Monday, February 11, 2008

No friggin' wonder

I read today that light therapy benefits women who have bipolar disorder, but works best if used at midday rather than morning:

The women were given light boxes and used them for 15, 30, and 45 minutes daily, each for 2-week periods. Four patients used them in the morning and five at midday.

Of the four subjects treated with morning light, three developed mixed states; that is, "symptoms of depression and mania that occur at the same time -- racing thoughts, irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety and low mood"

Granted, this is based on a study of only nine such women, not exactly what you'd call a large sample. But it certainly explains why my mood, hygiene, and overall functioning have improved tremendously while my insomnia, knee/back pain, and acne -- indicators of depression -- have worsened. And it sucks; after profound depression, mixed states are my least favorite mood -- far more unpleasant than anger and anxiety. (Hypomania, while devastating for my occupational, financial, and sexual health, has the marginally redeeming quality of feeling absolutely marvelous while you're in it.)

Next winter I'm going to have to tell my workplace that I need to use some kind of light during my lunch hour. I might even get them to pay for a therapeutic lamp I can keep in my office (or, more likely, my cubicle).
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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