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"Happy Light" for Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Hi to all my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) friends,


On a thread about getting through the holidays discussion of a "happy light" came up. I thought it might be a good idea to start a separate thread about it.


I can track my mood swings by the amount of sunlight I get. I am much happier in the sunshine. My therapist suggested getting a light box and recommended the one she uses so I did.


I followed the directions for set-up and use and did half the time at half the light power to start. I found myself feeling nauseous and headachy afterwards. So THEN I decided to do a search for the side effects!, which did not come along with the packaging. It seems my reaction is a common side effect that goes away in a few days. I discontinued use for a couple of days, felt better, and used it again at the lowest light power with no problem so far.


It is also advised to use the light therapy under supervision and I will tell my therapist about my experience. We have other natural light lamps around the house and I never had a problem with them.


So my warning would be not to run out and buy one until you check it out carefully. I'll let you know my progress and I am interested in any positive or negative comments you have regarding this type of light.




ISN Artist

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Hi Miocean!


Thanks for the warning about side effects. I personally have not experienced any but others might if you did.


My light also has an ionizer and a very quiet fan. If I close my eyes, I can almost be at the beach. The ionizer makes the air in the immediate space smell like an ocean breeze.

Take care,



Serena Justis

ISN Blogger

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Sweet,


The daylight bulbs are very likely not enough (probably very far from it.) You want to get a full spectrum light that has at least 10,000 lux at 18 inches. So you will get the full therapy dose if you are sitting about 18" from it. We always buy the lamps and then the special replacement bulbs for the lamps. We have standing lamps and desk lamps.


If you get a prescription from your doctor, and if you live in the U.S. and itemize your taxes, you can deduct this as a medical expense.



Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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