‘SAD’ brings seasonal emotional challenges

Natalie Dillivan

More stories from Natalie Dillivan

December 12, 2019
The Happylight can be used to improve ones mood in the winter.


The Happylight can be used to improve one’s mood in the winter.

Do you find yourself feeling particularly sad during the dreary winter months? There might be a more scientific explanation as to why.

Beginning in the late fall, some find themselves showing symptoms of sudden depression and constant exhaustion. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

SAD is a type of depression triggered by the rapid change in seasons. Some people are affected by Winter SAD, while others find they are depressed during the spring months.

According to the mayoclinic.com, a few common symptoms of this disease include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Various treatments for SAD exist out in the world, but the most commonly used treatments are light therapy (phototherapy), medications, and psychotherapy.

At the Shoshone Learning Center, Special Education Director Mrs. Ginger Sleep turns on both of her Happylights during the dreary winter months.  Happylight is a light simulation lamp made by Verilux.

According to bedbathandbeyond.com, the Happylight will help cure fatigue, a lack of concentration and eye strain. “This light uses a 5,000 LUX of illumination to replicate the sunlight, and will remind one’s body to reset itself, so one can be more focused with more energy”. More scientifically, “Natural Spectrum Light properly stimulates the eye’s photoreceptors to work best without strain.’’

According to verilux.com, the company itself suggests a light dose in the beginning because the light is so powerful. “We typically suggest starting any HappyLight routine with a 10-minute dose and build from there to a time that works best for you. It could be 30 minutes, or it could be an hour or more depending on what makes you feel great.”

For more information on the Happylight or the Verilux light products, visit bedbathandbeyond.com or verilux.com/store/happylight.