The annual “Blue Monday” is upon us. The third Monday or Blue Monday in January, coined as the most depressing day of the year. This has been around since 2005, when a UK travel company claimed to have established the date through an “equation”. Scientists dismissed the idea as baseless pseudo-science and it later transpired that it had been nothing more than a PR stunt by the travel company. But the term “blue Monday” dates way back to the 1830’s – American literature referred to the “hungover state” of the labour workforce after a weekend spent drinking and associated the colour blue with a depressed state of mind. The term has stuck, though, and the third Monday of January has been awarded the gloomy title of “Blue Monday” thanks to a combination of post Christmas moodiness, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills! The post-Christmas mood-dip and the weather may well affect us adversely, but depression is an everyday phenomenon for those who truly suffer, and those sufferers feel that trivialising it as a one day event only adds to their despair. But if we can use this day to raise awareness and open up a conversation about mental health, that can only be a good thing. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms – it hijacks the mind and body, and it can affect individuals in many different ways, physically and emotionally.