Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Light




The Light

By: Christy Bidon

                                    “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”
                                                                                                     Genesis 1:3-4 NIV
    As we wander through life we all encounter crossroads.  Have you ever noticed that perhaps during a certain time of year you don’t care, feel sluggish, unmotivated, and depressed?  Maybe you struggle with some memory loss, concentration?   Let me tell you a story.

   There she was, sitting in her living room; feeling overwhelmed with this huge leap in faith and life by returning to school.  What was she thinking?  “I must be crazy” was just one; trying hard at keeping her eye on the bigger picture.  She was trusting in God, and trusting in herself.  Not holding onto the past, knowing tomorrow is a gift, yet today was the present God intended for her to have.  She needed to embrace it.  On this particular day the darkness seemed to be hanging over her head a little more than she wanted.  Feeling less than, not good enough, her concentration was poor – her mind would wonder, why me? Maybe she was just depressed.  She didn’t have time for any of that.  All this thinking lead her straight back into her past – the past of darkness.  How was she to eliminate such feelings?  She started hanging onto:

   At just that moment “The Light” came on.  She started researching more about this light.  With God as her light she was able to uncover some of the most helpful information, and a different definition of “The Light.”  So often this darkness comes to those during winter months and is labeled as ‘SAD’.  According to the researchers at the Mayo Clinic, “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) it is a type of depression that’s related to changes in season – SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year.  If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.  Less often, SAD causes depression with the spring or early summer” (2014, para 1).  As she continued to read she was beginning to believe that maybe this was what she was suffering from, not depression.  She continued to search this disease and found what could be a possible solution.  She called it “The Light”; medically they call it Bright Light Therapy.  She found that there have been many studies done regarding this type of therapy.  Her finding revealed that if you have some of these “symptoms including but not limited to:  feeling hopeless, worthless, low energy, sleeping problems, agitated, low concentration” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014, para 3), you may find that bright light therapy medical treatment useful.  Many of the symptoms that she has experienced, she realized that having a learning disability, difficulty with concentrating and comprehending may not necessarily be true.  


As she started doing more research of ‘BLT’ what is it exactly, bacon, lettuce, tomato? No its not the sandwich, but now she was hungry. “BLT is Bright Light therapy that involves exposure to intense levels of light under controlled conditions. Broad spectrum light therapy to stimulate all of the eye’s photoreceptors: cones, rods and the newly discovered melanopsin (Verilux, 2016, p. 5) happy light.
        
   It’s important if you have any of the above symptoms that one should consider contacting a doctor to discuss BLT.   After doing more research she checked into the purchase of a full spectrum light and found it can be pretty costly.  She decided to call her insurance company to see if hers would cover such therapy.  As she had expected from her readings her insurance company would not cover the cost of such a session; however, if her general care doctor wrote a prescription for a light therapy lamp they would cover the cost at 100%.  There it was, she knew it was just the beginning a new adventure for her in her life, as she contacted her health care doctor and made an appointment.   Describing her symptoms to her doctor, stressing very much that taking a pill was the last thing she wanted to do, her doctor agreed and wrote a prescription for a full spectrum BLT lamp.  Her therapy was prescribed for thirty minutes two times a day; with the first being first thing in the morning.  Her doctor also suggested that setting a timer on her lamp in her bedroom to help wake her up in the morning, even over time changing her current bulbs to florescent light, as this can help create a brighter atmosphere which in turn could create positive responses for anyone suffering from SAD.  Eagerly with a smile on her face she walked to the pharmacy to get her light.  Once at home she continued continuing to read on the subject of BLT.  She felt that there was a great more to know and was allowing God to continue to work within her.  Throughout her reading she found that this is a very common dieses.  


  Therapy can range in session time depending on the strength of light that. “Commonly, BLT is applied using a light box containing fluorescent lamps, a reflector and a diffusing screen.  There are different models with varying light intensities available on the market” (Pail et al; 2011 p. 155).      

  She also found that women more often than men suffer from SAD.  Many that live in the northern states suffer the most.  “In the United States 1% of those who live in Florida and 9% who live in Alaska experience SAD” (Melrose, 2015, p. 2).   After using the BLT therapy, she has noticed that getting up in the morning, sitting down to breakfast, she has an energy and feels better.  One Monday afternoon after struggling with a small issue that just would not go right she sat in her rocking chair and realized that she did not get frustrated, and she did not have a feeling of failure.  She had a since of relaxation and peace about her.  


  Knowing how she would have reacted to all this stress even just last week she was impressed.  Does she give credit to BLT therapy?  Sure does.  Without this therapy she believes that she just may have ended up on a form of anti-depression.  With her history she continues to pray that she will never have to go down that road again.  She will continue to use this therapy technique as from her readings it has stressed that one should stay consistent with treatment.  


  Over the majority of her life she has suffered from some form of depression.  She has dedicated her life to the Lord and seeks his guidance always.  She knows that God lead her to finding this and knows that without God to give doctors and scientist the knowledge to figure out helpful solutions to this disease and show her the parallel on light, many would find it hard to move forward in a positive manner or without hope. 




References

Melrose, Sherri. Seasonal affective disorder: An Overview of assessment and treatment
         approaches
. Canada, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2015.

Pail, Gerald, Wolfgang Huf, Dietmar Winkler, Matthaeus Willeit, and Nicole Praschak-
            Rieder. Bright -light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders. Neuropsychobiology, 2011.

Rosenthal, Norman E.  Winter blues:  Everything you need to beat seasonal affective  disorder. 
             Fourth Edition.  New York: Guilford Press, 2013.