Wednesday, 9 January 2008

SAD and Bipolar disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is primarily known as too much sleep caused by the absence of light or day-light and it quite commonly appears among many people during the winter season when days becoming increasingly shorter. Researchers argue that with light therapy, dawn simulation, high-density negative air ionization or antidepressants the symptoms of this condition can be cured. This is particularly a case present in countries of the Northern and Southern hemisphere where occasionally day becomes night. As levels of serotonin and melatonin are altered within our body we tend to sleep more and do not feel awake during the day.

The symptoms of SAD are defined as:
  • Lack of energy including increased fatigue, an increased need for sleep, and lethargy.
  • Increased appetite, possible weight gain, and increased cravings for sugar and carbs.
  • Withdrawal from friends and family, relationship problems, loss of libido, and anxiety.
  • Problems with focusing or concentrating on various types of tasks or work.
  • An increase in the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder which is also called PMDD.
  • Seasonal depression during Fall and Winter.
Bulletpoints quoted from Tracee Cornforth at about.com

Although this may seem like a fictitious creation of a condition, manufacturers have designed special light therapy lamps for use around the household. The lamps have a power rating of 10,000 lux so it is advised that one doesn't look directly at them. The lamps have timers so that you can set them 2 hours before the time you should wake up and the cheapest ones cost a little more than 100usd. This may be a healthy investment for those bipolar people who believe that sun deprivation maybe the main reason why they can't wake up in the mornings. Light therapy can last from half an hour to 2 hours so it doesn't really impact electricity bills. Turning on all the lights may be even more expensive. Yet I am a firm believer that sunlight is definitely beneficial to the soul and an investment into a light therapy lamp sounds like good money worth spent.

1 comment:

ilker said...

I was about to buy one of those SAD lamps when I felt "low energy" back in the days - but then it was much more expensive than it is now.