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What Are SAD Lights & How Do They Provide Relief From Depression?

written by Guest Blogger February 27, 2014

This is the time of year where depression hits us most. Spring isn’t yet here and winter has been long and hard. So if you’re suffering from the winter blues, and it’s more severe than most people experience, then you might appreciate today’s guest post by Chelsea Sawyer.

Psychologists categorize people into having four temperaments: melancholic, phlegmatic, choleric and sanguine. Among these four, the one that’s most concerning is melancholic because people who are described as such are those who seem to suffer through life and struggle to make sense of their existence.

 

Typically, they are shoved to the background because they shun attention and social interactions. However, not all of them are characterized by hopelessness and just fade away; those who get the right support from family and peers actually get to make good use of their natural inclinations and even make a difference in the lives of others for being sympathetic.

One common characteristic of melancholic people is how they prefer to stay in the dark. It’s not so much that they like dim lighting but they are most comfortable and better in tune with their emotions when it’s dark and dreary.

This is a major cause of concern, though, because when negative emotions such as sadness and despair are allowed to breed (like molds in a dark environment), they can cause destruction. Studies reveal that cold and dreary places tend to have a high rate of suicide – the inability to go out and interact with other people push melancholic people inwards where they dwell on harmful thoughts and wallow in self-pity. The cold months are therefore extremely challenging for them.

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These are why proper lighting is part of the treatment recommended for people suffering from depression and hopelessness. Treatment centres for depressive and bipolar people make use of SAD lights as one method for depression relief.

What are SAD lights, you ask? These lights mimic UV rays provided by the sun and are manufactured for the sole purpose of curing seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Using full spectrum bulbs, SAD lights emit UV rays just like what people naturally receive from the sun. Healthy doses of lumens that produce UV rays promote the reduction of melatonin (which makes people more upbeat and active) and increased production of human serotonin (which is responsible for mood improvement).

So, do SAD lights work and deliver promised results in helping relieve depression? Yes, especially the best selling SAD light that emits the recommended intensity of light. One of the common beliefs about seasonal affective disorder is that it’s mainly caused by the lower levels of outdoor light, which then leads to a disruption in people’s biological clock.

Another one is that the lack of light disrupts the normal production of melatonin and serotonin, leading to drowsiness and depression. These beliefs only prove that light is indeed an important factor in people’s hormonal functioning; fortunately, SAD lights effectively address poor quality of outdoor light during the cold season.

Again, it’s important to remember that light therapy with SAD lights is not the only method to be used (especially for serious depression or bi-polar disorder), but it’s one that effectively contributes to the success of a thorough treatment.

About the Author

Chelsea Sawyer is a nurse and a certified health instructor. She is also a content creator who writes about health management, nutrition, fitness, beauty, weight loss, diseases and other topics about health. To know more about disorders such as SAD, she visits websites like www.sadlightsreview.com.

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