Talk:Dark therapy

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Needs a better description of the actual therapy[edit]

Call me dense, but this article reads like there is a huge section missing from it. Shouldn't there be at least a mention of what Dark Therapy actually entails? There is discussion of blocking light, some references to certain disorders that some trials claim to have been treated by Dark Therapy, as well as a quote that mentions other, successful, sleep therapies which have excellent descriptions on wikipedia. But no succinct description of what it actually IS.

Even something as pithy as "Dark Therapy is the experimental practise of restricting patients exposure to light" might be, if you'll excuse the pun, enlightening. Is this in fact what comprises Dark Therapy? DJsunkid (talk) 12:03, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

OK, going through the history, I see that older versions of the article begin with the description:

Dark Therapy involves eliminating all incandescent, florescent, and LED sources of light. If living in a region with longer days, it is necessary to blind and cover windows from direct sunlight. Dark hours range from six to sixteen in combination with a regular sleep schedule. LCD displays if low in wattage (less than 40 watts), does not create any interference, and offers a nice place during therapy to view reading materials.

The style is unencyclopedic, but the content is good, and very much missing from the current article. I'm going to go ahead and reinsert an edited version. Woo, it's my first major edit on wiki. Hooray for me.  ;) DJsunkid (talk) 12:12, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Ultra-Rapid Antidepressant[edit]

I highly recommend this therapy for anyone whom is looking for an ultra-rapid antidepressant without side effects! I also would like to thank various tea shops on the Internet that stocks Yerba Mate. Dark therapy's effect of creating DMT along with this Yerba Mate having mild MAO inhibitory properties, which extended its half-life. What this therapy is about, would be creating a vision(s) for your depression (or just a poor disposition), when they could be changing channels and not stuck on the same channel just playing static! If you want to make a goal out of dark therapy, I suggest seeing a doctor who will look into non-Western medicine, and want something non-harmful or non-painful, which brilliantly contrasts side effects of readily available Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The absence of light creates chemical changes in neurotransmitters, and hormones.--Phathom 06:20, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Supporting this claim is a new study citing "virtual darkness" which blocked blue wavelengths. I'll add this now to the main page: "Dark therapy for bipolar disorder using amber lenses for blue light blockade." PMID: 17637502--Phathom 01:32, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


I think the cleanup tag can be removed, this is a now whole new article, but as a fairly new user, I'm cautious about doing that myself. Ndaniels 00:27, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I edited the page, and refreshed any comments. I haven't had time to go through pmed again. I removed the tag, if it ends up there again, I hope someone is more linguistically persuasive than I am. Any additional research is welcome on this topic, especially dark therapy's effect on the brain, such as by MRI or EEG tests.--Phathom 07:29, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Part Sci-fi and Mostly Not in English[edit]

Impossible to understand, even for semi-experts. Jclerman 07:16, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

The text is fully in English language. Maybe its hard to understand due to too many medical terms, but this is definitely written in English language. Please do not mark the article for translation into English language just because you disagree with the article's use of medical terminology. I fully agree with the {{expert}} tag though, the text needs a rewrite to make it easier to understand. Luckily, 9 references are provided. — Shinhan < talk > 08:40, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
8 of the references seem irrelevant to the article. About the language, see, e.g, just in the introduction:

Dark Therapy involves eliminating all incandescent, florescent, and LED sources of light. If living in a region with longer days, it is necessary to blind and cover windows from direct sunlight. Dark hours range from six to sixteen in combination with a regular sleep schedule. LCD displays if low in wattage (less than 40 watts), does not create any interference, and offers a nice place during therapy to view reading materials.

  • Florescent derives from flower. Fluorescent from fluor.
  • longer: it's a comparative, longer than what?
  • blind and cover: redundant. Make it light tight?
  • from direct sunlight: is other daylight OK?
  • dark hours: hours of dark(ness)?
  • in combination: how do you combine hours with sleep?
  • LCD displays of low wattage: are the watts or the "light" that matter?
  • displays . . . does not: or do not?
  • displays . . . offers: or offer?
  • to view reading materials: is the amount of light so lw that one can't read?
If the above is medical rather than English, I'm idiopathically iatrogenic. Jclerman 07:43, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I said its English. Its _you_ who said thats not English. I just told you not to mark an article as "not english" when it is obviously english. — Shinhan < talk > 11:48, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Whos or who's going to cast the first apostrophes or apostrphe's of whats or what's English rather than in English ? Please, don't give fodder to the critics from Nature Magazine and the EB. Jclerman 15:19, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I re-wrote the introduction. I hope the introduction is more welcome than it was before. I was in a cycle of my mood disorder when I made the first new page, and I have looked for an expert in Wikiprojects only to come up empty handed! If you need to add more suggestions for correction, I can look at them again. I read the introduction and found no missing apostrophes. My typing is usually this bad, I had made the first stub here, and then the existing re-write, and if you want to correct it, go a head and do so.

