Thursday, 12 January 2017

I HATE Blue Monday

And probably not for the reasons you think.

It’s the same every year. The most depressing day of the year comes around on the third or fourth Monday in January, and the media feed you story after story about how to fend off the dreaded Blue Monday.

Well I have news for you.

Depression is not a day of the year.

It is a real illness – ILLNESS.

A disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind.

Stop using 'depressing' as an adjective to describe your feelings. It’s not a feeling.

Feelings are not dictated by a date. 

Stop pretending a scientific formula found this date to be the 'most depressing of the year'.

It trivialises mental health issues. You’re saying that my mental illness amounts to a crappy day at work. You’re saying that the illness I battled for years to overcome just lasts you 24 hours. You're saying that my 'sad' feelings on every other day of the year are not as valid or socially acceptable as they are on this day. 

There is a difference between feeling sadness, and being depressed.

If you have a crappy day where you feel sad and hopeless, on any day of the year, I’m sorry. I know it sucks. I know it can leave you unmotivated, exhausted, and exacerbated. But it is not depression. There is a clinical and medical difference between sadness and depression.

Blue Monday does nothing to address the reality of mental illness or the stigma that continues to be attached to it. It popularizes a 'depressing' feeling, but not the reality of living daily with and battling against a mental illness.

I would much rather see a discussion about how January can often trigger mental health difficulties, particularly in those with a history of mental illness. Not some bullshit bandwagon based on pseudo-science. 

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