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What kind of in-home lighting should I buy to counteract the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

I've heard that trips to a tanning booth can help with this, but this isn't possible for a claustrophobic person (the patient in question). Is there a similiar lighting product that we could put on his desk? Fluorescent? Black lights? "Natural sunlight" bulbs?

Does anybody know? Thanks in advance.

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi. I too have seasonal affective disorder. Since the problem stems from a lack of sunlight you want to try to supplement that light. Ideally you should buy a "HappyLite" Deluxe Light Bath (it's a light box, the kind that doctors sometimes prescribe). You can purchase one through Gaiam Mind Body for about $200.00. Their website is, & their # is 1-800-254-8464. With this light box you need only sit facing it for about 20 minutes per day. If you can't afford that much all at once your next best bet is to invest in full-spectrum bulbs. (GaiamMindBody has these, too.) These are different from "daylight" bulbs, which, in spite of their name, are less like actual daylight than the full-spectrum bulbs (go figure!). Your best bet is to buy compact flourescent full-spectrum bulbs -they cost a bit more but generally last at least 10,000 hours. But since you will need to have the lights on very close to where you are for as much time as possible CFL's are a wiser investment. You need to be in close proximity to the bulb because in order to counteract the S.A.D. the light must enter through your eyes (not the skin as some may believe).

    I have found these lights helpful & I'm certain you (or the person you're reffering to) will, also.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): I have SAD, have researched the treatments for it, these are what the specialists reccomend & I am helped a great deal by these lights.
  • 1 decade ago

    There are lots of websites out there to help you with this:

    and though it takes a while to load (for me at least) check out this one: (center for environmental therapeutics).

    Here is some info on treatment (from wikipedia):


    A number of treatments exist for SAD. These include light therapies, medication, ionized-air reception and cognitive therapy.

    Treatments using light are the most common, and of these bright-light therapies tend to be the treatment of choice.[1] The use of a bright light-box is the most effective, leading to around 85% success rates [10]. A specially designed light, many times brighter than normal office lighting, is placed near the sufferer. It should provide a dose of 10,000 lux, and be used for 30-60 minutes daily. The sufferer should remain within sight of the light-box, with their eyes open and unshielded, but not directly staring at the lights. The best time to administer light therapy is still a matter of debate, though use in the morning has been suggested to mimic the effects of normal dawn on the patient.[11]In fact, some studies have shown dawn simulation to be more effective than bright lights in treating SAD.[12] Light therapy may take several weeks to take full effect though some improvement should be noted within a week. It should be continued until natural daily light exposure becomes sufficient, usually during spring.[citation needed]

    If light therapy has little or no effect, medication can be used as an additional treatment when prescribed. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have proven effective in treating SAD. Examples of these antidepressants are fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral), or paroxetine (Paxil). [13] Bupropion (Wellbutrin XL), an antidepressant of the aminoketone class, is also effective. [14] Fluoxetine does not appear to be any more effective than light therapy in direct head-to-head trials.[15]

    Studies by Michael Terman show the benefit of negative air ionization, where people passively receive charged particles from an electronic device. [16]. In addition, recent studies of University of Vermont psychologist Kelly Rohan showed that cognitive therapy can relieve the symptoms of SAD. [17]

  • T J
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    No, not "black lights".

    Get some "natural sunlight" bulbs. Bulbs that carry the full spectrum of lighting. They're not that much more, and they're nicer, SAD or not.

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