Goodbye, Blue Monday

Today, apparently, is the most depressing day of the year.

Word is, a complex analysis of social media posts, divorce rates, and weather conditions pinpoint today as the day. The most depressing day.

“Researchers analysed more than 2 million tweets…they found that today, there will be nearly five times the average number of tweets relating to guilt, as people abandon their promises to pursue a healthier lifestyle.” And “complaints about the weather will be six times higher than usual.”

Of course, Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge, adds that “the whole concept is considered pseudoscience,with its formula derided by scientists as nonsense.”

But that’s neither here nor there. “The Most Depressing Day of the Year” sounds very exciting, and you can’t go wrong with a catchy name like Blue Monday.

So, it’s been all over the news.

But here’s the thing. Depression isn’t something that you just turn on or off. And it’s not nearly the same as feeling a little grumpy over the weather.

Ongoing depression and intermittent (seasonal) depression are real things which effect real people in real ways, it’s not a cutesy gimmick to be trotted out to say, “Aw, jeez, doesn’t this weather suck?”

Well, given the coverage I’ve seen of this topic, apparently it is a cutesy gimmick to be trotted out…but the point is that it shouldn’t be.

According to the CDC, an estimated 1 in 10 American adults report depression, and their Twitter statuses are not the source of that information.

In fact, given the real stigma around mental health, most of those people suffering from depression are probably not broadcasting it to the world via social media.

Many of them probably aren’t talking about it at all.

And far from suffering all their depression on one Blue Monday a year, many of them have depression for long, extended periods of time. Not a fun little, “this weather sucks,” sadness, but a real, soul-crushing, hole of gaping nothingness, depression.

So, when I hear “The Most Depressing Day of the Year,” this is what I imagine:

So it goes.

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