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Psychopathology of Seasonal Affective Disorder Patients in Comparison With Major Depression Patients Who Have Attempted Suicide. [CME]

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(3):322-327

Background: Few studies have compared the psychopathology of patients with seasonal and nonseasonal mood disorders.

Method: We compared the psychopathology of a consecutively referred sample of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) outpatients (N = 87) with that of hospitalized suicide attempters who had nonseasonal major depression (N = 65) by using the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale (CPRS). Diagnoses were made according to DSM-III-R criteria. Data were gathered from October 1992 to April 1996.

Results: There were no significant differences in the CPRS total scores of all of the observed items or of the depression subscale items between the groups. The SAD sample had significantly (p < .05) higher scores on 18 reported nonpsychotic items than the non-SAD suicide attempters. Eleven CPRS items were independently associated with SAD in a backward logistic regression analysis: the reported items were hostile feelings, indecision (negatively), lassitude, failing memory, increased sleep, muscular tension, loss of sensation or movement, and disrupted thoughts, and the observed items were perplexity, slowness of movement (negatively), and agitation.

Conclusion: As compared with non-SAD suicide attempters with major depression, SAD patients have an abundant symptomatology, reflected especially by scores on self-reported items.