Adventures in Sadness

Posted by Pamela Varnado | 12:32 PM | , , | 13 comments »

In the spring, I smell the roses.
In the summer, I frolic in the cool waters of Lake Lanier.

In the fall, I watch tree leaves burst into picture perfect fits of orange, purple, and yellow.

In the winter, I crawl under my bed and stay there. Why?
Because of imbalances in the brain, some people constantly feel sad or depressed.  While I don’t fall into that category, during the Northern solstice, or when the sun is at its northernmost point in the sky, usually around December 21st or 22nd, I often wake up feeling blue, for no reason whatsoever.

The gloom and doom is referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to Wikipedia, SAD is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer, spring or autumn year after year.
It’s frustrating to feel sad for no reason. There are plenty of good reasons to feel blah and plenty of good ways to celebrate it. I could eat ice cream all day, watch a depressing movie or listen to a sad song over and over. But SAD doesn’t care about reasons. It just wants me to feel, well, sad. I know exactly when the ole killjoy has stolen my happiness.

Here is my number one symptom. I spend hours gazing out the window at the neighborhood kids building snowmen. “How sad I feel,” I say to myself. “They’re having so much fun and all I can do is sit here and cry.”
You see what I mean, no reason whatsoever for the gloom. This year, I’m determined to keep SAD away. I’m a firm believer in being proactive and have learned all the symptoms, like munching out on carbs, lack of energy, and difficulty concentrating. Getting plenty of light therapy and exercise will be my first weapons of choice.

I’ll fight the battle until my body develops special powers and emits beams of sunlight.
 P.S. To see if you may be a candidate for SAD, I invite you to take the first ever, SAD detection quiz below. You must answer each question.

The Sad Quiz

 Which TV slogan excites you most?
 -    Time to make the donuts.
 -    Yo qyiero Taco Bell
 -    Lucy charms, they're magically delicious.
 When people talk about experiencing an “Ah Ha” moment they?
-          Are often burying their head under the covers.
-          Are often dreaming of eating pounds of chocolate cake and Butter Pecan ice cream. 
-          Are often sitting in the dark watching reruns of Cold Mountain.  

In the spirit of Halloween, can you identify the scary movies these lines of dialogue are taken from? Warning: if you know all three you may be watching too much television.
-          “Have you checked the children?”
-          “You’re gonna need a bigger boat."
-          “I see Dead People.”

 Spedunking is a type of exercise involving.
-          Shooting basketballs into tiny hoops.
-          Jumping off bridges wearing nothing but speedos.
-          Huh? Spedunking? What’s that?

 If you answer at least one question correctly, you are a candidate for SAD.  
  Submit your answers to me via the Pony Express.



  1. Mary Ricksen // October 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM  

    Living in Florida I don't get the same feelings in winter. But, up north if it wasn't for vitamin D and forcing myself outside, I'd be brain dead till spring.

  2. Pamela Varnado // October 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM  

    Even with all the blahs that go along with it, I still love Wintertime.

  3. Barbara Monajem // October 23, 2012 at 9:18 PM  

    I could only answer the first question, sort of. None of those slogans really excites me, but I prefer Taco Bell to the others. None of the answers to the second question made sense to me. I hardly ever watch movies, so I couldn't answer # 3. As for # 4... well, I've heard of spelunking...plenty of darkness involved in that...but, um, spedunking is new to me, LOL.

    Exercise is a wonderful way to beat the blues! I try to walk every day.

  4. Mary Marvella // October 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM  

    Great blog! I suspect a lot of us can relate! I'll keep popping my Vit D and keep tutoring. If I go out to work with kids I feel better. Maybe it's about the money.Nah, it's about the kids and the $$.

  5. Judy // October 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM  

    Interesting, Pam! I have had a hard time with winter too because of the cold. Trying my first winter in Boise...

  6. Tamara LeBlanc // October 24, 2012 at 9:56 AM  

    Right now, it's fall. I LOVE fall. I get so happy in fall, but I've never really noticed feeling sad in the winter.
    Although I did know the answers to all three movie I'm watching way too much tv. :)
    I hope you bypass SAD this year and only emit rays of sunshine, Pamela.
    And if SAD ever takes hold, just give me a call. I'll help ya through it!

  7. Pamela Varnado // October 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM  

    Barbara, it was a humorous test with no real answers. Just poking fun at SAD.

  8. Pamela Varnado // October 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM  

    Mary, wintertime does get me down, but, I'll say it again, it's my favorite time of year. How odd?

  9. Pamela Varnado // October 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM  

    Judy, I heard it gets really cold in Boise. Wrap up and stay warm.

  10. Pamela Varnado // October 24, 2012 at 10:34 AM  

    Welcome, Tamara. I'm sending smooches your way.

  11. Connie Gillam // October 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM  

    I get a little depressed when winter arrives. I associate winter with snow, being cold and harsh conditions. When I speak of harsh conditions, I'm not referring to driving or walking on snow and ice. When I was a child, my father was a construction worker and didn't work during the winter months. Cold weather to me meant meatless meals and very little money for essentials. To this day when winter arrives I get in a funk.

  12. Josie // October 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM  

    I have a very good friend who has SAD. She lives in upstate NY, and some winters can be brutal for her emotionally.

  13. Anonymous // October 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM  

    My favorite seasons are spring and fall. Summer get too hot and I have breathing problems. Winter is fun sometimes, as long as it doesn't get too cold. It not winter than causes me to have SAD, but going back to school. Didn't do well on your quiz, maybe I was too depressed!