“Dr. Martin Seitz – “The Most Serious Form of S.A.D.: Scripture Affective Disorder”

March 21, 2014

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:104-106

“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” – Psalm 18:27-29

In a mental health context, S.A.D. stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is depression resulting from inadequate exposure to sunlight. In the northern hemisphere, susceptible persons are prone to becoming depressed in the winter when daylight hours are diminished and weather conditions may discourage people from being outside even during the day. Human beings need sunlight or its equivalent to stay physically and mentally healthy. Similarly, we need the supernatural light of God’s Word and the Living Word to be healthy spiritually. Scripture reveals God to us, especially as it reveals Christ to us. When we don’t get regular doses of Scripture, our spiritual health is likely to become depressed.

One remedy for the psychological version of S.A.D. is phototherapy, letting a specially designed lamp shine on your face for 20 minutes up to several hours a day. Best results come when the phototherapy is done early in the morning. How interesting that the spiritual discipline of Scripture reading and study is often recommended for 20 minutes to several hours first thing in the morning.


- Dr. Martin Seitz, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences



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