Idea for those difficult children with BiPolar (BP) and light sensitivity

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Steely, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Hi All,

    I just thought I would pass on an idea. In the past, my son's mood changes have typically gotten worse as the summer approaches. Something about the increase in daylight causes his cycling to increase, and he becomes hypo manic for much of the summer. I can literally set my calendar by it, it is that profound.

    From the research I have done, this is not at all uncommon for those with bipolar, and the opposite is true for those with depression - the more daylight, the better they feel. For those with depression, often UV light therapy is prescribed as a way to alleviate some of the depression - so in this vein I decided last year to do the opposite for my son. Last spring I got a large blackish-blue sheet and put it over the already existing blinds in his room, thus making his room pitch black. He has a large picture window in his room, and it faces South, so there was a lot of light coming in. Of course it looked like a cave, and it bothered me a bit that it seemed so gloomy, but he loved it. Since he is a teenager. he is in his room a lot, therefore I did not close or blackout the blinds in the rest of the house, but just kept it focused to his room.

    I am hear to tell you - last summer was the first summer he has stayed (within reason) somewhat calm. I really am not sure if something as simple as this could have this profound of an effect - but I am not about to alter it. :crazy2:
    So, as summer approaches quickly here in Texas (it is 80 today), and daylight savings is earlier this year, I thought I would share this tidbit!
     
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My difficult child doesn't appear to have bipolar, but she is an extremely early riser (like... at dawn!). Our shades block most of the light so that she will sleep into a more decent hour. It also helps when putting her to bed in the summer when the sun is still up. :smile:
     
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We use the same type of shade that TM uses for the same reasons. I don't know if it's helping his bipolar or not but it sounds like a good idea.
     
  4. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    The dark shades are a good idea, and something else that I have heard will help, is those new "yellow" lights that you can purchse. They are technically designed for porch lights, because they are so soft and yellow that they don't attract bugs to your front door. But I have heard that using this in their room along with the dark shades will create a very pleasant atmoshpere that helps with the moods. They can be purchased at Wal-Mart and are not much more expensive than regular light bulbs, but for some reason, they say that it works.
     
  5. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Amber,

    Thanks! I never really thought about this before. After reading what you said, I think this might help difficult child 1. It's definitely worth a try!!! I think I'll mention it to husband. WFEN
     
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