Saturday 22 July 2017

Patricia Casey: Blue Monday nothing but a marketing gimmick

Seasonal affective disorder can affect up to four percent of the popultion. Photo: Thinkstock. Picture posed
Seasonal affective disorder can affect up to four percent of the popultion. Photo: Thinkstock. Picture posed

Patricia Casey

Today, January 18 is 'Blue Monday'. Some newspaper headlines, somewhere, will claim that this day is the one which psychiatrists, and psychologists, have identified as the most depressing day of the year. And social media users claim that words associated with depression such as 'guilt', 'gloom' and 'dreary' trend on that day and their frequencies are higher than on other dates.

The publicity began in 2005 when a doctor claimed that a mathematical formula, which included weather, debt, time elapsed since Christmas, and unsuccessful New Year's resolutions, identified the third Monday in January as the most depressing of the year.

The formula was attributed to Dr Cliff Arnall who argued that the darkness of January, the unfulfilled hopes of a new way of living, the broken resolutions, the realisation of having to pay the Christmas debt, the return to work and having to face reality all contributed.

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