Use SAD Lamp to Escape 'Winter Blues'

The Wellness Center, in partnership with O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, has placed a light box, also known as a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lamp, at the library’s circulation desk. Students, staff and faculty with St. Thomas ID can check out the lamp for an hour at a time.

Anyone interested in using the SAD lamp is asked to read the information on the Mayo Clinic website regarding use of this therapy.

SAD is often called the “winter blues.” Many people experience decreased energy during the low-light months of winter. The combination of decreased sunlight and significant time spent in dimly lit offices or classrooms can have a negative effect on one’s mood and sense of well-being. The light-therapy box may assist some individuals in achieving a happier mood and increased energy.

Those who think that the lamp might be beneficial should use it for a period of 20 to 30 minutes each day, preferably first thing in the morning. The lamp should be placed directly in front of a person at a distance of 13 inches. There is no need to look directly at the light, although it is not harmful to glance up at it periodically.

Note that some medications, such as: lithium, melatonin, tetracycline, St. John’s Wort, phenothiazines, hematoporphyrins, acne creams, and creams with retinoic acid and chloroquine, can make a person very sensitive to light.