Frequently Asked Questions About Light Therapy For Seasonal Affective Disorder

People experience different kinds of pain. There are different types of pain, but the more common type is physical pain. Injuries and diseases are some of the leading causes that result in physical pain. Physical pain can manifest through feelings of aching, burning, and throbbing. 

However, people feel another kind of pain, which we don’t talk about as often. And that is psychological pain. Likewise the former, this type of pain can stem from several causes as well. But in this article, the focus is on seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression induced by seasonal changes. SAD is also known as “winter depression.” People typically experience this condition during the fall and winter seasons where there is less sunlight.


People with SAD experience symptoms similar to that of major depression, which can interfere with daily functioning. 

Symptoms include the following:

  • loss of interest in activities
  • loss of energy
  • changes in sleep
  • difficulty thinking
  • suicidal thoughts

How does change in sunlight trigger SAD? Researchers have proposed several theories to explain this phenomenon. Decreased exposure to sunlight leads to a shift in people’s biological clocks. This shift affects the regulation of hormones, which in turn affects mood and sleep patterns. 

One of the affected hormones is serotonin – the happiness hormone. Serotonin levels drop with decreased sunlight causing mood changes. Seasonal changes also affect melatonin, the sleep hormone. With a lack of sunlight, there is an overproduction of melatonin. As a result, people feel sleepier. 

SAD’s link with sunlight exposure is mediated with light therapy.  

If you want to learn more about how light therapy may help with SAD, here are the frequently asked questions on this topic. Light therapy is one of the most utilized treatments for the condition. This article will focus specifically on the science behind light therapy—its processes, guidelines, risks, and benefits. Also, learn more about alternative treatment methods for SAD and how to maintain their benefits to prevent relapse. 

Do SAD light boxes really work?

SAD light boxes may ease the symptoms of your health conditions. It can also boost your energy levels and improve your feelings about yourself. Light therapy can begin to enhance the symptoms within a short period. However, light therapy is not the solution or cure for SAD, nonseasonal depression, or other health conditions.

How does light therapy work for seasonal affective disorder?

The lightbox’s light simulates the sunlight, which cannot be seen during the darker winter season. The light may alleviate SAD by decreasing the brain’s melatonin production and promote the creation of serotonin.

Can you use a SAD light too much?

An individual that gets too much light may experience discomfort, like the feeling after consuming too much caffeine. To avoid this, it is best to consult with a clinician to give a proper dose that works well for you.

How long does it take for light therapy to work for SAD?

Usually, people respond to light therapy within three to five days. Meanwhile, if there is no response within the first week, an improvement may appear in the second week.


Do SAD lights help with vitamin D deficiency?

Experts do not recommend using sun lamps to induce vitamin D production since more research is done on this matter. According to them, the UV light from these may cause an increased risk for skin cancer. Instead, it is better to take supplemental vitamins with 2000 IUs per day to help with vitamin D deficiency.

Does light therapy help anxiety?

Light therapy dramatically reduces anxiety and depression scores. However, there are no significant differences between high- and low-intensity treatment.

Does a SAD lampwork if your eyes are closed?

Most light therapy studies have proven that positive effects are made when the eyes are open. The regular 10,000 lux per ½ hour session requires that your eyes are open.

Do SAD lamps give you a tan?

No, the sun lamps intended for SAD cannot give a tan since they filter the ultraviolet light. If you are using a sun lamp for SAD, it is vital to consult with your doctor. Using an incorrect type of lamp can harm your eyes and cause other detrimental effects.

Can you do light therapy at night?

Results of researches about whether light therapy works more effectively at a specific time of day varies. However, some people with SAD do their light therapy for one to two hours in the evening.

Can you wear glasses during light therapy?

Any individual can wear glasses or contact lenses during light therapy. However, in treating SAD, it is advisable not to wear sunglasses or tinted lenses.

Can light therapy hurt your eyes?

Looking directly at the lightbox can harm your eyes. While light therapy is generally safe, some conditions need extra precaution. People with bipolar disorder may show symptoms and become manic after excessive light exposure. Additionally, people with an eye condition or diabetes do have a higher risk of eye damage.

How long does SAD last?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that happens at a similar time every year. It can occur during spring or summer, but it usually starts late and lasts until the end of the winter season.

Does light therapy really work for wrinkles?

