DeAnne Smith and the Seasonal Affective Disorder Quiz

Hi there. It’s me, DeAnne Smith. You may know me as a new and hilarious contributor to Autostraddle, or as a highly successful international stand up comedian, or as a friendly firecracker of enthusiasm and fun, or as the person sitting behind you on the bus, softly crying to herself. Yes, I am all of those things. And I am here today to talk to you about an issue very close to my heart: seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder, also kno…

Oh, I’m sorry. I drifted off there for a minute. What was I doing? Oh, just contemplating all the bad choices I’ve made in my life as I simultaneously felt the vitamin D drain out of my body in inverse proportion to the growing sense that I’ll never truly love or be loved. But moving on!

Seasonal affective disorder, also known as the “winter blues,” strikes between 2 to 10% of the population and accounts for 73% of Snuggie purchases. According to Wikipedia, symptoms of SAD (Isn’t that just the most apt and adorable acronym ever?) include difficulty waking up in the morning, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and a craving for carbohydrates. Because I believe sleeping in, spacing out, and totally fucking loving toast could also apply to college students, pot smokers, old people and pretty much anyone in the world worth knowing at all, I’ve made a slightly more realistic quiz for you to complete in order to know if you suffer from SAD. I’m calling it The SAD Quiz.

Don’t forget to jot down your answers for scoring!


1. When the sun sets, I am usually:

a.) Whistling as I work. I love work! And whistling! And strawberry ice cream and chipmunks and buttons and eskimo kisses!

b.) Watching Oprah give away 600 thread count, organic, cotton sheet sets to South African orphans.

c.) Crying, curled up in a fetal position.

2. In Winter, I especially like to:

a.) Ski, girlfriend! Give me a brisk day and a snowy mountain and I’m in heaven! Eat, sleep, ski, repeat!

b.) Watch hockey, snowboarding, and an entire season’s worth of Glee episodes in one sitting.

c.) Cry, curled up in a fetal position in a bed I haven’t left all day.

via soberbabyyy

3. Most of my friends would say I am:

a.) Super fun, a super duper nice person, and amazing at Ultimate Frisbee! My fwiends awe da best! I wuv dem!!

b.) In control. Robin, Dr. Phil’s wife, says we can all make deliberate choices that lead to richer, happier, and more meaningful lives.

c.) Crying, curled up in a fetal position in a bed I haven’t left all day, which is filled with used tissues.

4. One thing that really gets on my nerves is:

a.) Mean people. Boo on meanies! Meanies send me straight to Frown Town!

b.) Commercials.

c.) Crying, curled up in a fetal position in a bed I haven’t left all day, which is filled with used tissues and an ever increasing amount of Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch Dorito crumbs.

5. Waking up in the morning, I think:

a.) Wow, God sure did make another blue-ribbon winner of a hum-dingingly glorious day! Yippee for everything! I feel like the mayor of Smile City!

b.) Did I already miss The View?

c.) …about how I’m still crying, curled up in a fetal position in a bed I haven’t left in five days, which is filled with used tissues, an ever increasing amount of Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch Dorito crumbs, and an unshakable sense that I’m an ultimately useless, random collection of molecules destined to live out a meaningless existence only to find myself at the end of it–having never even had so much as one truly decent hair cut– unloved, unaccomplished and deeply and utterly alone.


Mostly (a)s: You can fuck yourself.

Mostly (b)s: Congrats. You’re slugging through.

Mostly (c)s: Hey, do you get that cold, empty feeling in your chest? Like no amount of Blazin’ Buffalo & Ranch Doritos or praise or human touch will ever be enough? Only a few more months to go!

Hope that was helpful, guys!

(Incidentally, there are handy informational websites to help the SAD-afflicted in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. If you live in Australia, I’m pretty sure the website you’re directed to just tells you to harden the fuck up.)

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I care a lot about my hair. Unrelatedly, I say short, funny things at

DeAnne has written 22 articles for us.


        • It went something like this:

          Stomach: *grumbles*
          Me: But I don’t wanna get up…
          Stomach: You do not have sufficient salty carbohydrates within reach of your bed. Get up, asshole.
          Me: Fiiiiine. *gets up, puts on pot of water, goes back to bed for 7 minutes, puts pasta in water, goes back to bed for another 7 minutes, mixes in cheese packet, goes back to bed until 5:30*
          Stomach: Okay, we’re cool now. But you should probably eat some vegetables this week.

          I still count it as an accomplishment.

