Dark Therapy & Bipolar Disorder
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Q:  Dark Therapy & Bipolar Disorder


And thank you for your interest and research into this subject.  I found your site to be a most illuminating source of 'real' information on bipolar disorder.  It was the details of 'dark therapy' which interested me the most.  I am unwilling to accept the fact that bipolar disorder should be 'treated' with medication (as, I know, many sufferers are) as I do not think that adding artificial treatment to a problem most probably caused by artificial factors is an option.

It is my belief that bipolar disorder's prevalence is increased in places where artificial light, and hence artificial waking/sleeping patterns, are common.  There won't be any evidence of this as anyone who has access to a doctor in order to have their condition diagnosed most probably lives in a society which uses artificial light. It is, however, my guess that in cultures which adapt their waking times to fit with the hours of daylight their would be little, if any, incidences of bipolar disorder.

Of course it would not do for a medical profession which is based within a capitalist society to admit that the prescribed working week might be causing people to develop mental illness.  Nor would it do for them to advise a course of treatment which is free (no income for drug companies) and might cause people to alter their working patterns, thus harming industry.

I have only recently pinned down my own disorder after having suffered for over 10 years oblivious to my condition.  I am fortunate enough to be self- mployed which means that I can dictate when I work (to a degree).  I intend therefore to commence 'dark therapy' and record my mood swings on a mood chart in order to ease my condition and, hopefully, go some way to proving this theory.

I am hoping that you might have some advice for me regarding the 'dark therapy' including any way I can record my experiences to make them valid as evidence of the treatment's results either way.  Alternatively, do you know of any groups carrying out research into 'dark therapy' which might need  volunteers?

Kind regards,

Dear Vicky -- 
Not aware of groups studying dark therapy, but I certainly agree it's something so simple, and so logically appealing as you've explained, that it is worth trying for many people (at least as far as the light part goes; the capitalists and the workers and the psychiatrists part, I'll hold back on endorsing that line of thought. Similarly, you'll be disappointed -- and probably skeptical -- to learn that when World Health Organization researchers studied the incidence of bipolar disorder worldwide, they found it in Third World countries too, at nearly the same rates. There is a genetic susceptibility that may not have cultural determinants; but I think you're right, we may be cranking our rates up with our electric light habits (said I, writing late at night by electric light....) 

Dr. Phelps

Published August, 2005


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