Friday, 4 December 2009
I recently volunteered to take part in a trial for treatment of Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder.
I hadn't realised how much weather can affect me until several years ago when we had a(nother) lousy summer, then I got food poisoning. By late September I was feeling terrible, and rang a girlfriend in desperation.
“Can we meet for a long weekend?” I said (she'd just moved to Bournemouth: a long way from Cornwall.
She agreed to look into it and rang back the next day. “You've got a choice,” she said, with a catch of excitement in her voice. “It's a week in Spain or ten days in Menorca.”
We opted for the ten days, said goodbye to our respective partners and did a runner. Typically we arrived in the middle of a storm and spent the first day freezing, the next day going to a market and buying thick sweatshirts and wondering what the hell we'd done. The next day the sun came out......
That really set me up for the winter and I returned home tanned and beaming to pick blackberries in the greyness of a Cornish October. Now we have Mollie (whom we would not leave behind) but anyway finances rather preclude any foreign jaunts, so I am now sitting in front of my lightbox, getting my daily dose of light (there being none from the sun), and reading my booklet on ways to beat SAD. This includes Getting Outside – not a problem given a) my propensity to cabin fever (inherited from my mother) b) itchy feet and c) Mollie. But there are suggestions for beating negative thinking, Trying New Things and eating sensibly.
I'm charting my progress. So far I've joined the most amazing choir which has lifted my Thursdays beyond belief. As I was having a wobbly time, I tried the ways to beat negative thinking (and I think that helped), but a good sing helped more than anything, followed by a chat with new friends over coffee afterwards. I do eat reasonably sensibly anyway
So, does the lightbox work? Well, given the weather we've had over the past month, I haven't being dragged down into dire depression, put my head in a gas oven or murdered my husband. So I think the answer must be yes.
Do any of you suffer from SAD and/or tried a lightbox?