Depression


Depression is a serious medical issue. It’s more than just feeling “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. It’s feeling down, sapped of energy, and hopeless for weeks at a time.

A variety of treatments and short-term psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have proven effective for depression symptoms. 

What are the signs of Depression?

You only need a few of these to feel miserable:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Sleep problems (too much or too little)
  • Loss of energy or no motivation
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyable

Our first choice of treatment is always talk therapy, especially when the depression is caused by a situation. We embrace using natural treatments of supplements, exercise, Neurofeedback therapy, positive thinking, and exploring diet for possible toxins and chemicals, which can disrupt the production of necessary neurotransmitters in the gut microbiome.

Thoughts of Suicide or know someone who is considering it?

Thoughts of suicide are taken seriously. If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, call the crisis line at 1-800-892-8900, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.

We explore the emotional, physical, and spiritual balance. For natural treatments using supplements, we work with an experienced nutritionist who has her Masters in Chinese medicinal herbs and supplements. (Click alternative approaches to medicine to learn more how we use natural medicine to treat anxiety related conditions.)

We would count it a privilege to meet with you (one-on-one, or with a loved one), and help you take the next step toward ending the pain and suffering of depression.  We can help you find the freedom you desire to live a fulfilling life.

Seasonal Depression and Light Therapy

Light therapy for seasonal depression (or “Seasonal Affective Disorder”) has been around ever since SAD was recognized and defined in 1984. Light therapy is also used to treat sleep issues. For more information on research and clinical studies for the use of light therapy to treat seasonal depression, read this brief introductory article, here.

The “natural” way to use light therapy is to make the most of natural light, even on gray and gloomy days. The closer to waking time that you can get a dose of light, the better. Try sitting on the front porch facing the direction of the sun with your morning cup of coffee. Make sure that synthetic light is dimmed in the evening, as excessive synthetic light after daytime hours can actually have a negative effect on seasonal depression. These guidelines apply to the use of synthetic light therapies as well.

If you live in an area that doesn’t get enough light and suffer from seasonal depression, you may consider getting a light box for treatment.

If you live in an area that doesn’t get enough light and suffer from seasonal depression, you may consider getting a light box for treatment. Light boxes vary significantly in quality. How and when you use the light box is important. The closer to waking time, the better, and getting a dose of light as close to waking may be even more important (in terms of benefit) than the brand. Don’t use it later in the day, as that can contribute to sleep difficulties.

If you are researching a light box for at-home use, consider the following important criteria:

  • The light box should have been tested successfully in peer-reviewed clinical trials.
  • The box should provide 10,000 lux of illumination at a comfortable sitting distance. (Product specifications are often missing or unverified.)
  • Fluorescent lights should have a smooth diffusing screen that filters out UV rays, which are harmful to the eyes and skin.
  • The lamp should give off a white light instead of colored light. “Full spectrum” lamps and blue/bluish lamps provide no known therapeutic advantage.
  • The light should be projected downward toward the eyes at an angle to minimize aversive visual glare.
  • Smaller is not always better. When using a compact light box, even small movements will take the eyes out of the therapeutic range of light.

A couple recommendations:

  • Uplift Technologies makes two great lamps marketed under the brand “Day-Light”. See their website, here. You can buy their classic model on Amazon for around $100 here.
  • Verilux is a popular brand. The drawback is that they face up rather than projecting light down, which may be more effective. The larger ones are better suited for treating SAD, but they do make convenient smaller models. You can purchase their “Happy Light Compact Energy Lamp” on Amazon (here), and it’s easy to order replacement bulbs.
  • Northern Light Technologies makes good lamps in the $200 - $300 range. You can find them on their website, here, as well as on Amazon.
  • Sunbox makes a variety of light therapy products, including a visor and a travel pack. You can check out their website here. Remember the list of criteria when evaluating their products, as some of them may be too small to be effective at treating seasonal depression.

To further research seasonal depression, read Dr. Nathanial Rosenthal’s Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder, available on Amazon here.

The Next Step

If you think you may have depression, the counselors at NPS are here to help you in your journey. Contact us at 815-477-4727 today and take the next step toward peace and freedom in your life.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Contact NPS and schedule your first appointment today.

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