Clive over at ‘Take it Easy’  got me thinking about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with his blog ‘November’ last week.

Every year at the end of October when the clocks go back an hour, I know without a doubt that my mother will start telling everybody that she is going to be depressed because of the short days and dark afternoons.  She has been doing this for as long as I can remember, and hey, ho, depressed she certainly becomes.

When I worked as a secretary in a pain medicine department, the clinical nurse specialists always used to be overwhelmed in November by not only people being treated for pain, but who also had a kind of SAD syndrome as well. The nurses used to recommend that patients purchase a SAD light box to help their symptoms of depression and lethargy.  However, unfortunately Mum would never agree to buying one or to taking anti-depressants.  I used to yearn for the summer months!

SAD is caused by the lack of bright light in wintertime. Light entering the eyes stimulates the brain to control daily rhythms through hormone production. In some people, the low levels of light in winter are insufficient to regulate the hormones that affect waking up, sleeping and feeling energised or depressed.  Most sufferers need light to their eyes as bright as a spring morning on a clear day for around 30 minutes every day.  The light must be roughly four times brighter than a well-lit office.

I don’t know anybody who has ever used one of these light boxes on a long term basis, and so I’m sending out this blog to find out if they actually work and are worth buying?  If I can actually get some positive comments by people who have used them, then Mum might agree to me buying one for her to use.

Has anybody ever used one?  Are they any good?