An evening with Dr. Rosenthal
Lumie was delighted to be invited to SADA's 'Beating the Winter Blues' event in London last week and to catch up with Dr Norman Rosenthal, the internationally renowned psychiatrist, researcher and a pioneer of light therapy to treat the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Norm with Lauren and Samira from Lumie. He has liaised with Lumie many times and was a guest during our 'Blue Monday' online Q&A sessions.
Norm spoke to a packed hall about his new book ‘Winter Blues – everything you need to know to beat Seasonal Affective Disorder’ and people spilled into the adjoining room to enjoy a slideshow, guest speakers and even a Skype connection to SAD sufferer in Ireland. He sympathised with the frustrations many people have when trying to get their GP to diagnose SAD; despite it being a recognised condition, there are still GPs that send patients home telling them that their mood is simply down to it “being winter.”
Discussion included ways in which to recognise SAD, Dr Norman Rosenthal’s new thoughts on transcendental meditation and facts on why some people are more likely to get SAD than others. There was a thorough Q&A session and Norm reminded the audience of some simple but important facts to bear in mind when attempting to beat the winter blues:
- Get out and make the most of any winter sunshine - even better if you can avoid wearing sunglasses.
- Remember that natural daylight is not blue! There are lots of published/controlled studies on white light over a long period of time.
- Be pro-active and start using light boxes before the winter. Early preventative treatment can be a huge benefit.
- Try to schedule stressful events for outside the SAD season when you'll be better able to cope.
- Clean your windows - they'll let more light in!
Dr Rosenthal also spoke about the importance of diet, exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy and of course light therapy. He himself has multiple lightboxes and recommended that SAD sufferers get as many lights for their homes as they can afford!