It seems to be a new way of the media making everything gloomy!
Yes, January can be difficult for a lot of people for many different reasons, but I don’t think we can hold a calendar date as being responsible for our moods!
Why does this term frustrate me?
Terms like Blue Monday can be quite damaging for people suffering from depression. We seem to be playing down and ‘normalising’ Mental Health problems which may affect people seeking help. If you are feeling depressed, you may feel you need to seek professional help and support but if you are told “It’s blue Monday everyone is feeling it” you may feel like you have to battle on alone!
Although normalising a condition can help people see these are normal feelings and emotions they are experiencing, we need to make sure they also understand what help is available and how they can access this. The most important message to me should be that, although it is normal to feel this way, we shouldn’t remain in this place and suffer, we should always seek help at the early stages. We also need to understand that everyone is affected differently so although our friends, families and colleagues may be able to cope it doesn’t mean we should!
For those lucky enough to not have experienced Mental Health problems they may not understand the full force of depression and how it can affect individuals. I’ve heard comments such as, “he’s not depressed he’s just feeling down because it’s January and everyone feels down in January, I saw it on the news!” “You just need some winter sun and you’ll be fine, why not book a holiday”. You may think comments such as this are just helpful and tips and advice, but it could be the comment that causes someone suffering depression to ‘shut off’ and feel they cannot be open about how they are feeling.
It’s Tuesday as I sit and type this, the day after Blue Monday! Hallelujah, we made it through, everything must be up from here, right? It’s actually very wrong! When you are suffering from depression, every day of the week can be blue, all year round. Depression doesn’t take a break because the sun is shining, or we have a holiday to look forward to. Depression is an illness that can take hold at any time and I think it’s important we remember that.
What can you do?
At Optimal PBS we are Mental health advocates and want to help promote awareness and end the stigma. We offer in house awareness workshops and employee training tailored to your business requirements. We can help equip your Line Managers with the knowledge and confidence to support their teams and in return the business. Contact us today to see how we can work together 01422 471 271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org