Psychiatric illnesses are on a rise around the world. People are more likely to be depressed, to fall ill with schizophrenia, and to consume alcohol and drugs than ever before. The cases of seasonal affective disorder (also referred to as SAD) too are soaring.
In this disorder, one falls to depression at the same time every year (typically the fall and winter months). The SAD symptoms start at a certain period; zap one’s energy and make them feel moody. Lack of sunshine, decreased exercise and social isolation are some of the reasons behind this disorder.
Innovations and advances in the sphere of health care have come a long way. Health and wellness gadgets promise to take away all our troubles. Here are some of these that can help you to get rid of seasonal depression.
A headset device known as Monarch, developed by University of California neurologists, can help relieve stress. The headset consists of two squared sticky pads attached to either side of the forehead, just above a major nerve in the brain. The pads are wired to mobile phone-sized box that sits at the waist, which generates a small electrical pulse that lasts 30 seconds and is followed 30 seconds later by another pulse.
The pulses stimulate the trigeminal nerve and lower depression. The pilot studies have been successful people with major depression, as they saw their illness improve significantly. The headset has been approved for use in Europe.
Full spectrum light lamp may cost you a fortune, but it is worth making an investment to make depression run away. You’ve to sit in front of the sun lamp for 20 minutes for it to stimulate your body’s production of serotonin, the hormone that improves mood. Also, san lamp inhibits melatonin which makes you fall asleep easily.
The pilot studies of the product have shown people overcome from their stressed state. The product is not yet approved by all the leading health authorities owing to the risk of side-effects they carry. They carry the risk of skin damage. Similar to the sun lamps, there are lightbulbs that claim to emit a similar full spectrum of wavelengths. These are relatively cheaper but there are no studies/trials to suggest their effectiveness against depression.
One must look after one's mental health at all costs and there are quite a few SAD gadgets available to work for you and ease mental stress. One of them is sunrise/sunset alarm clocks. It starts 30 minutes before the alarm goes off, the light starts to glow dimly and slowly grows brighter over the next half an hour.
The light slowly fades out mimicking sunset. The device helps regulate sleeping patterns over winter and those under stress feel less groggy on waking the next morning.
Before using any of the above gadgets, it is advised to consult with your primary care practitioner or therapist. Gadgets to treat SAD may have side-effects that could interfere with your treatment plan.
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