Red light therapy (RLT) pursues to solve skin issues through low wavelength red light. Many experts have confidence that this therapy can aid in cases such as aging and scarring. Although RLT is not a miracle cure, there is some evidence to prove these claims.

Does red light therapy burn fat?

Red Light Therapy is an up to date advanced technology that utilizes a specific type of therapeutic light. This light can penetrate, open up fat cells, and dissolve the fat. Through this therapy, the fats transform and burn as energy.

Can I use light therapy all day?

It is recommended to take light therapy for 30 minutes to 2 hours a day. The recommended duration depends on the intensity level of the light used or whether you have been using it for some time.


Symptoms of SAD generally improve with seasonal change, but treatment fastens mood improvement. Healthy lifestyle habits can also minimize SAD symptoms and prevent them from coming back. These habits include exercising, getting enough sleep, and eating a well-balanced diet. 

Spending time outside or working near a clear glass window can also help increase exposure to natural sunlight. It’s best to engage in these activities while undergoing treatments to maximize their benefits.

Social support is also important in improving mental health. Depressive symptoms may push people to isolate themselves from social circles and would further reinforce SAD. As such, maintaining connection through volunteering, socialization, and spending time together is beneficial for recovery.

SAD may be linked with the changing seasons, but with the right tools and support, people can work around SAD.  

Categories: Pain Management

Suffering In Silence (Mental Health Issue)

There is no imaginable way that you could count the days that you feel down, alone, vulnerable, and weak. I can say that you suffered a lot from emotional and mental damage for most of your existence. Honestly, almost everybody is like you. A lot of them also suffer the same way you do, including me. We all feel stressed out, anxious, terrified, and confused about many things, especially those we can’t control. But unlike everybody else, how do you manage those life stressors? Do you express your feelings and talk it out? Do you encourage yourself to seek healthy intervention? Do you ignore life’s toxicity and refrain from overthinking? If these are the things you often do, then congratulations! You are doing well in taking care of your mental health. However, if neither of these is your ways and you don’t find yourself doing anything at all, we both can agree that you may be suffering from mental health issues in silence.


Not Talking About The Issue Is Not A Proper Way Of Recovery

A lot of people’s misconception when it comes to handling mental illnesses is the belief that once they ignore it, it will eventually go away. Unfortunately, that is farther from the truth. It is indeed valid that at some point, you will have to ignore some of the unimportant things that don’t require even the slightest attention. However, that strategy only works if you are trying to secure a positive parameter around you. When you are diagnosed with a mental health condition such as anxiety and depression, not talking about, will only make it worse. You will not only cry in pain for an extended period, but you will also suffer from the agony alone. Thus, not talking about your mental health problems will never help you by any means.


Not Understanding Limitations And Pushing Yourself On The Edge

Understandably, sometimes you feel you are more than emotionally and mentally strong enough to handle everything around you. That is a good thing. Your positive attitude towards your life stressors can become helpful in dealing with the unbearable ones. However, not every result turns out to be positive as well. Unfortunately, there are times that even if you think you can manage things despite having an emotional and mental imbalance, you end up incapable of doing anything. And when you try to pull yourself again and believe that you can make things right the second time around, still you end up messing things. Please do not feel bad about it. Of course, there are many things you can’t do, and that is okay. Do not torture yourself just because you think you are incapable of so many things.


Not Acknowledging You Need Professional Help Is Fatal

Sometimes, the only way a person like you wants to deal with mental health problems is by addressing it alone. There is this ideology that the need to try harder in keeping one’s mental health intact is achievable by practice. Unfortunately, that is the dumbest thing anyone could think of. Mental illness is not a temporary state that you quickly turn off whenever you want to. It is a condition that ruins your entire life. So when you rely only on personal choices and get blinded by the idea that you can make it alone, you are only putting yourself in a much-complicated situation. You understand that you need help, so why not take advantage of it? Acknowledge your mental health needs and seek professional advice. Do not settle for remedies that are not clinically proven. Never depend on the limited information you have.


Not Taking Your Mental Condition Seriously Causes A Severe Health Damage

Usually, you have a mental illness in silence because you do not take your condition seriously. There is a thought that many people share the same outlook and that some of them are okay with having a society-accepted mental incapacity. You indeed have to process every possible solution that you can take to avoid having an emotional and mental breakdown. Because even if you think that you can stay positive throughout your mental illness journey, a split second of undesirable decisions can ruin that piece of hope you have. Never ignore signs and symptoms because these exist for the particular reason of reminding you that everything is psychologically too much already.



