I own a SAD lamp

Pretty much when the fall begins each year, I dig way back into the depths of my closet and drag out the Day Light ClassicTM: Natural and Effective Bright Light Therapy. Do I have seasonal affective disorder—SAD as it is more commonly known? I don’t know. I do know that I really hate when the days get shorter and the weather gets colder and darkness outlasts the light.

Day Light ClassicTM: Natural and Effective Bright Light Therapy

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

Moody? Me? Moody? Ok, maybe I’ll admit to that. I certainly wouldn’t classify myself as depressed. In pretty much any season. I simply self-medicate with chocolate and find it to be quite effective.

That’s why it’s pretty inexplicable that each morning, for about 20 minutes beginning sometime in the fall and ending sometime after Day Light Savings time kicks in (oh happy day!), I rev up the Day Light ClassicTM. I always use the super daylight setting rather than the regular daylight setting, under the assumption that more is better.

Stylish design of the Day Light ClassicTM

My family and friends are endlessly fascinated with my Day Light ClassicTM. I’m not sure if it’s because of the stylish design—in a 2001: A Space Odyssey retro sci-fi kind of way—or because I attract people who have varying degrees of depression, but only in a seasonal way.

I’m starting to suspect that this light does nothing. Quite honestly, I don’t even think I experience a placebo effect. I notice no difference on the days I forget to use it and the days I don’t. Or even the years I forget to use it. (There is a lot of junk in my closet. I have no idea what’s in there. I must clean it out someday.)

Now that I’m writing this all down, I realize that a little more research is in order. I return to the Mayo Clinic site and learn that the major symptoms of SAD include oversleeping, appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, and weight gain. Hey, wait a minute! Doesn’t that make me a healthy mammal? One who enjoys a jolt of extra-strong sunshine with her morning coffee to be sure, at least in fall and winter.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

6 thoughts on “I own a SAD lamp

  1. If your SAD lamp doesn’t seem as effective as it did when you first bought it, it is possible that over time it has lost some of it’s output common with all these types of lamps. It’s very subtitle but could render it less effective, if you want advice invest in a new one it may make a big difference.
    Have a bright autumn!!!!

  2. Sorry to say I’m way more cynical than that…I had to buy one for my mother who was practically prescribed it by her GP…She didn’t exactly hound me about it, but I could tell she had high hopes for its ‘curing’ potential…Didn’t even buy the cheapest …As I unwrapped and plugged in, we were both anticipating great things…The vaguely fluorescent glow, did not remind either of us of daylight…But we persevered with it to the point of annoyance…Every time I saw it’s dull glow, I was reminded of the money spent and grew increasingly annoyed at the quality of light…But at least I thought Mom was benefitting, even placebo style would be good…Until one day I forgot to put it on and had to go back in to do so…She looked at me , pursed her lips and ‘shtewpsed’ (kissing/sucking teeth?)…We both started laughing loudly…The irony the one day I didn’t put it on was the one day Mom had a good old belly laugh.

    1. Hi Shoada,

      Now that’s a story! Life is so funny and unpredictable. Take the belly laughs when you can.

      Agreed, it did not live up to all of the hype. I’m still going to keep using mine, just because even a little false, vaguely brighter light in winter reminds me that it will be summer with long, long days soon enough.

      Be well!
      Dr. Mo

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