Pittsburgh WTAE News Station Features BlueMax™ Light Therapy Lamps
October 14, 2010 - Last week, Pittsburgh Channel 4 Action News' Michelle Wright reported that one in four people experience some form of mental illness -- even if it's something temporary like depression -- in any given year.
Channel 4 Action News (Pittsburgh) took the opportunity to discuss the topic of mental health that is talked about by few but impacts many -- possibly you, your family member, your co-worker or your neighbor.
Western Pennsylvania seems to have more than its share of cloudy, grey, "blah" days, and that often gets people feeling sort of the same way. But how do you know if it's just the weather, or if those feelings are something more serious -- like depression? Among all medical illnesses, major depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
Light therapy is one type of treatment. It helps temporary seasonal affective disorder (SAD). People who feel depressed during the gray winter months are turning to bright lights to help regulate the hormones serotonin and melatonin.
During the winter months when there is less sunlight, levels of serotonin go down and levels of melatonin go up, and people feel lethargic and depressed during fall and winter.
Full Spectrum Solutions, which specializes in light therapy, told Wright that it's a growing business and it's making a big difference. "Light therapy is becoming more and more recognized by the medical industry as a treatment for SAD -- so much so that some insurance companies are beginning to reimburse people who are prescribed light therapy," a Full Spectrum Solutions representative said. The brightness of the light is adjustable, and there are no harmful UV rays. SAD sufferers use it on high for 30 minutes a day.