The following is from our Chaplain in Brookwood, FL, Eddie Santana:
Now that the winter months are upon us, we will all notice certain changes in the behaviors of a lot of our residents, at least I have, especially given the new time change which occurred this past weekend. The nights are longer and the cold weather will hinder many of the residents, as well as our stakeholders from enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
What seems to occur is a sense of sadness that often times leads to anxiety and depression. Its a common thing for many during this season to experience what is called the winter blues. Below you will find a therapy that I found helpful in assisting residents and stakeholders who are facing this type of symptom. I myself have used it and found it very helpful. Hope you do too.
“The Spiritual Benefits of Eternal Light Therapy.”
Several months ago I read an interesting article about SAD. SAD stands for “seasonal affective disorder,” which is a medical condition similar to depression, except that it manifests itself only during the winter months. In colloquial terms you might call it “the wintertime blues.”
SAD, unfortunately, has existed for a long time, but it was first identified as a medical condition back in the 1980’s, by people like Dr. Norman Rosenthal, who’s a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University.
Is there any hope for people who may be suffering from this emotional disorder? The good news is, yes. As Rosenthal and his colleagues have discovered, there is something which is highly effective in battling it. It’s called “light therapy.”
Listen now to 3 paragraphs from this article on SAD. There are some very important insights here:
“The exact mechanism by which light affects mood is unknown. Dr. Rosenthal believes that when light stimuli are carried to the brain, they may stimulate or suppress the levels of certain brain chemicals. But regardless of how it works, he says the key to treating SAD is getting more light.
‘First and foremost, bring more light into your life,’ he says, ‘This can be done naturally by getting outdoors on a bright winter day or by bringing in more lamps. The light can be just general ways of lighting up the room, but there are some specific light boxes or light fixtures that have been specifically produced to deliver the amount of light that has been used in research studies that have been shown to be effective.’
Typical light therapy involves sitting in front of a lamp for an hour or so every day. Dr. Rosenthal says most patients will see the benefits from this therapy within a week. The benefits will remain as long as they use the light; but as soon as they stop, the old symptoms of sluggishness and depression can return relatively quickly.”
Eddie Santana,Director of Spirituality