Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't Know Much

I haven't blogged much lately, if you haven't noticed. Winter is really kicking me in the gut this year. I actually started feeling it by September. Work has been some of my sanity because it gets me out driving in the sunlight for a couple of hours at a time, but that has slowed down. I have lots of opinions about things, but don't seem to be able to put them in to words. I have been skipping out on things that I normally do because I can't seem to deal with people (I mean, worse than I normally deal with them) or I don't feel good, but I can't tell if I am fighting a cold, or if I have a stuffy nose AND am just emotionally worn down.


Yep....my friend is back. Seasonal Affective Disorder. I had it when I lived in Utah, but it was pretty much absent in California and Arizona, and it has gotten worse each year here, probably just because I know it is coming and I dread it.


When I went to Hawaii last December, the change that I felt in just a couple of days was amazing. I felt more myself than I had in months, I all of a sudden felt like I could think, I felt happy. I haven't felt happy in December in five years, except for then. I really didn't realize how bad it was until then, and now I am really aware that I'm being pushed back into the cave every time the days start getting shorter.


I went to the doctor a few years ago, after we moved here, but Maggie was still nursing and I don't do anything to keep from getting pregnant, so I really didn't want a chemical answer. Diet has helped -- staying away from sugars and starches, but the carb cravings that come along with this are really hard to fight. So, I'm getting a therapy light. Now that they don't cost thousands of dollars (though Concordia Plan still won't cover it), I'm going to manage it.


Maybe it will help my blogging...since I am going to have to sit for a couple of hours...I might actually knit, I might actually blog, I might actually read something besides Harry Potter or Pride and Prejudice -- both for the 20th time - because I've read them so many times I don't have to really think about them.

9 comments:

Elephantschild said...

It's been really rough, here, too. I've often wondered about the lights. I'd gladly pay the money if I was sure it would help!

DogMom said...

Home Depot and WalMart carry the full-spectrum bulbs now, and you can put those straight into a normal light socket.

Many tanning salons are also starting to offer 15-minute "therapeutic" sessions (and sometimes package deals) instead of a full "tanning" session that I know helps many people - and there are several tanning salons near us.

Good luck and we're praying for you. I know how hard it can be to deal with SAD.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Full spectrum bulbs can help, but the ones that are available in stores do not provide even close to the 10,000 LUX at 15-18 inches that have provided a difference in clinical studies.

Tanning salons, while with their popularity out here, I don't doubt that they do something (since they are not that popular out west, and even getting a tan isn't that popular outdoors isn't nearly as poular as here. It really blew me away how big tanning salons are here)... the light, in order to do any good, has to enter your retina, and they shield the eyes in tanning booths, so while the warmth or the melanin in the skin might have some effect on minor cases, they haven't been shown to be effective on full-blown SAD. The length of time is too short, as well, as at least an hour and preferably 2 hours or more has been shown necessary to show much improvement.

Therapy lights are available between $175-$600.00. There are many. Now they are pushing LED, but the blue light has not been proven to be as successful as the full-spectrum bulb used in previous therapy lights, and their intensity can also damage the retina.

It also ends up being important what angle the light is at...so some lights, while expensive, might not do any good. They should slope down. If the light is angled up, it may not be as effective as the ones that angle down.

Elephantschild said...

That's good to know. The light I have in my Amazon wishlist sits on the table and points up at you - but it is real bulbs, not LED.

It's $129. Maybe it could be mounted above so it shines angled down at you?

Designated Knitter said...

Does time of day matter? I would be interested in trying one, but I would be using it in the evening, right before going to bed - would that affect my sleep cycle?? (I really love having you to research things!)

Beth said...

I'm sorry to hear that you go through this...
I pray that the lights help you!

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

E.C.,

Do you have a link?

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Actually, I found the link and looked at them. For $20 more, you can get one that points downward.

I'm pretty sure I am getting this one:

http://store.lighttherapyproducts.com/index.php/sunsation-with-floor-stand.html

I like the flexibility of it. I can have it by my computer or by my couch (or even by the table where the kids are homeschooling). The light detaches from the stand too for travel or for even more flexibility - or to become a desk lamp.

DK,

I just got a book on it from the library, and now that I will be putting the other one on hold, as well, so hopefully one of those will answer that issue.

I have seen an alarm clock that gradually lightens a room the same way that it would if the sun comes in...supposed to help trigger proper circadian rhythm. I know when I was in Utah, and I lived in a town at the base of an eastern mountain, the sun didn't come up until 10 a.m. It was lighter before that...but waking up in the dark, getting ready in the dark, going to class in the dark was HARD. I wonder if something like that wouldn't have helped.

Dee said...

I've followed your blog for awhile. I really despise that the Concordia Plans won't cover the needs for SAD. Living in Wisconsin (and previous parish, Northern Illinois) it's pretty rough. I just wanted to let you know I'm right there with you, slogging through it day by day with prayer. It doesn't help when we're under the spotlight a lot in our personal lives at the same time, does it?

God's blessings to you! Hang in there!