jesse_the_k: Photo of Pluto's heart region with text "I" above and "science" below. (I love science)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Seasonally depressive gentlepeople of the northern* hemisphere, it is that time of the year.

Get out your light box. Dust it off. Make sure the bulbs doesn't flicker—if so, order a replacement. Determine where you will put your lightbox so it can be part of the earliest 30 minutes in your daily routine. While the Fall Equinox is a few days out, the smoke in the air and cloudy autumn skies mean less sunlight in our lives.

I've started mine, and it makes a big difference.

There's been recent research that even if you don't have seasonal depression, bright-light therapy can be an effective antidepressant --

JAMA Psychiatry January 2016, and they lowered the paywall for this article!
http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2470681

begin quote
ConclusionsLight treatment, whether in monotherapy or particularly in combination with fluoxetine, is efficacious and well tolerated in the treatment of nonseasonal MDD. The treatment effects were large and NNTs were clinically relevant. Further studies exploring mediators and moderators of response will be important.
quote ends


NNT = "numbers needed to treat," a concept I almost understand, but am unwilling to define myself because I'm shaky when it comes to statistics. Here's the UK's Center for Evidence-Based medicine's take on it:

http://www.cebm.net/number-needed-to-treat-nnt/

(I know, they also support hateful treatments for people with ME/CFIS/SEID, but this explanation is about a fundamental tool of experimental science.)

*Excepting Antarctica, are there folks living in the Southern Hemisphere at latitudes so high they're also affected by SAD?

southern hemisphere and SAD

Date: 2017-09-05 11:57 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
I was using a lightbox in New York City, which is closer to the equator than Tasmania is. (I think I need to order a replacement bulb.)

Your point about smoke and cloudy autumn skies may also be relevant, though I don't know enough about specific Southern Hemisphere locations to know which it's likely to apply to. When I lived in Seattle, I suspected that the winter overcast was as much an issue as the latitude.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 01:53 am (UTC)
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] branchandroot
Yeah, I have to say, investing in one of those gradual-light alarm clocks was one of my best buys ever. It /really/ helps, when morning starts being dark again.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 02:29 am (UTC)
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
From: [personal profile] sonia
Do you have recommendations for light boxes? I've partly never gotten one because I didn't know how to decide what to get.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 02:52 am (UTC)
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
From: [personal profile] sonia
Thanks! Looks like there are 70 watt and 42 watt versions. Which one do you use? Also, I don't know if this is one of those permanent sales, but it looks like they're $100 off right now (for other folks reading). http://www.fullspectrumsolutions.com/bluemax_desk_18_ctg.htm

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 05:22 am (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
Good catch! Might be a good time for me to buy one also.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-07 03:29 am (UTC)
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
From: [personal profile] sonia
Thanks! Ordered one on the strength of your recommendation, since I've been eyeing them for years.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 05:41 am (UTC)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] tim
The only way to go, for me, is the SunBox, because they make the light box that was used in the original clinical trials that showed light boxes work.

http://www.sunbox.com/shop/10000-lux-bright-lights/sunray-ii/ is what I have. There are some variations on it.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 05:43 am (UTC)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] tim
(Anything from http://www.sunbox.com/product-category/10000-lux-bright-lights/ is probably going to be great. I also have a dawn simulator from them that they don't sell anymore, but I would trust the newer dawn simulators that they sell. They're a small company and I like that.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-07 03:30 am (UTC)
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
From: [personal profile] sonia
Thanks for the rec!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 05:43 am (UTC)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] tim
Thanks for the reminder! I've had a light box for 15 years but I've never been great at using it consistently. Time to actually set it up someplace in my room where I won't have to keep moving it around.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 06:06 pm (UTC)
lilysea: Tree hugger (Tree hugger)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
Thank you for the public service announcement.

Excepting Antarctica, are there folks living in the Southern Hemisphere at latitudes so high they're also affected by SAD?

It is A Thing in Australia in winter, especially in Adelaide (lots of cloud cover); Melbourne (lots of cloud cover); and Canberra (a ring of mountains around the city means late sunrise and early sunset.)

Re: Thanks for the info

Date: 2017-09-07 03:42 am (UTC)
lilysea: Serious (Default)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
When I lived in Canberra, in winter, it was dark when I went to work and dark when I got home. There was a precious 30 minutes of sunlight at lunchtime, and that was it.

My GP said almost all her patients were vitamin-D deficient in winter (because most Canberrans work office jobs.)

The Cancer Council Australia, which normally spends all its time telling people to Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide to prevent skin cancer

[slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat, seeking shade, sliding on wrap around sunglasses]

took the unprecedented step of taking out a full-page ad in the Canberra newspaper telling Canberrans not to wear hats and sunscreen in winter because of how common vitamin D deficiency was among Canberrans in winter.

They also tried to get schools to suspend their normal "no hat, no play in sun"[1] policy during winter because kids were at risk of vitamin D deficiency, but schools said it would be too confusing for kids to learn that hats were compulsory for nine months of the year, but forbidden for three months of the year.

[1] No hat, no play in sun is an incredibly common policy in Australian kindergartens and primary schools - it means if the kid doesn't have a hat/refuses to wear a hat, they have to play indoors. It's an anti-skin cancer thing.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 07:12 pm (UTC)
killing_rose: Raven/corvid in the frozen surf (Default)
From: [personal profile] killing_rose
I haven't done light therapy since I was in high school (Where most of the teachers had simply given up and kept theirs on to keep us all sane.), but should probably try again.(Costco sold/sells blue lights in anchorage. Because captive niche market, that's why.)

(It's just very difficult to think it is necessary when there is still actual light for more than 4 hours a day.)

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jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
Jesse the K

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