According the movie, "The Shining",
Stuart Ullman calls cabin fever "a kind of claustrophobic reaction which can occur when people are shut in together over long periods of time."
But at some point during the winter, he must have suffered some kind of a complete mental breakdown. He ran amuck, and uh, killed his family with an axe. Stacked 'em neatly in one of the rooms of the West Wing, and uh, then he, uh, he put, uh, both barrels of a shotgun in his mouth. Police, uh, they thought that was what the old-timers used to call cabin fever.