I corrected Fluorescent, just a spell check click error. The longer days meant that if you live in a region with light longer than the specified period of dark therapy which is usually 14 hours (having more than 10 hours of light each day), also corrected. Also, sleep hygiene was what I had intended to make the sentence about dark hours seem like, you really must keep an exact schedule for each period, such as the same time of night to start and the same time of day to end. LCD brightness and CRT often create too much light, so I have reworded, however I suggest only Samsung Q1 or Apple iPhone, since both are much smaller sources of light than most monitors. Of course there is also a darkness therapy in Wikipeda, so I have re-phrased those sentences.

With specific mention about below, I have to admit I have never had it in smoked form, but when I was adjusting to the darkness, it did feel a little 'trippy', of course there were no visuals, at least that I could see. I even took a Blog quiz that indicated my current personality was comparable to MDMA (Ecstasy)? Anyone have experience with DMT, and the NCBI database should re-write. I found many articles about DMT and it's effects created by darkness. In my own words, I think the lack of light into our eyes (although you can be blind and still know it is light out), which creates some kind of chemical imbalance in the brain, makes DMT and melatonin, as far as I could understand!--Phathom 23:07, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Call it Medical or English if you Want. I just don't Understand it.[edit]

The article says:

  • The effects of DMT produce restful and vivid dreaming. [9]"

Can you tell me whether DMT produces such dreaming (not said in the article) or which are the effects that produce it, as said in the article. Or perhaps they are consequence of the intended or unintended sensory deprivation the individuals are subjected to. Or the article would say that the effects of DMT are . . .

Why haven't you replied to your own talk page, regarding the backlash of calling this page as not in English, Jclerman?--Phathom 23:45, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

To DT or to DMT ?[edit]

Please, expand the acronyms. Does the article refer to the effects of DMT or DT?

  • DT = Dark Therapy
  • DMT = a smokable substance. See below:
DMT article: 4. Subjective Effects of Smoking DMTA very articulate account of the subjective effects of smoking DMT is given by Terence McKenna in his talk "Tryptamine Hallucinogens and Consciousness"
Jclerman 20:37, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

DT is Dark Therapy, and DMT is Dimethyltryptamine. At that time, this is a theory from the new links I added just now. However, the Pineal_gland wikipage did cite as follows: DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Dr. Rick Strassman theorized that the pineal gland may produce the psychedelic chemical DMT 1, but this has not been proven2. I will add these references.--Phathom 00:36, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Restful Sleep[edit]

"The effects of DMT produce restful ..." Please show a verbatim transcription of a reference about this. Jclerman 20:49, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I had put the Wikipedia page about Dimethyltryptamine into context here. As mentioned, I have not used DMT in any pill form, or even smoked form, so my experience is limited with efficacy and effect. They had references on their page, maybe we should borrow one from there (ie: # ^ Callaway J (1988). "A proposed mechanism for the visions of dream sleep". Med Hypotheses 26 (2): 119-24. PMID 3412201.)--Phathom 00:03, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

No Introduction[edit]

The article starts with "How to" and without any introduction.

Quite confusing. 15:25, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you! I love the suggestion to change the title from How to.... into Introduction. I may even add to the intro. tonight? This talk page is now bigger than the article. I wouldn't mind cleaning this up later anyway. Whether or not Jclerman wants to nominate this article for deletion, is his decision, but I would strongly vote against such a move.--Phathom 06:20, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Introduction and Other Problems[edit]

Dark therapy is ... [at this point the reader has not the faint idea of the topic]

How To Use Dark Therapy[edit]

[How To belongs to a manual, not to an article]

You may notice a very fast response to [to what?], but consult with your doctor before starting any new therapy, and to have a plan of what will happen during your dark hours [which have not been defined] etc.

If no real unbiased expert is found, I suggest to delete the artucke. Jclerman 15:49, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I am going to vote strongly against the removal of this article. I am the creator/owner or what ever term is used pejoratively on wikipedia. I am actually afraid to mention that my bipolar friends generally shun wikipedia as a valid source of information for its general lack or ability to be reliable and genuine. Other experts will have to weigh in on this matter will not want to be known as the person who re-wrote something which was not their's, and eventually have someone come and edit their work with little supervision or insight. Can you please read the entire study done on bipolar disorder with dark therapy, it had a very strong and positive results from their experiment, and the work should be continued, if this article was even deleted for AFD (April Fools' Day) I would be deeply saddened at the immaturity of wikipedia as a medium. And by the way your typo for article is rather amusing (artucke)?--Phathom 23:45, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


