TORONTO, January 16, 2017 - Feeling Blue? You're in good company. With the day that has
come to be known as Blue Monday upon us again, we at CAMH want to help
you get through what has been dubbed the most depressing day of the
is no scientific basis for why the third Monday in January has been
deemed Blue Monday. It actually came about as a marketing gimmick by a
travel company a decade ago. But the reason it has caught on in the
public imagination, especially in Canada,
is that it rings true. Daylight is at a premium, nights are long and
cold, holiday bills are arriving, and most of us are the furthest away
we can be from the next thing to look forward to. Those warm and fuzzy
memories of the holidays – gone. The New Year's resolutions made with such earnest determination – broken.
Gimmick or not, all the talk about getting a bad case of the blues can have a real impact on mental health this time of year.
"This may seem like fun pseudoscience, but it can have a powerful influence on the psyche," says CAMH Psychologist Dr. Donna Ferguson.
"It can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If people feel they have
already failed to live up to their resolutions, this self-imposed
anxiety, coupled with the belief in Blue Monday, could be the perfect
storm for triggering those predisposed to depression."
of the best ways to cope with the January blues is to take an inventory
of your lifestyle habits to see what simple but effective changes you
can make to improve your mental health says CAMH Psychologist Dr. Katy Kamkar.
meaningful activities like getting proper sleep, maintaining a healthy
diet, being physically active, setting up a budget to manage your
spending habits, these are all practical, achievable goals that can make
you feel more balanced," Dr. Kamkar says.
barely nine hours of daylight this time of year, this can be a tough
time for people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), says Dr. Robert Levitan,
Senior Scientist at CAMH's Campbell Family Mental Health Research
Institute. Dr. Levitan, who has studied the impact on daylight hours
and mental health throughout the year, says that paradoxically suicide
rates are highest in the spring, when the days start getting longer.
But he says this time of year brings its own unique challenges and
concerns for people prone to SAD, depression or other mental health
usually characterized by a lack of energy, fatigue, lack of
concentration, weight gain," says Dr. Levitan. "It's important to know
that if you are feeling these symptoms, they can be treated in a variety
of ways, including light therapy."
To request an interview with one of our experts
to help your readers, listeners or viewers get through this year's Blue
Monday, please contact: Sean O'Malley, CAMH Senior Media Relations
Specialist, 416-535-8501 ext. 3663, Sean.firstname.lastname@example.org