Top positive review
546 of 556 people found this helpful
AWESOME LIGHT, if you have a medical need.
on December 29, 2010
Let me preface by first saying, I have been using light therapy for years and years. In fact, I'm 24 and I have been using light as a therapy device since I was ten. As you can imagine, I've tried many different theraputic (and non-theraputic) lights and done much research on the topic since being diagnosed (before the diagnosis was 'en vogue') with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). When I heard about the Philips GoLite Blu, I was enamored, I have had my eye on it for 2-3 years now, and finally got one this winter.
As I have been going through the reviews on this product the thing I've been noticing, which is perhaps a problem with Philips marketting plan, is that the people who are giving poor reviews do not seem to have had a medical need for the product in the first place. It seems like maybe this products is being marketted as sort of a -- caffiene replacement therapy, when in reality, it is probably not effective for people who have normal chemical balances in their brain.
I turn into a zombie in the winter. Awful self-destructive thoughts, and inability to interact socially. I can barely leave my home, let alone accomplish much during the cold, dark Minnesota winters. I have tried anything, I have used nearly neolithic light therapy devices, a huge 2' tall 30 # monster of a thing that costs three times as much as this baby plus is nearly immobile, a problem--unless you want to have a 'light therapy station' with a god-awful ugly lamp sitting in the middle of your house (No thanks!); to tanning and vitamin D supplements... but there seems to always be something that isn't working right.
Now, as I understand it, the scientific community isn't sure what causes seasonal depression, neither are they sure WHY exactly light therapy works for some people. However, there are numerous suggestions that it could have to do with certain wave lengths of light entering the retina and trigering the brain to produce the chemical seratonin. (Which is also an argument as to why SSRIs should be just as effective as light therapy). Other therapies that have been suggested to be successful are negative ionization therapies (most airpurifiers have this capability, some studies suggest pumping that up while you are sleeping), diets that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D (particularly difficult to cope with if you are on a low-fat diet-- which for other medical reasons I have to be), melatonin capsules, and of course physical activity. I have tried all of these, and none of them works as well for me as this one little light.
I'm thrilled with the GoLite Blu. It has done wonders in the past week. There must be something to this blue light frequency thing they talk about because I feel like a different person. I'm able to accomplish tasks and concentrate on reading, as well as an entire mentality overhaul; it is difficult to describe the difference in perspective going from a really dark hopelessness to feeling motivated and confident in the future. To sum up, this light does not 'give you energy'-- particularly not if you are a normal person who is not effected by SAD, if you think you have SAD, talk to your doctor about it, unlike when I was diagnosed it is widely accepted now as a legitimate form of chemical depression. If you want to take things into your own hands and aren't sure if you have SAD or if the GoLite is for you, try taking a walk outside for 30 minutes each day for a week, if you notice a difference in your mood, go for it. Well worth the money!