Today I received lots of emails from companies I shop with.
The subject matter were things like: ‘you don’t need to be blue’, ‘we can help stop you feeling blue’, you probably know the sort of nonsense I mean.
I didn’t have a clue what it was about. Until I logged into the BBC News. There was a BBC Sounds feature on this very subject. Apparently it started with a holiday company 15 years ago – as a means of generating more sales.
And it’s taken off from there. Everybody’s in on it. Well, every company it seems. The idea is – if you are feeling low / depressed / ‘blue’ then buying stuff will help you out of whichever particular quagmire you are in. It could be make-up, a fabulous outfit, holiday, adventure, bits for your hobby, expensive watch, the list is endless. These companies have no limits, and by extension no shame. They are out to fleece the most vulnerable.
Statistically the third Monday of January is no more likely to make you feel ‘blue’ than any other Monday; January is no more likely to see you depressed than, say, February. I have been hospitalised for clinical depression in January and July, April and August. Depression does not mind when or where or how it strikes.
Putting ideas into people’s heads that they are likely to be low, and particularly low on a particular day of the year, and then offering them a quick-fix solution at a price is immoral. Vulnerable individuals should not, must not be taken advantage of.
I urge everyone to boycott these sales ‘scams’ because that is what they are.
And the header image?
My husband attended a meeting for service users and carers when I was particularly unwell. At this gathering one of the participants related the story of an acquaintance of hers who, upon hearing that she had depression, exclaimed ‘How can you be depressed? You have such a lovely conservatory.’
We still use this as a metaphor for the absolute ignorance about the nature of mental health that is in society today.
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