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Dr. Joti Samra interviewed by News 1130 about Blue Monday – Myth or Science?

(Simon Druker January 19, 2015)


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – How are you feeling? Monday, January 19th is supposedly the most depressing day of the year.


Blue Monday has been around since 2005, but just how much truth is there to that? “This is a day that we need to understand was started as part of a publicity campaign. Really if we look at the science it’s really more of a pseudo-science,” explains Dr. Joti Samra.


“There is this formula that came out and the reality is that it’s not that specific. We can’t boil it down to this formula and a particular day of the year. But certainly it does make sense that this time of day is a difficult time of the year for many people.”


And while Blue Monday may be a myth, Samra notes this is the time of year when people are more vulnerable to SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.


“Now there are a number of factors that make this time of year the time of year when individuals are more pre-disposed towards experiencing low mood issues and depression. And there are a number of factors at play.”


Things like the weather and dwelling on your post-holiday financial situation are some of the reasons people feel down at this time of the year. “January and February tend to be the months where individuals are incurring the highest level of debt ratio so there’s tremendous financial stress. It’s following the holidays that are often a stressful time for people so they’re tired, they’ve been not eating well, they’ve not been sleeping well and feeling exhausted,” says Samra.


There’s also less sunlight and vitamin D than the rest of the year which doesn’t help. “About 10 per cent of individuals are pre-disposed to experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder and having mood symptoms and depression that results from this time of year.”


As for what you can do to guard against it, Samra says get outside as much as you can, try to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.


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