Let me tell you a story…
Hello there – welcome to the Little Light Room! I’m Neina Sheldon (known to my friends as Neens). I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in 2003 and have been managing the condition ever since.
I set up the Little Light Room blog originally in February 2012, before closing it down early in 2015 as I wasn’t sure it was needed any more and I was struggling to maintain it in the way I wanted.
However, when I emailed my subscribers I was so touched by their comments that they were disappointed and they would miss the site. They had found comfort in it and had directed their family and friends to it to help them understand what they were going through.
The original reason that I set the blog up was because I made a New Year’s goal in 2012 that I wanted to try and do my bit to help support other people with the condition. I consider myself lucky that I got an early diagnosis from a good doctor who’d actually heard of SAD and recommended light therapy, which helps me. Many are not so fortunate and suffer for years without realising why.
So, I was chatting on the Lumie Forum (which is an excellent source of support for many people), and what became clear to me was that often people would start a brand new thread to ask their questions about the condition. One of the problems with SAD is it can make you very tired and down and so sometimes these posts wouldn’t get answered because many people were tired of describing their experience of the condition over and over when they were maybe struggling themselves.
I initially researched to see if I could find somewhere I could direct people to and was surprised that I couldn’t find a blog that gave a personal perspective – there are blogs for everything, right?? With hindsight, I shouldn’t have been surprised, knowing the condition as I do! So, I took a deep breath – felt the fear of people’s judgements – and created something that I hoped would help! …And then got discouraged as I didn’t think that I was managing to do that.
My aim remains the same with this resurrected site; I want to provide a first-person view and some support to fellow sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Winter Blues/Winter Depression and I want to help everyone understand the important role that light plays in our health. With one in five people in the UK (some say one in three) experiencing symptoms of Winter Blues and SAD for up to half the year, I firmly believe we need to be more aware.
I’m not an “expert” on SAD and Winter Blues – I’m not a medical professional or an academic researcher. But I do know what it’s like to live with, though everyone’s individual experience varies. Read more of my story.
Any advice I might give is based on my own personal experience. It needs to be weighed up with what you know about yourself and your own experience of SAD or Winter Blues.
I cannot emphasise enough that I would always recommend going to see your GP if you are experiencing any symptoms that concern you. They’ll be able to assess whether you have one of these conditions, or whether your symptoms are a result of something else.
Besides maintaining this blog, I run monthly events in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. I’m working on rolling these out nationally from 2017. I also work full-time in customer insights & strategy for a digital marketing agency. I relax by curling up with a good book, cooking, eating out, walking, going to the gym, catching up with friends over a cuppa and cake… I also love taking photos, crafting, a good night out with friends, the theatre and cinema.
I really hope you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Little Light Room. Whether that’s information, support, advice or just a friendly place to come when you’re feeling a bit ‘bleurgh’ – I hope it helps! To find out more about the blog itself, please see about the Little Light Room.