Each branch of the Whitby Public Library has a light therapy lamp available for public use.
What is a light therapy lamp?
Light therapy lamps, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) lamps, mimic outdoor natural light. Late fall and winter months tend to lack sunshine, which can affect individuals in different ways — including lowering mood, lowering energy and over sleeping. Over time, these lights are intended to improve mood and overall sense of well-being in those affected.
Where can I use it?
The lamps are for use in the library on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration is required. The lamps cannot be taken out of the library.
What is seasonal affective disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that tends to occur (and recur) as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. It is believed that affected people react adversely to the decreasing amounts of sunlight and the colder temperatures as the fall and winter progress. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.
Symptoms of SAD can include:
- Change in appetite, in particular a craving for sweet and starchy foods
- Weight gain
- Decreased energy
- Tendency to oversleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of anxiety and despair
Is light therapy safe?
Light therapy is considered to be generally quite safe. Side effects of light therapy are usually mild. Some people may experience nausea, headaches, eye strain, or feel “edgy” when they first start using a lamp.
These effects usually get better with time or by reducing the light exposure. People who have bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) should consult their doctor before using light therapy.
There are no known long-term harmful effects of light therapy; however, people with certain medical conditions (such as retinal disease, macular degeneration or diabetes) or taking certain medications (such as thioridazine, lithium or melatonin) should have eye examinations before considering light therapy. Please check with your doctor.
You are using the light therapy lamp at your own risk. The light therapy lamp should not be seen as a cure. Light therapy is just one form of treatment that may help with the winter blues.
Speak with your doctor if you are experiencing mental health issues for which you require additional support.
Thank you to the Knights of Columbus, St. John The Evangelist Council 4895 for purchasing the Central Library lamp.