will definitely enhance your mood. Quitting is not an option here! Determination and regularity will surely give you the desired results.
4. Monitoring your moods during use.
Patients will start to observe their changes after taking the therapy regularly for a couple of weeks. Many even notice rapid responses after a few days of use. So in order to monitor your moods, you can keep a record in worksheets. But you also need to make sure that if you are thinking about Bright Light Therapy you should consult your doctor first! As some people can’t withstand the bright light for a few days and might result in suicidal tendencies or even insomnia!
5. Don’t use light therapy if you are on photosensitive medications.
Photosensitive medications are those drugs that make your skin very moderate to light resulting in rashes or even sunburns. Hence, it’s not advised to take the therapy while you are already in use of such medicines as it might cause damage to your skin! These drugs contain various chemicals (i.e lithium, melatonin, and certain antibiotics) that react with the skin and can cause irritations on the skin.
So What Next?
When you are suffering from such conditions DON’T WAIT for the symptoms to flee on their own! You should go immediately to a doctor and seek their medical attention as soon as possible cause these might prove FATAL if not treated.
These conditions of depression can even result in suicide if worse! So it’s necessary that you ask your doctors before initiating any sort of therapy, while in this case the Light Therapy.