Ah January! Most of us perceive it to be the most depressing month, with ‘Blue Monday’ falling this year on 20th January purported to being the most depressing day of the year. You might have heard of it?
Well, what if we told you ‘Blue Monday’ is nonsense and you have absolutely no reason to be glum on Monday 20th this year?
The concept was first publicised as part of a 2005 press release from holiday company Sky Travel, which claimed to have calculated the date using an equation. The formula uses many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. The idea is considered pseudoscience, with its formula laughed off by scientists as nonsensical.
So, if you are feeling ‘blue’ it’s not the day. You may have legitimate reasons for feeling down and ignoring your wellbeing by brushing it off may not be a good idea.
Let’s face it, life is all about ups and downs. Some days you might feel low and at times you have your high. However, for those who are suffering from depression, it’s more than just feelings of temporary sadness.
For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it’s obvious something isn’t right. Other people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why. Some signs that you or someone you know is suffering from depression are...
Feelings of sadness, emptiness or unhappiness: Although feelings of hopelessness are common among individuals with clinical depression, they can be some of the most difficult feelings to experience. This can include feelings of dissatisfaction, failure, and a belief that nothing will get better. People suffering from depression often feel unhappy without any rhyme or reason.
Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters: Many people don’t realise that low levels of chronic irritability and anger can mask an underlying depression. Constant irritability is also a symptom of depression seen in teenagers and children, one that could be written off as normal growing pains or teenage behaviour. Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as exercise, games etc: We all have times when we feel a bit more introverted than usual, but when people have clinical depression, they can lose the sense of pleasure they used to get from their favourite activities or from engaging with others. This isolation can make it harder for friends and loved ones to see the other symptoms of depression a person may be exhibiting, which makes it more difficult to know when a person needs help.
Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much: As tired as you may be, if you’re depressed you might also have trouble sleeping. Marked changes in sleeping patterns, like insomnia or increased time spent sleeping, is another symptom of clinical depression.
Changes in appetite: Some people either gain or lose weight when they have clinical depression because of their change in appetite. For some, this means an increase in appetite and possibly weight gain as a result. Others lose their appetite and struggle to eat much at all. In either case, a significant change is worth investigating.