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Seasonal Affective Disorders: Seasonal Energy Syndrome?

Peter S. Mueller, MD; Robert K. Davies, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(2):188. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800020098013.
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To the Editor.—  Having extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of seasonal affective disorders,1 which we would better classify as seasonal energy syndrome, we wish to alert clinicians to several major concerns.1. The disorder is not limited to the fall-winter period but indeed involves a spring-summer syndrome of hyperphoria, impulsivity, violence, and agitated psychosis. Of 47 patients thus far studied, 17 patients were hospitalized for a total of 71 admissions. Of these admissions, 51 occurred between March and August and just 20 between September and February.2. Summer symptoms can often be precipitated or exacerbated by fullspectrum light.3. The disorder often mimics an atypical bipolar disorder but differs insofar as patients, when carefully questioned, report energy-anhedonia symptoms rather than true affective complaints. Thus, anhedonia and low energy level in the fall-winter period and hyperphoria, racing thoughts, and agitation in the spring-summer period are the hallmarks of


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