Well, did you survive it? ‘Blue Monday’; the annual mental health apocalypse that occurs on the third Monday of January? Failed resolutions, Christmas-created debt with pay-day still just out of sight, drained back-to-work-enthusiasm, and bad weather all supposedly contributed to a collective mental fug across the nation yesterday.
Journalists and feature-writers, never ones to miss a ‘downer’ day (see Divorce Day), had plenty of positive advice to offer sufferers. This ranged from counting your own blessings as well as others’, to listening to Wham (apparently ‘Wake me up before you go-go’ is considered to be the happiest song of all time), to eating better; breathing mindfully and exercising more. And if you could also round off the day with an orgasm, then Tuesday was definitely going to be a breeze.
All good advice. However, it is Tuesday that worries me. And all the other days of the week. What happens if every day begins to feel like Blue Monday?
According to new research by the Priory Group, this seems to be the case for many people. Their findings showed that someone is googling the word ‘depression’ 27 times a minute, or nearly once every two seconds. ‘Stress’ and ‘anxiety’ are close behind at 22 times a minute and 21 times respectively. This equates to an average 1,171,770 searches made in the UK every month around ‘depression’, 939,820 around ‘stress’ and 907,620 around ‘anxiety’.
In many ways we should be pleased by these results as it suggests that people are aware and taking action. However, the Priory Group believe it also points to continued social stigma around these conditions, as people use the anonymity of the internet to identify and explore their issues rather than feel able to talk to friends, work colleagues or even us non-judgmental professionals. They also see danger in self/misdiagnosis.
Fortunately however, there are many great resources on the internet that will both support and sign-post sufferers to non-virtual help. These are but a few nationally: Mind, Depression Alliance and Rethink Mental Illness and locally; HealthyMinds Buckinghamshire and IAPT East of England.
But if you are lucky enough to only feel a bit blue once a year, forget Wham! If THIS doesn’t cheer you up, I’m not sure what will. Don’t believe me? Just watch.
It does it for me every time 🙂