Dark Therapy: An Effective Treatment in an Outpatient Setting?

Erica L Freeman, LCSW

Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Erica L Freeman, LCSW

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Objectives:  This paper explores dark therapy for Bipolar Disorder outpatient.  Amber lenses (AL) block blue light to a retinol photoreceptor in the eye, simulating darkness for the brain (dark therapy).  The fibers of this photoreceptor connect to the biological clock region of the hypothalamus.


Methods:  The writer documents outpatient dark therapy research for Bipolar Disorder.  Patient used AL for eighteen months from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m, when not sleeping.  She continued her prescribed medication.  Patient tracked her symptoms for thirty months1.  The tracker reviews her changes in symptoms and medication.


Results:  First patient tracked symptoms without AL, then with AL.  Patient terminated medication with a score of six at treatment conclusion, ie relative stability


Conclusions:  This research shows that AL is a treatment option for Bipolar I Disorder outpatient for some patients.  This area of treatment is groundbreaking and more research is needed.