Colder days bring an internal trigger. Sometimes this trigger is so subtle, you don't realize until the deep winter that you don't feel like yourself. Since this occurs each year and threads through the holiday season, I wanted to take some time to revisit this topic.
I live in Colorado and many of you live nearby or to the north where the wintertime lasts for longer and sits more deeply. In this way, I want to share my experience with depression. Initially, I didn't realize I suffered from it. It wasn't until I had my second child and I went to the doctor that they diagnosed me with postpartum depression.
This led me from professional to professional until I finally connected with a psychiatrist. At this point, depression had been in my life for many years and people whom I loved were deeply worried. My symptoms were not quite suicidal, but I knew that my will to live was disappearing quickly.
I couldn't sleep, I had major brain fog and my anxiety (which I didn't know was anxiety) was disabling my relationships. This included the people who I hold most dear: my husband, my family, my friends and many beloved co-workers. Due to the severity of the depression, the doctor put me on anti-depressants right away. They also added sleeping pills (sleep aids) and anti-anxiety medications to the queue until I was taking 27 pills a day. If this sounds like an exorbitant amount, it was. I had to set reminders on my phone to keep track of each pill and how many I needed to take at each time.
These pills did work for a while...but they addressed the symptoms and not the root cause. Additionally, the side effects that accompanied the pills burdened my body with additional problems including gastritis, esophagitis, plantar fasciitis, piriformis syndrome, and adrenal shutdown. I also was losing my hair. Rather than getting better, my condition was rapidly worsening.
On top of all this, the depression was still present, just in a lighter form. Despite my regimen of pills, I still didn't feel like myself. I still felt locked into the same downward spiral I had started with.
It was during this time when things felt beyond desperate, that I had a personal training client who introduced me to her naturopath. This specific naturopath specialized in biofeedback. After a few months of doing biofeedback and hearing about light therapy, (which I thought was completely ridiculous that light can help heal the body and mind), I decided to try it.
Now for many of you, your first experience with light therapy may be different, but for me it was life-changing. After one session it lifted my depression enough for me to finally see a window into myself as I used to be. The clearer thinking lasted for four days and then the depression was slowly drifting back in.
I went back for another session that had longer lasting results, this time for 10 days. That's when I decided to invest in a system of my own. It had changed my life and I wanted to help others lift their depression and ailments too.
I told my doctor I started light therapy with the goal of getting off all my medication. She was on board and intrigued with this technology. Under the supervision of my doctor, I was able to get off all medications in an 8 month period!
I use light therapy to continue combating bouts of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Fall and winter are the toughest times of the year for me. I'm grateful to have this medical device in my home to keep my mind and body in a state of well-being.
When it comes to seasonal depression, many of us don't know we have it. Here are a few common symptoms that you can look for if you think this may also be impacting your life (referenced from the Cleveland Clinic):
Increase in sadness - feeling worthless and hopeless
Lack of energy
Loss of interest in normal passions
If you want to read more about Seasonal Depression, you can read this article that tells you more about it.
When we shift into the holidays it's easy to prioritize others and lose ourselves in the process. Take time for yourself and care for your body in preparation of the coming colder months. If you need anything, I’m here for you.
Sending love & light your way!
Lisa the Light Lady
If you want to learn more about Light Therapy & my Light Therapy work, you can follow me with the links below, or email me at Lisa@lightmattersinfo.com - thank you for reading!
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