Over a million American children may suffer from the depression and fatigue of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which responds to light therapy. Early recognition and intervention by parents, teachers, and clinicians seems particularly important to prevent unnecessary suffering.
SAD is a cyclical depressive disorder that occurs in the fall-winter months, but improves in the spring and summer. The results of a recent study suggest tha at least 3% of US school children may be affected by the disorder. Light therapy, in which the patient places him- or herself in front of a special "light box" for a few hours each day, has been found effective in easing SAD-related symptoms in adults.
The researchers found that light therapy "lessened" (but never eliminated) SAD symptoms in all cases. They say one 14-year-old boy who had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was able to discontinue his use of the prescribed drug Ritalin after being introduced to light therapy. The treatment was also linked to improved mood and academic performance in a 6-year-old girl.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1998;37(2):218-220
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
For those of you who live in Chicago you may have noticed you were starting to experience SAD (seasonal affective disorder) from all the cloudy weather we had been having. You see, SAD and winter depression are especially prominent during the LONG winter months, as it is the time when most regions experience a severe deficit of sunlight.
However, there is a highly effective and healthy way to fill that sunlight void and successfully treat winter depression: Bio-Pure Light Boxes.
Bio-Pure Light Boxes contain light bulbs that project full spectrum sunlight -- essential if you are to achieve natural balanced sunlight INDOORS. These bulbs contain the full spectrum of color (imagine the colors of the rainbow), as well as infrared and the three ultra violet wavelengths. No other type of lighting source -- not "regular" or even "natural" light bulbs or fluorescent light bulbs -- contains these requirements.
There are two Bio-Pure models you can chose from (BP-12 Combo Box and BP-12 Junior), which contain these necessary ingredients to help you obtain the balanced sunlight that is essential to your physical AND mental health.
Specifically, Bio Pure BP-12 and BP-12 Jr. Light Boxes both include state-of-the-art Blu-Lux technology that truly sets these light therapy boxes apart from any other source of light. The Bio-Pure BP-12 also provides the highest quality full spectrum lighting.
These light therapy boxes are the most exceptional boxes on the market.
Where can you use these light boxes? Many places. You can use them while you are reading, using a computer, cooking, working out, giving or receiving a massage, etc. Some people prefer to be directly in front of the light box, while others use it to illuminate an area from the side or from behind.
Each person is unique and different location and distances for your light box should be experimented with. It is also beneficial to develop a routine that is consistent and feels right for you to get your daily dose of safe "sunshine in a box!"
Therefore, it is not only highly recommended (but absolutely critical) that you get routine exposure to the next best thing to sunlight: full spectrum lighting!