So, remember how I really thought I had an underactive thyroid? I experienced weight gain, irritability, lack of energy, and overall yuckiness? I swore since I'd put on 12 lbs in a short amount of time that I had something medically wrong with me. I eventually attributed my symptoms to getting older and not eating well.
Later on the the fall, my mood really worsened. Irritability probably would have sounded great to my poor husband and family. I was literally lethargic all day with the exception of 8-9am.
I'd always kind of realized that my mood was dependent on whether or not the sun was shining, but after a little research I discovered it was a little more than that. I knew that people in areas with less sunlight benefited from sun lamps, thanks to my well-read sister! I started doing a little reading and began to have hope.
It all sounds very strange, but with about 30 minutes of light therapy per day, patients experienced more energy, better mood, less craving for starchy foods, and more restful sleep at night.
I started shopping on Amazon and asked Rob for his opinion. He felt very strongly that what we needed was the best light box money could buy. I can say, with all certainty, that less than a month later, this was the best $300 we've every spent (I'm actually going to work on getting our insurance company to reimburse me).
I can't tell you how much better I feel! I am still not sure if what I was experiencing was seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or a more moderate depressive episode. I do know that my outlook is so much improved that I literally can't imagine going back to how I felt before.
So, basically, I am sitting in front of this very(!) bright(!) light for about 30-40 minutes every morning. I am receiving Vitamin D which helps my body make more melatonin. I have increased energy through the day and by evening my body is producing the melatonin it needs to get a restful sleep.
These light boxes are also used to treat: sleep disorders, bi-polar disorder, and depression. The company we purchased from is called Alaska Northern Lights. The boxes have filters that allow the box to be UV free and I don't look directly at the box to avoid any eye damage.
If you feel a little down in the winter or think you might have depression, I would urge you to research this. I was a little nervous to try anti-depressants, and I am so thankful we made the decision to order a light box instead.
I just wanted to share this information with anyone who could possibly benefit from my experience!