Where do I start? Well, for those that are unaware of the concept of ‘Blue Monday’, let me briefly summarise the meaning of this day. Typically the third Monday of January, it is known as the ‘most depressing day of the year’, but why is this? Weather related of course. Oh, and also apparent high levels of debt after the Christmas period, low motivational levels, and failure to complete our New Year’s revolutions. So why are people so angry on social media, including myself, about the purpose of this day?
Well, for us that suffer daily with clinical depression or even us that have experienced family and friends that do, naming one day the most depressing day due to materialist goods or the weather conditions is ridiculous if you understand the mental health disorder at all. Depression isn’t a day-on or day-off issue, it is an every second of everyday issue; battling your own self, mind, thoughts, and actions. Trying to win a battle that is never-ending. Depression is something we need to talk about but is also something we need to understand in order to support people that are diagnosed.
Days like ‘Blue Monday’ do not help this cause. From reviewing social media posts, users are using this day to express their concerns, worries, or to even make fun of people with this disorder. Not only is this offensive to people that do suffer with depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder and are battling everyday, but this is another reason as to why we do not talk about our issues, using one day to find the appropriate time to post our concerns is not a healthy way of moving forward.
From many friends and family members suffering from this mental health issue, how do they feel that social media, the press and society are boxing mental health as a trend? A day that we can complain, we can worry because it’s “allowed” and “accepted”. But then society complains that we don’t discuss our concerns more, well do days like this really help us progress? In my opinion: no.
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org