Symptoms Of Seasonal Depression
Q: I'm interested in any information about seasonal depression. I'm basically
ignorant of the entire subject.
A:Norman Rosenthal's excellent paperback "Winter Blues" is a good place to begin. It's available in libraries and bookstores. An AltaVista or DejaNews search for +seasonal +affective +disorder will turn up a lot. A visit to your library's Magazine and Newspaper Index will also. There is a LOT of snake oil sales going on, a lot of predators trying to sell things that are useless to dangerous, on the Net, to people who are in difficult times. Be careful. Look for research articles, in refereed journals, as primary sources. If there's no citation, there's quite likely no support for the claim. Algae, pine tree oil, megavitamins, ultraviolet light, etc. are snake oil in treating seasonal affective disorder -- they don't help, at best. At worst, ultraviolet light can do permanent, painless, cumulative damage to your vision. Don't blind yourself trying to feel better. Be careful. Very bright light -- +10x normal indoor room light, about 1/8 as bright as outdoors in the shade on a sunny day -- for 30 minutes/day will help SAD. So do 'dawn simulators' (see Rosenthal). Starting this time of year -- depth of the dark time -- isn't going to be a rapid complete fix for most people, though if you do lights every day for a week you'll probably know if they help you. Start next season in late summer -- August or early September -- to help yourself more. How about telling us a little about your own experience with SAD? Are you dealing with it yourself, or have anybody at your business who's diagnosed with winter depression? Did you design the boxes you're selling according to one of the research papers that's been published, or is there anything published by researchers who've used your company's product for treating SAD? Since Lou Puls has a long-standing SAD home page, I hope you've listed that one.
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