Winter depression can hit anyone. It can be a sudden allergic reaction to the miserable cold and dull weather that can throw a wet blanket over our lives.
Others can experience it from the start of winter with just a general feeling of the blues associated with the weather.
For people that suffer from this depression brought on by lack of sunlight there may now be an answer.
A study shows that a bedside device that simulates the rising of the sun could provide relief, negative air ionization delivered at the bedside also seems to be effective.
If activated towards the dawn and at the end of sleep a study has shown that the simulation of dawn and negative air isolation proved to be as effective as bright light therapy after waking which is an established treatment for winter depression, which is known as SAD or seasonal effective disorder.
With the bright light therapy the SAD sufferers sit at a bright box for thirty minutes at breakfast time.
The dawn simulation and air ionization are much more convenient as the apparatus is placed beside the bed and delivered automatically during the final hours of sleep.
Dr Michael Terman and Dr Jiuan Su Terman of Columbia University in New York assigned 99 adults with SAD to one of five treatments.
Dawn simulation equivalent to that May in northern temperate latitudes.
A brief dawn “pulse”.
A bright light after waking.
A high flow rate negative air ionization.
A low flow rate ionization.
The investigators report in the American Journal of Psychiatry revealed that the full dawn simulation, high negative air ionization, and bright light therapy proved roughly equal in terms of improvement in symptoms of SAD.
The Dawn simulation and negative air ionization are remarkably effective in the treatment of winter depression, 57 percent of subjects in the bright light therapy showed an improvement, also 50 percent of those in the dawn simulation group, with 48 percent in the high air ionization group.
An improvement was seen in just 23 percent of those who got low ionization and in 43 percent of subjects in the sunrise pulse group.
Morning bright light therapy “remains the first-line intervention for SAD, with thousands of successes and satisfied patients,” dawn simulation and negative air ionization may also be considered as options.
If you think you may suffer from winter depression, As a first step you can complete the Personalized Inventory for Depression and SAD survey, a free and confidential online self-assessment questionnaire posted on the nonprofit website of the Center for Environmental Therapeutics.