Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Light therapy for SAD

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) can be just annoying or all the way to debilitating.  I used to get it bad.  Nowadays, not so much.

While I no longer take medication (low dose anti-depressant) during winters, I still feel better with more light in the environment.

Years ago I switched over to all fluorescent bulbs in the living room and, knowing they use very little power, I usually have all the lamps on (100w).  It helps with the 'blues'.

This winter has been the longest, coldest, darkest, deepest winter in years.  The lamps turned on in November and have been burning since.

Old school TV
In November my old 'tube' TV was failing (purple splotches), so it was time to get another one.  (Click pic for the story.)

I've seen lots of digital TVs at stores, but just could not understand why people liked them.  They always seemed huge and over-contrasted, over-focused and over-bright.  They just had to give folks headaches, I figured.

But still.  Maybe it was time to see what it was all about.  I found one at BJs and the people said I could return it within 30 days if I didn't like it.  What could I lose?

What could I lose?  The blues.  The blues!

When you take the time to adjust all those functions to suit your own tastes, these things are awesome.  I'm probably the last one to figure this out.  The picture is almost like not looking at a screen, but through an open window.  Though I can't find any lumen info, it seems to me that looking at blue sky, green mountains, white clouds, etc. on the screen, my eyes react like it was natural light.  Am I crazy?  Well, maybe.  The 24" I originally bought eventually was too small for the length of my living room, so a couple of weeks ago I lucked into a 32" floor model (same brand) at a great price.  All I can say is - wow.

The light.  The colors.  The sound.  I practically feel my brain make happy dopamine and endorphins.  My mood, despite this crappy winter, is better than in many years.  On grey days I crave light and color (but not noise, mind you).  This LED TV delivers in spades.


My very favorite program now is on the Smithsonian channel.  It's called Aerial America.  Each episode is a flyover of a different state.  I can see huge tracts of geography, cities, waterways, parks, and more.  Oh, and let's not leave out all my fave science geek programs.  Deep space, quantum bits and exploding stars are looking really good now!  I'm totally entranced.  I tell buddy Dave (who advised the purchase) that I seem to have a slight 'pixel addiction' right now. LOL

Light box therapy

Even shows I've seen lots of times are new and exciting because they are all in focus and I can see so much more detail.  Honestly, this is one of the best tech toys I've ever bought and there's not a day this winter that I've not made good use of it.  Luckily it takes much less energy to use than the old TV.  And that original 24" TV?  That is slated for one of the bedrooms.  :-D

How about you.  Do you like your TV?

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