“Ignoring Seasonal Affective Disorder will only perpetuate the idea that you’re not allowed to experience something REAL.”
Over the past couple of years, Real Girls F.A.R.T. has strived to serve as a support network, encouraging and empowering women to be fearless, authentic, a rescuer, and a trailblazer (F.A.R.T.). From blog posts to in-person events, building an incredible social community and so much more, we’re determined to spread the word, uplift one another, and finally shift the paradigm that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.
As part of our movement to create a support network for mental illness, Real Girls F.A.R.T. kicked off a new social campaign called #RealGirlsShare. From December 3 – 7, we took to the internet and shared our deepest thoughts on Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.
Did you know that Seasonal Affective Disorder affects over 3 million people in the U.S. per year? The sun doesn’t shine nearly as much as it did during the spring and summer, and then WHAM! You’re hit with fatigue, zero desire to socialize and major depression. It’s easy to shrug this off as “just the winter blues,” but it can be so much more than that.
Ignoring Seasonal Affective Disorder will only perpetuate the idea that you’re not allowed to experience something REAL. If you had a cut on your leg, you wouldn’t just ignore it. You’d wash it, put some Neosporin on it and top it off with a Band-Aid, right? Why wouldn’t we treat SAD the way we’d treat something physical?
During this past week, we successfully raised awareness for thousands of men and women out there who may not have even known they suffer from this disorder, and let them know they’re not alone. We can’t thank everyone enough for participating in such an amazing campaign.
Here are some highlights from those who shared:
“…I remember thinking SAD wasn’t a big deal and if I just pushed through it, everything would be fine and it would pass, but I was wrong. Instead of passing, it just fed my non-seasonal related anxiety and depression and it made it worse. Ignoring it wasn’t the answer. After many years of hard work and personal struggles, I landed on a fluid personal plan that I would execute before SAD had a change to get the best of me. I’m not going to say it was perfect and we all lived happily ever after, but I will tell you that having a plan was the self-acknowledgment I needed to be able to gracefully and thoroughly address these months that I knew were amongst my hardest throughout the year. For me, just acknowledging the extra space I need during these months is critical, as is communicating it to those around me…”
You can read more of Cris’s incredible, helpful thoughts about SAD on her IG post. Cris, thank you so much for sharing your story!
“…Another option for treatment is medication. Many who have depression may already be on medication, but if you are not and would like to explore that option, please speak to your clinician. There are medications that have been found to be better for those who also experience SAD along with major depression. Keep in mind that these will generally take weeks to notice the full effect and may have some intolerable side effects that require multiple trials and errors with medication choices. I’ve been there! I’ve tried several antidepressants / anti-anxiety medications over the years and it’s super frustrating! Don’t give up if this is a route you’d like to take. DM me and we can support each other!…”
A HUGE thank you to Ashley for sharing her advice about Seasonal Affective Disorder. In her post, Ashley talks about different types of treatment such as light therapy, medication, talk therapy and more. Head over to her account to read all about it!
“My @ultabeauty Cyber Monday order is here. I didn’t go crazy, but you can tell there’s one thing I miss…the sun! I started the conversation on SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in my IG story today & I’d love to continue the conversation over here. Anyone else feeling the grip of the winter blues? What do you do to combat the feeling? Buy all the summer make up at Ulta? Take vitamins? Read a book? Let’s talk about it! You aren’t alone!”
Shelbie started an amazing conversation on her IG account talking about SAD. Head to her account to read all about it and see what others are saying. Remember “you are not alone.” Thanks for sharing!
If you or someone you know may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, you can read more about it here. Treatment is totally possible, and totally in reach. Talk to your doctor to learn more.