Perhaps you would say that the things I babble about are just a piece of information you already know. You might also say that I will never understand your situation because I am not in your shoes. You may argue that the things I say only apply to those who need it more than you. Well, that is a fact. But let me emphasize one thing; your mental health needs are always beyond you. That is why mental health reminders are there.

Categories: Pain Management

Family 101: Overcoming Emotional Neglect

When we tolerate and stay in an emotionally neglectful family environment, it causes us to believe that our feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and desires do not matter. It is a negative situation that can make us doubt what we entirely feel. It can make us experience difficulty in trusting people as well. In some unfortunate instances, it makes us push people away and hinder them from getting into our lives. Also, emotional neglect can make us continuously worry about what others might think about us.


When our emotional demands are not met, it leaves us with no secure emotional foundation. As a result, we struggle to get to know ourselves, and we experience difficulty understanding what we want. Honestly, when we suffer from emotional neglect, we do not realize it most of the time. We are unaware that this type of neglect is not something that quickly goes away when we want it to be over. That explains why this feeling can go unnoticed for a month or even years.

When our family is emotionally neglectful, they do not try to comfort us. They are not there at all. For this reason, we begin to find ourselves in a mentally and emotionally abusive and unhealthy relationship with others. We struggle to deal with different people because of the fact that the individuals who are supposed to stick with us are also complicated to deal with. We do not have a safe zone of loving, supportive, and caring family members around us. It makes us believe that we are alone.


What To Do?

According to some licensed professionals at BetterHelp, once we realize that our feelings are changing, that is how we can track it down. It can be hard at first because we might think that everything is way too scary. So it would be great if we start understanding the easier ones. We need to identify fear, anxiety, stress, and all sorts. We need to note that overcoming emotional neglect does not happen overnight. It requires time and effort. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways that can help us deal with the situation.

One of the helpful ways is to stop pleasing people. Understandably, we don’t want to feel emotionally neglected by our family; that is why we tend to please everybody. We push ourselves to do things that benefit them, even if it is against our will. However, that should end there. If our family deserves our attention, they should also have to learn to care for us emotionally. They need to realize our worth and not take us for granted. They must understand that we deserve love, understanding, and compassion.

We can also help ourselves from emotional neglect when we stop prioritizing undeserving people’s happiness above ours. We need to tell ourselves that our happiness needs to come first. When we are emotionally neglected, we struggle to know our feelings. To avoid that, we should not allow them to take control of our ability to love and care for those deserving ones. We need to set boundaries and let them know that a relationship should have to be ‘give and take.’ We need to make them realize that it is pointless to spend an hour with people who can’t even spare us a minute.


When the feeling of emotional neglect is so overwhelming, we can also manage it by talking it out. We need to allow ourselves to acknowledge that there is something wrong and that we need to speak about it. Even if people call it a nonsense rant or whatever, we need to express it in any way. We have to be open about how we feel about our situation. We need to be true to ourselves. We need to acknowledge the pain and accept that we indeed need someone’s help. It could be a friend, a co-worker, or a therapist that we can guarantee that would help us no matter what.

If in case we find it difficult to discuss our emotional struggles with others, at least we can work on self-care. Because when it comes to healing from emotional neglect, self-care becomes the number one asset we got. It is our only way of telling our mind, body, and soul that we care and appreciate their effort in keeping us away from emotional and mental exhaustion. Thus we need to care for ourselves regularly by focusing on the things that help us feel nurtured.



When we are living in an emotionally neglectful environment, we tend to get numb. When our feelings are ignored for an extended period, it becomes normal for us not to know how we entirely feel. It is a problem because it hinders us from figuring everything in our life. It prevents us from getting a chance to understand ourselves better. But by taking the time to acknowledge our emotional needs, we help ourselves open a new perspective. It will help us believe that our emotions are valid and that they need attention.

Categories: Pain Management

Managing Emotional Pain While In Quarantine

Physical pain isn’t the only challenge during this COVID-19 quarantine. More individuals may be dealing with emotional pain and distress at this time. Anxiety, hopelessness, and sadness are some of the trials that many are going through.

