Blue Monday

15 January 2018



Blue Monday may be something a lot of people can relate to after the excesses of Christmas but it’s important to remember that stress, anxiety or depression can strike at any time.
  • 65% of UK adults say they have suffered from feelings of stress, anxiety or depression and 36% of these felt uncomfortable telling their family about their symptoms;
  • 48% who delayed seeing their GP didn’t want to acknowledge they were suffering from stress, anxiety or depression;
  • 45% feel uncomfortable telling their employer about their mental health symptoms;
  • 64% of those who have seen a GP due to symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression are prescribed medication.

Blue Monday falls on Monday 15 January this year and is said to be the most depressing day of the year. The day shines the spotlight on the fact that people are beginning to experience post-Christmas blues, and it is also when the credit card bills start to arrive.

The fact is that poor mental health does not just happen on a designated day. It is unpredictable, and can affect anyone at any time.

Our research reveals 65% of UK adults say they have suffered with feelings of stress, anxiety or depression and 58% of these people didn’t go to their GP for help. Those who delayed visiting a GP said they did so due to lack of recognition of symptoms of stress or anxiety (32%) and denial (48%).
Work is the main cause of people experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety and depression along with loneliness and relationship strains. Nearly half (48%) of those who had visited a GP to address their mental health said they didn’t seek help sooner, because they didn’t want to acknowledge they were suffering from stress, anxiety or depression and 32% didn’t recognise their symptoms as stress, anxiety or depression. Just less than half (45%) of UK workers surveyed said they would worry about their boss or colleagues finding out and 59% said they don’t want stress, anxiety or depression recorded on their company sick record.

Our mental health research revealed that work was a major contributing factor to people experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. A worrying 51% delay seeing a GP for mental health problems for longer than a month and are suffering in silence.

If you don’t feel your usual self or what is normal for you, and the problem persists, you should seek help. Speak to your family, a friend, your GP or a mental health charity such as MIND as they can offer support.

Source - All figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2103 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28 and 29 September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About the author

Jennifer Gilchrist

Proposition Specialist

Jennifer Gilchrist is Proposition Specialist for Royal London’s intermediary protection business. Having worked in the industry for over 30 years, she has a wealth of experience in marketing and developing protection products and is a frequent press commentator. Jennifer’s had many articles and comment pieces published in the trade press. Outside work, you’ll often find her pounding the Edinburgh streets at 6am on a misty morning. She’s also an avid tennis fan but that extends to watching rather than playing!

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