How to use dark therapy was not written like an advertisement, nor does it belong in any manual - I have taken suggestion to change the headlines. If you can find something helpful to add here, please add your experiences in the talk page. Have you read any of the other articles about dark therapy on NIH's NCBI database? Mainly it is me rebutting Jclerman, but I think everyone is on the same page here, and I may create a seperate heading just for him and I discussing this, perhaps Dark therapy debate. Ten headings you want to delete them all (laughing)? Oh and Jclerman, why don't you try keeping an open mind. As for bias, being dispassionate appears to be your own devil at work, mine is mostly drinking herbal tea, but that's off topic. The Internet is full of different opinions than your own egocentric disposition. I am reverting Jclerman's changes, including the expert needed tag (does he not believe in a work in progress?) and re-writing some of the topics as needed. I wish I knew how to change all the external links from PMID into notes with those script numbers, so each of the now twelve references are easier to read.--Phathom 06:20, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Jclerman and I at least, and I suspect other editors too, can't understand what on earth the article is talking about. I, like him, am concerned about the lack of oversight here. An expert needed tag is certainly not out of line--all it would do anyway is encourage other people who know stuff about the topic to weigh in, so I'm not sure why you'd object to that. --Miskwito 23:24, 30 August 2007 (UTC)


The article begins by describing Dark Therapy as "an ultra-rapid antidepressant (the fastest available)." This statement is confusing to most readers (myself included) who consider the term antidepressant to refer specifcally to pharmacotherapy. This fairly standard medical usage, and is in line with other similar terms. While Electroconvulsive Therapy is a highly efficacious treatment for clinical depression, I have never seen it described as an "antidepressant."

The description as it stands is misleading and sounds rather more like advertising copy than like a proper encyclopedia article. Even putting that aside, I have qualms with the style and tone of the article. I don't mean any disrespect to Phathom here, but this article really does look like it was written by a Dark Therapy apologist.

None of this is to say that Dark Therapy isn't the cat's knees and the bee's pajama, simply that an encyclopedia article on it should not be written from the premise that it works and that the rationale given for its justification is the truth. Even an article on gravity wouldn't be so bold.

Here's an example to help you understand my point (and that I'm not attacking the subject of the article or any of its editors in any way.) Imagine an article about written by a Scientologist about the e-meter that began with the lines, "The e-meter is a powerful device for curing illnesses and self-improvement. It is especially useful for a preclear, but can be used by anybody. Unlike Psychiatry, it is not dangerous."

There's lots of muddled rubbish in here, especially the random digressions about 5-methoxy-DMT. The pineal gland article at least frames the statement better-- the idea that the pineal gland secretes halluncinogenic tryptamines is highly contentious. Again, this article really needs to avoid taking the premises of any therapy (including drugs) for granted. Tangentially related interests of the editor don't belong anywhere in the article.

I haven't seen convincing proof that the gibberish about dark therapy, 5-MeO-DMT, and MAOIs (I assume this is supposed to be some sort of poor man's ayahuasca?) has any place in a fair, comprehensible article about Dark Therapy.

I really think that this article should be written and structured more like the article on phototherapy, which is far more encyclopedic and objective. Kajerm 22:49, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

If you don't take drugs for granted, you were never put in the care of a physician who must medicate with sometimes more than 4-5 medications at once, where no one even understands what does what, or how the medication works. I could say we have no idea the exact mechanism that makes dark therapy an antidepressant, or I can present a theory for speculation and further hypothesizing. I am an advocate for this article remaining, and being built upon in the future, since this recently turned one year old not long ago.--Phathom 23:45, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I think you missed my point. My point was not that the article should be deleted, or that pharmacotherapy was superior and problem-free; your estimate of five drugs would be far too low to describe most of the over-60 population in America. I only mentioned drugs because the term "antidepressant" normally applies to drugs with antidepressant actions (see also: the article on antidepressants), not to everything that combats depression.
For similar reasons, sunshine (including light therapy), friends, humor, and pets are not called "antidepressants," though they all have antidepressant effects. To use the term antidepressant to describe something other than a drug is confusing and out of line with standard usage.
My problems, very simply, are as follows:
1.) This article is almost if not entirely edited by someone who is already convinced that Dark Therapy is the greatest revolution in medicine since handwashing and the vaccine.
Solution: Get some new (preferably skeptical) eyes on this.
2.) Large swaths of this article are pseudoscience, nonsense, and/or non sequitur. Fascinating though your personal hypotheses may be, this is not the forum for them. I think you might benefit from reading the no original research policy and fixing the article accordingly.
Solution: An extensive rewrite to make this a legitimate encyclopedia article. There is nothing wrong with writing "the mechanism of action is currently unknown" if that is the truth. Again, I think the article on phototherapy would be a good model to use.
I can see that you are a "true believer" and rather more likely to find some rationale for keeping the article as it is than implementing the changes above, but I'm trying to stay optimistic. I understand that this article (and perhaps this therapy) is your baby, and that you're very attached to it as it is-- but it's time for you to try some tough love.
Kajerm 05:04, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Recent changes and deletions[edit]

