Darkness Therapy is a Way to Treat Mania

deldarkI was just reading about some alternative ways to treat bipolar disorder, specifically mania and came across an article that talked about darkness therapy.  I decided to do some research and write a blog about it.

In 1996 there was a  study that was started that eventually proved that  it is helpful to ward off mania if a patient is in darkness from 8pm until 6am.  When they can’t be in complete darkness, amber lenses or control clear lenses were used.  It was proved that darkness is a mood stabilizer. (This study was completed in 2016)

In February of 2005 there was a study done that proved darkness “can be a useful add-on for the treatment of acute mania”.

In researching darkness therapy, a term that you are probably already familiar with kept coming up-biological clock. “The biological clock controls the timing of our body’s daily cycles including our sleep cycles and research has consistently shown is an imbalance in the biological clock in bipolar brains. This is why sleep cycle disturbances are so common in bipolar syndrome.”

The SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus ) is a part of the that hypothalamus gets signals about how much light there is. It is the main location of the biological clock.   In 2001, a retinal photoreceptor was discovered that is sensitive to blue light.  These receptors connect to the SCN of the hypothalamus, where the biological clock is.

Amber lenses can block blue wavelengths (the most potent portion) creating a form of physiologic darkness. “Because the timing and quantity of light and darkness both affect sleep, evening use of amber lenses to block blue light might affect sleep quality. Mood is also affected by light and sleep; therefore, mood might be affected by blue light blockade.”

Avoiding blue light is simple and has no side effects and  is a free anti-manic treatment. It is something we can incorporate into our daily lives in order to live with bipolar disorder and control mania.

I tried to make this topic as easy as I could. For more in depth information, please read from the following sources.  They include the studies that I mentioned.

Source1

Source2

Source3

Source4 and Source5

Source6

Advertisements

About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
This entry was posted in bipolar disorder, mental illness, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s