Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Master Thesis

Le trouble affectif saisonnier : la dépression hivernale

Abstract : Background: Relationships between mood and seasonality have been described at all times, yet seasonal affective disorder (SAD) only became the object of rigorous psychiatry theorizing in the 1980’s. We provide practitioners with pertinent information about SAD and winter blues by summarizing the most relevant publications from the recent and rich literature on the topic. Method: Our literature review represents an update of nosography, epidemiology, etiopathogenesis and clinical literature on seasonal affective disorder and winter blues. We discuss the clinical value of our different findings. Results: DSM 5 and NIMH definitions of SAD diverge at a structural level. Whereas the DSM 5 considers SAD as a potential component of depression, the NIMH relies on the specific symptoms of SAD (i.e., feeling of sadness, social withdrawal, loss of interest in activities, bulimia nervosa, sugar cravings, weight gain and excessive sleepiness) to offer a multidimensional approach. The most common instrument to diagnose SAD is the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ). Worldwide prevalence of SAD is high and increases with latitude. Northern countries are the most affected locations, with up to 10 percent of their population experiencing the disorder. The main causes of SAD are related to circadian rhythms disruptions (delayed sleep phase syndrome) influenced by the negative impact of photoperiod on melatonin production and release. Although efficient chemotherapies (antidepressants - SSRIs) and psychotherapies (CBT, Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy) have been developed, light therapy remains the lead treatment of SAD. The possible links between our organism tendencies to adjust to seasons, hibernation in animals and winter depression particularly sparked our interest. Conclusion: SAD is a widely spread disorder that is under diagnosed and unknown in France. Therefore, we consider the management of this disorder is highly inefficient and needs to be improved. Raising the overall awareness of practitioners about this chronic disorder is a necessary step to providing appropriate care to patients.
Document type :
Master Thesis
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [149 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Bu Carreire Université de Bordeaux <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 5:27:42 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 4:29:09 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, September 2, 2016 - 10:43:14 AM


  • HAL Id : dumas-01325041, version 1



Lucie Gasbaoui. Le trouble affectif saisonnier : la dépression hivernale. Médecine humaine et pathologie. 2016. ⟨dumas-01325041⟩



Record views


Files downloads