Sudden Behavior or Mood changes?
It’s that time of year when the time changes, there is less daylight and more overcast days. We might find our child’s behavior is regressing. They are more irritable, reactive, anxious, lethargic or their sleep is disrupted. When nothing has changed in routine or food, then I suggest trying to use a light for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). To get a diagnosis of SAD, see your doctor. However even without the diagnosis, many experience great benefits by adding the SAD light into their morning routine.
Theories are still being tested regarding why the change in sunlight has such mood changing effects. The two main theories revolve around our circadian rhythm and hormone changes (particularly, melatonin and serotonin) caused by less daylight. One of the hormone theories implies that part of the challenge is the lack of morning light to help disperse the melatonin the body keeping the body in a “depressed” state. So utilizing the light for 15 –30 minutes in the morning is ideal. Keeping in mind the circadian rhythm theory, we don’t want to use the light in the late afternoon so that our body can be cycling down for the evening.
My son had full SAD when we lived in the North. However, even in the Southern states many are affected by having less daylight. Depending on how sensitive a person is, symptoms are only noticed after several days of it being overcast. Otherwise, even with the shorter days they’re fine if they get outside a bit. Others are affected even when we are having bright sunny days. However, we have less light overall and especially in the morning.
Which box is best? There are many out there. To be truly effective it has been found that the light should have a reading of 10,000 lux. You will find lights of various prices with this. One of the biggest differences I have noticed regarding the pricing is the lower price lights typically need to be within a couple of feet of a person. For an adult or someone who comfortably will sit for the 15 minutes that’s fine. If we’re talking a more active person, then consider one which may be farther away.
Our moods and behaviors are affected by many different things. This is just one other area to consider in our search to help and understand. This can be a simple, low cost way to improve our mood and focus. Bridge to Healing is a non-profit group that creates scholarship accounts to assist those with special needs pay for services not covered by insurance. It also assists in paying for education related to alternative services. All qualify regardless of income.
The process is fairly simple. There is a basic application form to open your account. If using the funds to pay for my services, we would decide together how many sessions you would like to invoice for. For those who come weekly, we usually send an invoice in for a month at a time. For others who come less often, we pick a certain amount of sessions. I would provide you with the invoice. You then would send to Bridge to Healing your portion of the invoice. They then send the full payment amount in a check made out to both of us. The check is then endorsed by both of us and serves as your payment to me.
Bridge to Healing pays up to $750 of services for the year. If you have multiple family members utilizing services, each can have their own account.
If you haven’t taken advantage of this program yet, consider opening your account now to be ready to utilize it in the New Year.