If you find that you can relate, here are some ways of managing emotional pain.

Differentiate Things You Can And Cannot Control


First, figure out what things to focus on and what to let go of for now.

There will always be things that are out of our control. These events and circumstances are things we should not have to stress over. Instead, we must learn to manage around it or let it go. Examples of these include how long the quarantine will last and how others act while in isolation. While we can’t help but worry over the length of this crisis, we cannot always carry that around with us.

Meanwhile, you can instead focus on what you can change and do. Put your attention towards following guidelines on social distancing and reading credible information from experts. Find fun things to do at home when you feel bored. Reach out to others who might be feeling lonely. Exert your effort and energy towards something you know you can manage.

Take A Break


During a time of a global pandemic, we must all stay well-informed. However, such does not entail checking the news or searching the internet for updates at every given hour.

Distancing yourself from the disease shouldn’t only be physical. A mental break from it can also benefit you significantly. Staying glued to social media and news outlets can put you into a panic. Stay informed, but keep yourself from becoming too distressed.

Some things you can do are:

  • Set a time limit for social media. There are applications you can use that help track time you spend on a specific website or app. Some can even block you out, so you force yourself to stay offline.
  • Limit yourself to a few news channels and timeslots. You don’t have to watch or read each article from every news agency. For sure, each one will report on important updates and significant happenings. Don’t worry about missing out.
  • Turn the wifi router off. Even when we want to put our phone down, it can be challenging. A single notification can call to us and we and up spending half an hour on our mobile again. If possible, switch off the router to give yourself some downtime. You can keep your phone on if you’re worried about potential emergencies.

Practice Physical And Mental Grounding


A technique you can employ while on quarantine is grounding. You can carry out this practice in two ways. There is physical as well as mental grounding.

The aim of this practice, based on the name itself, is to keep you from spiraling out of anxiety or panic. It “grounds” you in reality and slows things down when you feel overwhelmed.

To practice physical grounding, first, choose an object. Take a good look at what you’ve picked. Observe how it looks and feels. Describe the object’s color, texture, weight, etc. If there’s writing on the item, you can read that as well.

As for mental grounding, there are several activities you can do. One is to name things you can see in your surroundings. However, some may find this a little overwhelming when their environment is chaotic. If you do feel such, stop the activity and try something else. You can try making a mental list of things or words you know that begin with the letter “S.” Or name a country for every letter of the alphabet. 

Take note that grounding does not make you avoid your feelings. It merely lets you slow down so you can regain control over your emotions.


Emotional pain can be as taxing and challenging to deal with as physical pain. During a stressful time such as this quarantine, people are more likely to bounce back to normal. “It is possible that those with depression or social anxiety are less capable of releasing opioids during times of social distress, and therefore do not recover as quickly or fully from a negative social experience,” says David T. Hsu, Ph.D.

One of the ways you can deal with emotional pain is by learning what things should get your focus. Attend to something you can control and change and leave those that are out of your hands. Next, you can limit your exposure to news and social media, as those may add to the distress you feel. Lastly, practice emotional and physical grounding.

All these practices put together can help you manage your emotional pain a little easier.

Categories: Pain Management

Dealing With Chronic Pain Management Under Quarantine


In light of the pandemic that we currently face, it also presents us with an all-time high global health crisis. The adjustments that COVID-19 has caused us to make doubles the distress for those suffering from diseases or chronic pain. That’s why, in this trying time, it’s crucial to address your symptoms while not amplifying fear and anxiety appropriately.

The government has imposed quarantine as a measure to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Because of this, people with chronic pain have lost access to many support programs and medicine access. Many patients are left alone to cope on their own.

As such, for patients and their loved ones, it’s vital to know the support and services available to help them. How can patients rationally manage chronic pain amid the quarantine period caused by the coronavirus?

The Main Challenge

Because chronic pain is an often-difficult condition to treat, patients are often vulnerable to developing depression and anxiety. At this time, chronic pain patients face more significant challenges other than the burden of their pain. As we undergo social distancing, there is a higher risk of mental health challenges.

“Chronic pain and mental health disorders are common in the general population, and epidemiological studies suggest that a bidirectional relationship exists between these 2 conditions,” W. Michael Hooten, M.D., of the Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine notes.

