This year’s “Blue Monday” just passed and sank people more into their post-holiday depression. But is it actually a real thing or just an invention of a gloomy mind?
It is believed that several factors combine in order to cause this exact day in the year to be “the most depressing day of the year”. The term “Blue Monday” first appear in 2005, in the press release of a travel company. However, this so-called phenomenon has not been proven scientifically.
Dr. Cliff Arnall, a British psychologist, pretended to have used certain equations in order to establish that the third Monday of the year is the most depressing. The supposed equations contained variables including the weather, debt, salaries, time passed since Christmas, the early breaking of the New Year’s resolutions, and low motivation. Apparently, all these variables work together in order to cause this exact year to be the most depressing.
Throughout time, this theory has been disproven as pseudoscience. Dean Burnett, The Guardian’s neuroscience columnist, who is also a comedy writer and the author of The Idiot Brain, is one of the most fervent to reject Dr. Arnall’s theory. He claims that the equations are highly incompatible and extremely difficult to quantify. They are impossible to be put in a mathematical form and then combined unless you create something that ends up to be useless.
Burnett also declared that the annual reiteration of this null theory is damaging not only for people who feel alright, but also for those suffering from real depression. The general acceptance of the theory makes depression look like a general sentiment felt by all masses at the same time rather than a debilitating condition affecting the individual.
Although the Blue Monday phenomenon is discredited every year by the reliable scientific authorities, the media continues to give it too much credit. This outraged Burnett so much that he even composed an adaptation to New Order’s song “Blue Monday”.
Blue Monday is not an excuse, as it also should not be a reason to make you feel worse. No one should feel obliged to have a bad day just because the media is humming about the most depressing day of the year. Go out and enjoy whatever you can in your life and don’t let anyone tell you when you should or should not feel bad.
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