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  1. #1
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    British psychologist calculates most depressing day

    The "formula" mentioned in the article below is not credible, but I found the article interesting:

    Jan. 24 called worst day of the year

    By Jennifer Carlile, Reporter
    Jan. 24, 2005
    MSNBC

    British psychologist calculates 'most depressing day'

    LONDON - Is the midwinter weather wearing you down? Are you sinking in debt after the holidays? Angry with yourself for already breaking your New Year's resolutions? Wish you could crawl back under the covers and not have to face another day of rain, sleet, snow and paperwork?

    Probably. After all, it's Jan. 24, the “most depressing day of the year,” according to a U.K. psychologist. Dr. Cliff Arnall's calculations show that misery peaks Monday.

    Arnall, who specializes in seasonal disorders at the University of Cardiff, Wales, created a formula that takes into account numerous feelings to devise peoples' lowest point.

    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.

    ‘Reality starts to kick in’

    Arnall found that, while days technically get longer after Dec. 21, cyclonic weather systems take hold in January, bringing low, dark clouds to Britain. Meanwhile, the majority of people break their healthy resolutions six to seven days into the new year, and even the hangers-on have fallen off the wagon, torn off the nicotine patches and eaten the fridge empty by the third week. Any residual dregs of holiday cheer and family fun have kicked the bucket by Jan. 24.

    “Following the initial thrill of New Year's celebrations and changing over a new leaf, reality starts to sink in,” Arnall said. “The realization coincides with the dark clouds rolling in and the obligation to pay off Christmas credit card bills.”

    The formula was devised to help a travel company “analyze when people book holidays and holiday trends,” said Alex Kennedy, spokesperson for Porter Novelli, a London-based PR agency.

    It seems that people are most likely to buy a ticket to paradise when they feel like hell.

    “People feel bleak when they have nothing planned, but once they book a holiday they have a goal, they work toward having time off and a relaxing period,” Kennedy said.

    “When you imagine yourself on the beach it makes you feel positive. You will save money, go to the gym and come back to the optimism you had at the end of 2004,” she said.

    In U.K., up to a third get SAD
    Research shows an escape to the sun can have real health benefits.

    Up to a third of the population, in Britain at least, suffers from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, also known as winter depression, according to MIND, a leading mental health charity in England and Wales. Furthermore, nine out of 10 people report sleeping and eating more during the darker months.

    While most cases of the winter blues are not severe, 2 percent to 5 percent of those with SAD cannot function without continuous treatment.

    However, it's extremely rare to find anyone with the disorder within 30 degrees of the equator, where days are long and the sky is bright year-round, according to MIND.
    Last edited by Daniel; January 19th, 2009 at 04:34 PM. Reason: fixed ASCII characters
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

  2. #2
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    British psychologist calculates most depressing day

    that formula is perhaps the worst formula i've ever seen in the history of everything i've ever seen ever. Which genius came up with that? Time since Christmas? Well, a Jew, or JW, or Hindu, or any other religeon other than Christian would be screwed. As would anyone who hasnt had anything to give up. Or, indeed, anyone who'd find it dificult to tangibly calculate their mood into a numerical figure. So that would be everyone then. Its just wrong.

  3. #3
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    British psychologist calculates most depressing day

    I believe it is meant as a tongue-in-cheek comment, kk107.

    It isn't a bad example of the dangers of drawing conclusions from correlational data, though -- and the date does correspond roughly with the peak of SAD symptoms in many regions.

  4. #4
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    British psychologist calculates most depressing day

    yeah, flamingo deaths and baby births and all that purlava...

  5. #5
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    Re: British psychologist calculates most depressing day

    An update (after 4 years):

    Today is Blue Monday, the "most depressing day" of 2009.

    Happy Blue Monday, everyone
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

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    Re: British psychologist calculates most depressing day

    Happy Blue Monday to you too Daniel.



  7. #7
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    Re: British psychologist calculates most depressing day

    any other religeon other than Christian
    Not exactly as most cultures have some form of celebration around the same time as Xmas. Some examples; many Native Americans celebrate the winter solstice, Hanukkah which is eight days approximately the same time as Xmas, and Kwanzaa which is December 26th to January 1st. Those are just a few I can think of but I am sure there are many other winter celebrations, whether religious or not. Mari

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