The Cellphone That Wont Make You SAD
Published on: 29th Aug 2006
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
A patent has been requested for a mobile phone which would include light panels for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder also known as SAD. Most SAD sufferers experience normal mental health throughout most of the year but experience depressive symptoms in the winter. Seasonal mood variations are believed to be related mostly to daylight not temperature. For this reason SAD is prevalent even in mid latitude places with mild winters such as Seattle.
The patent, US 2006/0183516 calls for a phone to be fitted with a number of light panels on the face of the phone which would deliver "light therapy" to the users face when the phone is in use.
SAD is often treated by the use of "light boxes" which use a bright light at a dose of 10,000 lux for 30-60 minutes daily. The patent states that as sitting in front of a light box is not always convenient, the addition of a lower dosage "light therapy" inside the mobile phone could augment the treatment.
The patent also notes that if the LEDs are set to emit light at a wavelength of 370-450 nanometers, this could also have a beneficial impact on Acne. Presumably a person also has to get used to also swapping the handset from one side of their face to the other to avoid a rather odd complexion one one side, and not the other.
Winter depression (or winter blues) is a common slump in the mood of Scandinavians. Doctors estimate that about 20% of all Swedes are affected, and it seems to be hereditary. It was first described by the 6th century Goth scholar Jordanes in his Getica where he described the inhabitants of Scandza (Scandinavia). In the USA the diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder was first proposed by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD in 1984."