By Adam Drake
Someone, somewhere is patting himself or herself on the back. They came up with an acronym about a disorder that spells out the main symptom of that disorder. If we were handing out gold stars for cleverness, you’d get one. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D., is a very real condition. And since we’re in the prime of the winter blues, we thought we’d look at some technologies that can help counteract the symptoms of S.A.D., and make you feel … well … less so.
The Mayo Clinic defines Season Affective Disorder as:
A type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times 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 in the spring or early summer.
Perhaps the most popular and affective treatment for S.A.D. is light therapy with at-home light boxes. By simulating natural light, these boxes help to restore the circadian rhythms and regulate moods in individuals suffering from S.A.D. Think of it like bringing the summer sun into your home, only without the high heat and face-melting fusion energy being produced by the kilo-ton.
The one problem with most light boxes is they tend to be rather large. While this is ideal for treating S.A.D., their bulk can be a bit cumbersome and take up room in square- foot-deprived Manhattan apartments.
The Philips EnergyLight has several features we like, including timers and dimming features. Plus, Philips’ is a dependable and well-established company that’s been doing some ground-breaking work with lighting technologies lately. Similarly, their goLITE BLU light box is perfect for travel or use at work.
Finally, the NatureBright SunTorch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp, despite being a mouthful, is the best-selling S.A.D. light on the market. The light it produces is the closest to the actual blue sky, and the ion technology produces rejuvenating particles.
Of course, if you want to go the technology-free route to combating S.A.D., exercise, melatonin, acupuncture, and therapy are always great options as well. Don’t be S.A.D., be happy!
Adam Drake is Creative Director for the Sweat Life, a former four-year varsity rower for the University of Miami, and currently rows for the Maritime Rowing Club. He is the co-founder of Kayak for a Cause, a charity event based in Connecticut. As a writer, Adam has developed television shows for Comedy Central, Bad Boy Worldwide, and Sky, written ad campaigns for clients such as Bacardi, Starbucks, Dove Men+Care, and HBO, and was a contributor to the pop culture site YesButNoButYes. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, boating, and working on his tremendous collection of unfinished novels.