herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Stand by for Blue Monday, the gloomiest day of year

ENJOY what's left of the weekend -- because Monday is going to be bad.

Experts say it is the most depressing day of the year.

A combination of mounting debts, poor weather and post-festive blues have led experts to dub the third Monday in January as "Blue Monday".

Dr Abbie Lane, a consultant psychiatrist in Dublin's St John of God's Hospital said that there is a 20pc increase in cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) from January to March.

She said that national figures on SADs are incomplete as it often gets coded as depression. One in three people will develop depression in their lifetime.

Symptoms of SAD may consist of difficulty sleeping or difficulty waking up in the morning, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, weight gain and withdrawal from friends, family and social activities.

She said that changed circumstances or loss including relationships, jobs, lifestyle and home, are all major factors that lead to depression.

"Chronic financial pressure as we are now seeing is a major contributor to mental and physical illness," she said.

Dr Lane said that the St John of God stress clinic has seen increased numbers of men in recent years, who have financial problems and feelings of shame, loss and guilt.

"We are also seeing families and children affected by changed circumstances, and many are now presenting with a total lack of hope... as the economic situation worsens."

fdillon@herald.ie

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