  1. I also suffer from SAD. And I live in Canada. Quebec to be precise so I’m just fucked.
    Someone suggested I buy those lamps that gives your self a false sense of summer. It’ll defeat the purpose though because they cost 300$ and I’ll end up being sad not only in winter but in summer also, mourning my state of poverty.

  2. Does anyone else get a tinge of excitement when they see a new article by DeAnne?? Always good for a laugh out loud in public moment.

    Perfect timing of this article, as I’m being bombarded with reports of two feet of snow coming. Yay.

  3. I’m kind of hoping that living 90% of my life in what I can literally argue is probably in “the top 25 most depressing places to be in winter” (if that list existed) has only temporarily affected some kind of thing that someone might argue is “something to do with astrology”. I’m thinking that maybe my body is just getting used to winters in the “real world” and needs time to adjust.
    But yeah, I didn’t know SAD existed but I’m pretty sure I have it now. I guess I should’ve been using WebMD Symptom Checker for broader symptoms.
    And fuck, I thought I just had an unsatiable passion for baking.

  4. “Marvin!” he exclaimed. “What are you doing?”
    “Don’t feel you have to take any notice of me, please,” came a muffled drone.
    “But how are you, metalman?” said Ford.
    “Very depressed.”
    “What’s up?”
    “I don’t know,” said Marvin, “I’ve never been there.”
    “Why,” said Ford squatting down beside him and shivering, “are you lying face down in the dust?”
    “It’s a very effective way of being wretched,” said Marvin. “Don’t pretend you want to talk to me, I know you hate me.”

  5. “Watch hockey, snowboarding, and an entire season’s worth of Glee episodes in one sitting.”

    On Friday, I laid in bed all day and watched an entire season of Skins.

    Have you been spying on me?

  6. “Watch hockey, snowboarding, and an entire season’s worth of Glee episodes in one sitting.”

    Does it count if I took pee breaks during the Glee marathon? I mean, I had to get up to do that, so technically it wasn’t one sitting, right?


  7. yup. friday night i basically just cried and slept forever until i had to go to work so i brought lots of vodka because i have the best job ever. last week was miserable. this week is not looking any better. everyone i know seems depressed. one time this weekend i tried to be happy and opened my windows and they were covered in a sheet of ice and snow. so i said “fuck you too, winter” and decided the earth hated me too. im going to go sulk in my bed then not let anyone in and get upset at them for not caring, while finishing my giant box of goldfish and last package of tim tams before the world ends. #sulksulksulk

  8. February is the worst for me. No amount of melatonin, vitamin D, sunlamps, bright colors or tea will entirely chase the SAD away so I just have to stick it out.

    It’s the shortest month! You all can make it! 28 days!

  9. I generally like winter but winter is different in different places, too. like winter in sweden is super dark but the cold feels more familiar and sharp, and I like that and the light is very pale and far away. I don’t mind it. winter here in glasgow is very dark because its cloudy ALL the fucking time. if its not sleeting, its raining; we rarely get even the white northern light and that makes me feel alone somehow.

    cloudy days are like that though, open skies make me feel like I’m more connected to the world and too many dark days and clouds can be suffocating. you start to feel cut off I think.

  10. I don’t really care about the sun, it’s the negative temperatures that make me want to stay curled up in bed all day.

    It’s supposed to snow a foot tomorrow, if it wasn’t for a dentist appointment that I can’t skip out on, I would stay curled up in bed all damn day.

  11. I HATE WINTER. Haaaaaaaaate it sooo much. And I don’t know if part of it is because I grew up in Malaysia, which is summer 24/7 yet has massive monsoons that make Australia’s storms look puny (“zomg it’s RAINING!” “you call this rain?!”) and for some reason keeps every indoor surface at 21C.

    But in Brisbane winter is just rain…and rain…and even more rain…and doom and gloom and grey. NOT HAPPY. Also a lot of life drama has happened to me over the winter months the past few years, which doesn’t help.

    Summer isn’t so great for me either, mainly because the extreme sun gives me headaches and nausea. Mild weather does me well. But summer here in Brisbane has been rain and FREAKING FLOODS and gloom followed immediately by ARGH TOO MUCH SUN MY BRAIN’S OVERHEATING.


  12. I’m kind of in love with how you said “harden the fuck up” instead of “man the fuck up”. I know you’re prob fighting the patriarchy and stuffs but mostly it makes me think of Pokémon.

    Metapod totally had Seasonal Affective Disorder, just hibernating and increasing defence until he could be Butterfree. Poor little cocoon.

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