A new cafe called the Dana Cafe Light Lounge has been established at London's Science Museum, which is targeted at overcoming the winter blues. A dose of light is given to the customers, which is aimed at countering the effects produced by the dark winter days in the country. The seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is reportedly afflicting about 500,000 people in the country, which can result in depression. Most of those who suffer from this condition are women.
The symptoms of this condition are inclusive of mood swings, anxiety, loss of libido, lethargy, overeating, and sleep disorders, which are triggered by the melatonin hormone, also called the hormone of darkness. The light treatment can raise the level of the serotonin mood chemical, and slow down the hormone melatonin's production. The light boxes at the cafe create a relaxing atmosphere. The treatment lasts for a period of twenty minutes.
The condition also afflicts about 14 million Americans. The condition disappears at the end of winter. The milder form of the SAD is called the winter blues. The American Psychiatric Association has revealed that the season is expected to last till
end February 2006. The condition which results in lethargy can be treated with the 'light treatment' and antidepressant medicines, in addition to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While the light therapy has its effects on 70% of the patients, antidepressants work on only 50% to 60% of the people. Drugs are reported to be a more convenient and a quicker method of treating this condition. Outdoor activities on sunny winter days are also helpful.