But one of the primary concerns is the abrupt reduction of opioid medication availability. It becomes an even more significant problem if there is a total absence of medication—which can then lead to withdrawal syndrome. Drugs are useful in chronic pain treatment, but they may also produce side effects, which a professional should monitor.

This sudden and rapid withdrawal can lead to haze in decision-making. Patients may end up making risky decisions with long-term consequences.

Medication Shortage


Some states have revised prescribing regulations for certain medications to prevent shortages and to make it easier for patients to obtain it. Physicians are voicing out their concern for potential shortfalls due to adjustments in production and importation. Hence, a lot of doctors are providing alternative strategies and communication channels to provide support for patients.

Though pharmacy generally has enough stock at this time, the fear and anxiety can lead to another concern—hoarding. Potentially, the higher demand for medications can affect the already limited supply. Hoarding medical supplies can have downstream effects individually and to the public health system.

Supports And Services For Chronic Pain Patients During COVID-19


Especially at this time, pain management is vital to prevent and lessen avoidable emergency room visits. If many patients go to the ER, it will defeat the purpose of the imposed quarantine—which is to minimize face-to-face interactions.

The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine has published guidelines on treatments that can go along amid the pandemic.

Regulatory systems have allowed for extended durations of prescription. Here are some alternative treatments to chronic pain amid the global pandemic:  

  • Dose Tapering

For patients undergoing opioid treatment, discuss with your doctor about the possibility of a dose tapering regimen to safely reduce their requirements. If it’s not possible, you can also ask how you can obtain medication. Your doctor can also come up with an alternative treatment or non-medication-based treatment to manage their pain. 

  • Telehealth

The use of telehealthcare broadens access to services without needing to go to a healthcare facility. Doctors can evaluate chronic pain patients without a direct visit to their clinic. These services include:
– Live audio or video consultations
– Virtual check-ins
– Non-face-to-face communication via patient portals

  • Online Exercising Tools

The pandemic may have lessened the regular therapy visits to manage chronic pain, but there are a lot of online tool options. Through these tools, patients can continue to perform exercises at home.

  • Online Support Groups

More than ever, patients need access to medical and psychological consultations. Online support groups can also help chronic pain patients remain connected at a time when they feel more isolated. It’s also important to reach out to families and friends to alert them to the caring measure you’re taking. It can also help them prepare in case anything happens to the patient.


During this time, it’s crucial to understand the connection between anxiety, fear, and physical pain. Chronic pain patients need to know how to access help if they need it during this COVID-19 period. Having effective remote pain management under quarantine can restore the sense of calm and control in your system. Just follow the expert-guided exercises to break the pain-fear cycle. Lastly, it’s essential to have support from a positive-minded community who can help you get through this pandemic.

Categories: Pain Management

3 Tips On How To Deal With Emotional Pain

When life gets you down, and it seems like you cannot get anything right, you can feel the pain starting to sink in. For some people, they can get over the emotional pain of being rejected easily, but for others, they carry it with them for a long time. “Emotional pain can become an addiction to some people. Overwhelmed with feelings like sadness, depression, guilt, shame or fear, these emotions become so common and constant that you may feel like it’s a part of you and you can’t imagine life without it,” says Elizabeth Hartney, PhD.




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Categories: Pain Management

How Chronic Pain Can Change A Marriage

The sad truth about chronic pain is that it can negatively change any marriage. “About 50 percent of people who have chronic pain also have depression,” according to Robert D. Kerns, Ph.D. And depression can destroy a relationship. It can also turn a happy person into an irritable one. If your partner is suffering from chronic pain, then it is expected that he will become difficult to deal with. You will be surprised at how mean he can get because of his sickness.

In this article, we are going to look closely at how it can completely change a marriage.



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Categories: Pain Management

Dealing With A Partner’s Chronic Illness 

The best part about getting married is that you get to spend the rest of your life with the one you love. Once you have decided to marry someone, there is no turning back. You are supposed to stay with that person, in sickness or health, until death does you part. The challenge now is staying in love despite all the problems and struggles that will come in the way of the marital union. One of the possible scenarios that you may end up with is discovering that your partner has a chronic illness. 

 “While facing and dealing with chronic illness is understandably frightening, that fear does not need to rule or ruin your life or your relationships,” says Sharrie Thompson, a registered nurse, certified clinical aromatherapist, reiki master, and advanced pranic practitioner.


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Categories: Pain Management