I had always been the happiest and politest boy in the neighborhood. Whenever I went out of the house to walk the dog, get the morning paper, and do other chores, I often had a smile and a greeting ready for every person I would see around the house. Sometimes, even if the people were a few places away, I would run to them to say hi. Because of that, the elders treated me as their kid, and the other children wanted to befriend me.
At such a young age, I did not understand what’s so special about my habits and gestures. After all, that had always been the routine in our home. My mother and father would wake me up with kisses and tickles, and then we would all head to the kitchen to prepare breakfast together. I learned how to be polite, joyful, and helpful early, yes.
I only realized that not every kid acted like me when I entered primary school. I overheard a classmate arguing with her mother. It went like this:
“You did not take your lunch box to school again,” Mrs. Cooper said as soon as Jane came up to her.
“Your food sucks, Mom,” Jane retorted.
Mrs. Cooper looked hurt and shocked. “Excuse me, young lady?”
“Yeah, you heard me.” Then, Jane walked past her mother and stood beside their car. “Come on, Mom. I’m growing roots here!” she yelled, annoyed.
Although I did nothing back then, I promised myself that I would never be like Jane. Besides acting awful towards her mother, she did not know how to appreciate Mrs. Cooper’s efforts. Worse, Jane did not even greet her.
Becoming An Adult
I carried my happy and polite disposition into my adulthood. In college, I had been known as that guy who would never turn a friend down and always had a helping hand ready for everyone. Of course, some people tried to take advantage of that, but I knew how to dodge them without acting rude.
After getting my college diploma, I began working at a construction firm as an architect. That’s where I met my wife, Sherra. We became friends quickly when we found out that we both loved the Star Trek franchise. Her easygoing attitude also meant that she was always smiling. However, what made me realize that Sherra was the one was when my parents dropped by the firm, and only Sherra was there to entertain them.
Mom called me that night and gushed over Sherra. She said, “Son, I met the loveliest girl at your workplace today. She had a massive pile of paperwork on her desk, but she left it to assist me even before knowing that I was your mother. I hope she’s still single – she’s a keeper.”
Having A Family
Twenty years after that conversation, Sherra and I had been happily married with two teenage boys. We had a short courtship as it turned out that Sherra liked me before I even courted her, and then we tied the knot and subsequently had twins.
Plenty of things have changed since then. For one, Sherra quit her job to become a hands-on mother. I supported her decision because looking after two energetic kids was a full-time job. The only consolation was that they inherited our happy disposition and rarely kept us up at night, even when they were still babies. I also stopped working at the firm to start my own when the children turned five years old to be with them more.
Our routine became similar to what I had during my childhood days. My wife and I would wake up the boys early with kisses and cuddles. My sons were never fussy, so they would always jump off their beds and greet us happily and help us make food in the kitchen. They did not stop acting that way even when they went through puberty – the stage that most parents dreaded the most. Their voice merely grew deeper, and they had a growth spurt, but the twins were still as affectionate and happy as ever. Hence, our happiness continued.
Hitting A Snag
When my sons – yes, both of them – got accepted to Harvard, I was perhaps the proudest father on the planet. Their acceptance letters arrived a couple of months before their high school graduation, so I had enough time to share the fantastic news with my parents, friends, and even clients. My wife and I also accompanied them to Massachusetts early to find an apartment within biking distance to the campus. We were over the moon at the thought of having Harvard diplomas hanging in the house a few years later.
However, my happiness hit a snag on the first night that the boys were gone. It was already Fall, so the semester was about to start. I knew they were safe in their apartment, but I could not help but feel sad about the fact that I won’t see my kids every day anymore. My sadness turned into lethargy soon enough. When December came, and I still felt that way, Sherra finally put her foot down.
“I’m worried about you, honey,” she said one evening. “I set an appointment with a psychologist tomorrow. We will go there to sort out your prolonged sadness,” she added gently yet firmly.
As it turned out, I developed seasonal depression.
What is the meaning of seasonal depression?
Seasonal depression is a mood disorder that an individual experiences due to the changing of seasons. Most people deal with it in the wintertime since that’s when we all get the least amount of sunlight. However, it is possible to experience seasonal depression during the summer, too.
What is the saddest month?
January is technically the saddest month of the year. This is when the temperature is mostly low and the skies are gloomy. Even if you see the sun, it is not as hot as in other months. In truth, the third Monday of January is called Blue Monday.
How common is SAD?
Mild seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been diagnosed in up to 20% of individuals in the United States. Approximately 6% of them have moderate or severe SAD. Gender-wise, SAD is more common in young female adults.
What is the best treatment for seasonal affective disorder?
Some psychiatrists may say that the best treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is an antidepressant. Many individuals with this type of depression start taking the medication before they even get the depressive symptoms. However, for folks who do not want to take antidepressants, the best treatment is light therapy.
Which vitamin is good for seasonal affective disorder?
Vitamin D is an excellent vitamin to combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), considering you get depressed in winter. The reason is that it is challenging to get this naturally during this particular season, no matter how much you stay outdoors. Nevertheless, you should ask a physician if you can take this vitamin with your other medication.
I did not take antidepressants to battle my seasonal depression, for the record. Instead, I forced myself to go out and get as much sun exposure as possible every day. My kids also came home for the holidays, and they livened up the house once more. My wife and I decided to get a house in Massachusetts to visit the boys whenever we wanted. Though the psychologist could not guarantee that my SAD won’t return, he said that I had high chances of not experiencing its symptoms if I continued doing things that made me happy.
And I could not agree more with that.