Is “Blue Monday” the most depressing day of the year? Is it the day when more people in the U.K. feel depressed than on any other day of the year? No, it’s complete fiction. It was made up on behalf of travel company Sky Travel in an effort to sell more holidays in January. They first announced it in a press release in 2005, claiming to have calculated the date using an “equation”. The “equation” is nonsensical and there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever behind it. Ben Goldacre, the author of “Bad Science”, has comprehensively debunked it in articles for the Guardian newspaper.
Sadly, unlike “Blue Monday”, depression is a very real part of human experience, something that can affect us at any time of year. As therapists we’ve found that clients affected by depression have always had things happening in their lives that they are depressed about. Our earlier blog “Am I depressed?” (https://lemonstolemonade.co.uk/news/am-i-depressed-counselling-therapy) discusses what it’s like to feel depressed. As we said in that article, the more you’re experiencing difficult life circumstances and the less control you feel you have over them, the more at risk you are of becoming depressed. One of the things that distinguishes depression from “ordinary” low mood is its persistence. An individual adverse life event might lower your mood for a while, but difficult circumstances that continue over time may well lead you into depression.
If you’re feeling depressed, there are two main options that can help: medication or therapy. You’re likely to be offered medication if you see a doctor (in the U.K., your General Practitioner (G.P.)). However it can have side effects and it's not recommended to remain on medication for very long periods. The alternative is psychological therapy, and the therapy that has the best evidence base for helping to reduce depression is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). There’s a brief description of this on our website www.lemonstolemonade.co.uk , and it’s one of the therapies we specialise in at Lemons to Lemonade.