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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Depressing Day?

According to this, today has been calculated to be the "most depressing day of the year". Apparently, a British psychologist analyzed moods, weather patterns, and hours of daylight throughout the winter, and concluded that today, January 24, is the day on which it is most likely for people to be stricken with symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is the "winter blues", which has been tied to the fewer hours of daylight exposure that we receive in the dead of winter. The guy who came up with this based it on a formula:
The model is: [W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA

The equation is broken down into seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.

Whatever. Not being much of a math person, I have no idea whether this equation is mathematically predictive of my mood. I will say, though, that I can't really qualify today as the "most depressing day of the year", at least for me. Maybe it's the spate of mild weather we've been having, but it's hard to call a sunny, 45-degree, day off from work that I get to spend with my kids "depressing". KWIM?

14 Comments:

Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

Ha! A British psychologist! Have you ever been in London? The weather there is crummy (or should I say "rubbish"). I also had the pleasure of visiting Sweden -- the highest suicide rate per capita. During the winter months, there is only a few short hours of sunlight and there are bars on every street corner filled with depressed people.

1:15 AM  
Blogger The Town Crier said...

they said using the same mathematical equations, june 23rd is the happiest day of the year

1:54 AM  
Blogger kasamba said...

Must addict: you got it spot on! In London we have to make our own own sunshine.

2:56 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

OM: As I'm in England for the day, I can tell you that today in the UK is mega-depressing.

Everything is drab, dull freezing grey. I couldn't daven shacharit till after 7:30 AM, there's no shining sun, not even puffy white clouds. Just a dreary overcast sky with a wind to chill you to the bone.

Thank G-d I leave for home this evening, where you can be cheery, even when it rains :)

5:07 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

I'm guessing that OM watches the Colbert Report... Late last night I had my TiVo cue up Steven Colbert and I have to say, he did a WONDERFUL job covering this story.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this only works for Christians if at all.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well yesterday I was a very happy person. Maybe it was all of the endorphins I got from a 1 hour cardio workout.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous charliehall said...

I get depressed during the hot and humid summers we have around New York. Days like today are wonderful!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Hmmm... June 23rd usually IS one of the happiest days of the year. Then again, that's likely because that was the day elementary school had just ended. :)

11:55 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

I'm not a scientist, but I'd probably say that here in the US, April 15th is the most depressing day of the year. Well, either that or Election day...

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While this is an interesting idea, it is certainly not universal, as it wouldn't be applicable to many religious, socio-economic, or geographical populations.

The other aspect that strikes me is the transitory nature of this idea. Designating a most depressing day means that after today, things get better.

The idea of a transitory most depressing day may be a good thing to note, in that it could help explain why a person who is generally doing okay might feel quite low at this time of the year or a person who is suicidal might finally attempt suicide at this time.

At the same time, however, the idea causes non-transitory depression to be ignored. By focussing on the idea of a most depressing day, of a seasonal calendar wherein days grow happier, a disservice is being done to people whose situations are becoming worse and worse, who will go on to experience more and more depressing days.

Perhaps today according to those calculations should more rightly be considered, for the proper demographics, the most depressive day, not depressing. After all, the items involved in the equation are outside factors that could cause depression. Whether or not today ends up being the most depressing day for a person depends upon each individual situation.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

>I'm not a scientist, but I'd probably say that here in the US, April 15th is the most depressing day of the year.

Not for tax professionals or their wives who can finally reunite with their families!

4:31 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

that was Tuesday the day after which is Wednesday my day on chevra kaddisha
i had half a dozen calls and that from just one hospital!!!!!!!!!!!

4:06 PM  
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8:31 PM  

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