I agree with User:Kajerm and User:Miskwito, and I regret that no more advanced expert than I has provided input yet. I suggest you continue deleting the "how you should do it" statements, the tangential ones, and the unsourced opinions and language. Obviously, the "antidepressant" tag was not from the cited abstract of the Italian source. And if after the clean-up only remains a short paragraph that can best belong in one of the articles related to circadian rhythms or phototherapy, so be it. And all the valuable hypothetical and conjectural stuff should be submitted by the author to the journal "Medical Hypothesis" that was created precisely for that purpose and has yielded origen to many biomedical advances. Jclerman 16:06, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I actually have a copy of the entire report from this Italian study, where it did mention that dark therapy was the fastest acting antidepressant available (new research is still being conducted into faster acting antidepressants). It had been given to me from a friend who is currently attending the University of Regina (Canada). Go a head and find a copy your self, but I won't publish it, because I do not know if it has copyright status. The term ultra rapid was borrowed from the latest bipolar disorder research available for the yet unpublished DSM-V, which could include up to four new bipolar disorder sub-types (medication resistant / ultra rapid cycling). While I give this more thought on its antidepressant qualities, I will spend some time in the local library examining syntax and grammar of current encyclopedias. There is one other natural antidepressant that I am going to acknowledge which shares in 'hype' - it's called physical exercise (that internal link mentions relief from depression two or three times)!--Phathom 23:45, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Nota bene: The article you linked does not once use the term "antidepressant." That is because dark therapy, diet, and exercise are not called antidepressants in common usage. For your edification, some other things that exercise is not called: anti-hypertensive, anxiolytic, antiviral, and hypolipidemic. Studies have shown that it has all of these effects.
Also: Citing relevant passages of academic research is not a violation of copyright; it is standard practice and a demonstration of credibility. Kajerm 05:21, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

humans evolved experiencing long, darker days such as dark therapy employs.[edit]

Where on the planet? Latitude? Season? Jclerman —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 17:30, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe this is referring to the extended light hours we have due to general electricity use of light bulbs, computers, etc. I wasn't the individual who added that comment. It is non the less provable, when we had no hydro electricity, the days were obviously lit by candles.--Phathom 23:45, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

shopping for amber lenses[edit]

The google product-search doesn't necessarily retrieve lenses that have the same spectral filtering characteristics used by the researchers. Use lenses and/or light sources which reject the same zone of the spectrum as used by the researchers. Some of the articles cite either the specs or the brand/model used. Jclerman 17:16, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Further changes[edit]

For starters, dark therapy is also known as darkness therapy, which should be mentioned. One of its main uses is in the treatment of circadian rhythm disorders such as Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and Non-24 Sleep-Wake Disorder, which again is very much worth mentioning.

I agree that this article needs a proper discussion of how humans evolved under certain light/darkness conditions and how that compares to light/darkness conditions in industrialised societies today.

Saying that "LED, incandescent and fluorescent light should be avoided" is missing the point. It's not about the light source, it's about light in general, and the wavelength around 465nm in particular, which is blue. There are two ways of practising darkness therapy. Either you cut out all light (including daylight), or you filter out blue light only (which is where amber lenses, yellow lights and so forth come in). If the latter, the standard practice is to start the virtual darkness several hours before bed, and then sleep in a room which is completely dark. Some people practising darkness therapy using virtual darkness believe that yellow light is sufficient, while others believe that only red light will do.

That said, some light sources contain more blue light than others. Incandescent bulbs are low in blue light, though as with all white or whitish domestic lighting, there's enough in there to keep you awake. Fluorescent light has peaks at various wavelengths though not 465nm, but there's more blue in fluorescent light than there is in incandescent light, so again, plenty enough to disrupt melatonin production. (Incidentally, melatonin disruption should be properly discussed in this article!) Blue LEDs are naturally exactly that wavelength, and white LEDs peak in that wavelength as well. This makes them particularly useful for bright light therapy, but since LEDs are not really used for general domestic lighting yet, it doesn't affect darkness therapy so much where light bulbs are concerned. However, computer screens and computers do emit a great deal of blue light, which is why you'll see a blue glow when looking through the window at a darkened room with a television on. This is why another component of darkness therapy is orange or amber filters for television and computer screens.

The links section is woefully inadequate. The first link I'd suggest is , a site written by the respected psychiatrist and specialist in bipolar disorder, Dr Jim Phelps. is another valuable resource, with links to much of the research on darkness therapy as well as products you can buy for virtual darkness. I'm a layperson who just happens to practice darkness therapy myself, but even my website,, tells you a lot more about darkness therapy than this current Wikipedia page does.

- Insearchofmornings, 14 February 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elettaria (talkcontribs) 12:54, 14 February 2010 (UTC)