Depression and Light Therapy
I'll readily admit it. I am spoiled. I'm a California gal who loves the sunlight. I complain if it rains for more than two weeks. When I observe the national weather, my complaining immediately stops!
On a serious note, I was very curious about light as a therapy practice for depression. Since there are many companies out there touting their wonderful results, I decided to investigate the medical community's results.
We're familiar with the successful use of light therapy to treat Season Affective Disorder (SAD). You might not know it has other benefits as well. "Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions. Light therapy is also known as bright light therapy or photo therapy." (1)
If you recall from last week's blog "Living Without Hope," I mentioned that over 16 million adults in the U.S. have experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year. It is considered the most common cause of disability.
My episode of depression lasted about 18 months. I tried at least 3 different medications before settling on the last one. I mean "settling" in a negative fashion. I had bad dreams for one year. The minute I stopped the medication, the dreams stopped. When I turned to nutrition, I found some good relief. I also started walking on a daily basis, enjoying the benefit of sunshine. I feel this was a tremendous boost for my mental health, as well as my physical health.
I have since learned how managing my mental health depends on several methods.
One method I use on a daily basis is spending time in the Light of Jesus. Spiritual Light has the power to heal, just like natural sunlight and a light therapy box. So much of God's Word is centered around coming to Him when we have a burden, a worry or a trouble. He tells us He is the Light of the world. His Light has the power to dispel the darkness. This is a truth I can put my hope in!
"HOPE only sparkles when Light shines behind it!" - Betsy Kay Ridgway, M.S.
(1) "Light Therapy," The Mayo Clinic, mayoclinic.org.