Light Therapy part 4

Overview of Light Therapy

Light Therapy

It is frequently argued that since many of us work in artificially lit buildings, we are seldom exposed to sufficient light. The human visual system adapts rapidly to changing intensities of illumination; consequently light encountered outdoors may not be perceived as orders of magnitude brighter than indoor illumination. Physiologically, however, humans respond quite differently to the higher levels of illumination provided by exposure to sunlight.


Light Therapy part 3

Overview of Light Therapy

Seasonal Affective Disorder & Gender

Seasonal affective disorder afflicts both sexes, though virtually all studies of the prevalence of SAD report that women are more likely to suffer than males. The most widely reported statistic is that women are 3.5 times more likely to present symptoms of SAD. However such results may be confounded, for example, more females might seek help more than males.


Light Therapy part 2

Overview of Light Therapy

Light Therapy & Pre-Menstrual Syndrome / Pre-Menstrual Tension (PMS / PMT)

Another possible application for light therapy is in the treatment of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome / Pre-Menstrual Tension (PMS / PMT).


Light Therapy part 1

Overview of Light Therapy

Seasonal Affective Disorder & Latitude

Many studies in the United States have reported a significant effect of latitude on prevalence, with an increase in prevalence with increasing latitude. Rosen et al (1990) working in Alaska, found a SAD rate of 8.9% and a subsyndromal SAD rate of 24.9%. Mersch et al (1999) Investigated the relationship between the prevalence of seasonal affective disorder and latitude and found the mean prevalence of SAD to be two times higher in North America compared to Europe.


Treating Depression: How Bright Light Can Help

You have probably heard about seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a depressive condition that some people feel when it turns gray outside for extended periods. A treatment called bright light therapy, which is pretty much what it sounds like — you put a bright light box in your house — often helps diminish the effects of SAD. But can it treat non-seasonal Major Depressive Disorder, a far more serious condition than SAD with a much higher risk for suicide?


Sunlight, Sexuality, and Mental Health

Sunlight, Sexuality, and Mental Health

by Loren Pickart

In the spring a livelier iris
changes on the burnish'd dove;
In the spring a young man's fancy
lightly turns to thoughts of love.

Alfred Tennyson 1884

The association of sunlight and mental and sexual health has long traditions. The summer solstice is historically linked with fertility and sexuality by cultures everywhere. June is the most popular wedding month. There used to be ceremonies symbolic of marriage at midsummer. Traditionally in spring, a young man proposed to a girl requesting she be his wife. Marriages were usually in midsummer. The couple dressed up accompanied by adults and children came to the church. Afterward in most local traditions there was feasting, drinking, and dancing into the evening. They were actually performing an ancient magical rite emphasizing the connection between sexuality and fertility in humans.


Brightening Depression

CONSTANCE HOLDEN’S OVERVIEW “FUTURE brightening for depression treatments”

explored the current exciting approaches for creating novel antidepressants.

Absent from this discussion were two major nonpharmacological, biological antidepressant treatments that have been clearly demonstrated to be highly efficacious and fast.

“Given the psychological suffering that depression inflicts…,it is surprising how little notice is taken of these remarkable chronobiological interventions [sleep deprivation and light therapy].”


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