John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Let There Be Light (Therapy)

If you're a regular reader of my LJ, you probably remember my wailing and gnashing of teeth about constantly living in the dark. So, two? Three? weeks ago, I picked up a NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp, which I have been using regularly ever since. Basically, I have it sitting next to my desk and put it on a timer for 30 minutes while I eat my breakfast, go through my e-mail and feeds, do my Lumosity exercises, etc. The effect is something like this:

If DC ever gets nuked, I know how bright it will be.

Seriously, I'm surprised this thing doesn't burn my silhouette into the wall behind me. It illuminates the room, it illuminates the rest of the house, and it fools airline pilots into landing out on the street.

How effective is it at improving my mood? It's hard to say for sure. My mood is definitely better now than it was three weeks ago, but the light therapy effect isn't working in isolation here. Spring has arrived, meaning sunnier days in general, we've been making progress on the whole house sale/moving thing, and I've spent the past week (when not packing) writing a novel that I finally figured out how to fix the broken plot of. There's a lot of things going on here that could lift my mood, and while I suspect the light therapy lamp is helping, I cannot definitely say that's what fixed it.

The trap now is, feeling better, I tend to forget about using it. One of the insidious things about depression is when it's not bothering you, it's easy to slip out of management mode. The past few mornings in particular, I've been halfway through my morning routine and realized I've forgotten to turn it on, and there's no way it can help me if I don't actually use it. So I've ended up with a longer morning routine than I intended, because I end up sitting there waiting for the 30 minutes to elapse. But that's just a matter of getting my routine nailed down. Eventually it will be a habit and I'll be fine.

So! I'm going to log this experiment as a provisional success.

-The Gneech
Tags: depression, gneech news
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