You've seen it trending at the top of Twitter, but do you really know what Blue Monday is all about?

First of all, it's not a mental health campaign that was started by a charity or health organisation which have something to do with depression. No, it was thought up in 2005 by Sky Travel - it insisted it had calculated, using an equation, that the third Monday in January would be the most depressing for countries in the Western hemisphere.

Sure that sounds like science...

Sky Travel has since folded so I'm not sure about these "equations" it alleges to have made.

But why did they do it? To sell the idea of holidays in January. A PR company actually paid a psychologist to put his name to the idea and he is now enjoying a career as a "happiness guru."

Some of his tips for cheering yourself up is to lose weight and make some New Year resolutions. Original. But that's right, you're depressed because of your beer gut, not because of the chemicals in your brain.

Doomladen newspapers are announcing that this Blue Monday is the worst one ever - as if they would write it was an average Blue Monday and not as bad as Blue Monday 2008 but worse than Blue Monday 2016. And why is it the "worst-ever" this year? Oh because a lot of celebrities died last year.

One paper is even suggesting you don't go to work and instead have a duvet-day. Is that particularly responsible?

The thing is, Blue Monday is now in everyone's lexicon and people just accept it as a fact. The main problem with Blue Monday is that it perpetuates the myth that depression is about people feeling a bit down - a bit 'blue' rather than a dehabilitating disease that affects one in six people.

Credit: Joeo

Depression is a real thing that cannot be cured by going shopping, but companies all over the world are jumping on the bandwagon to try and hawk their goods.

A lot of people assume that Blue Monday is about being frustrated with the miserable weather we suffer in the UK. The thing is, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, and it happens in winter, especially in the north because we don't get much sunlight. And it's terrible and tough, but it cannot be cured by some multi-national company making us fork out our hard-earned pennies on something shiny. You cannot cure sadness with toys.

And yet, these companies think they can.

River Island seems to think Blue Monday is about the colour blue.

For some reason, Visit Florida has promoted this tweet - it's tried to take ownership of Blue Monday this year.

Innocent knows what's what, though.

This is also the prevailing trail of thought for many.

And this person is truly taking the piss. Let's make up some other mental health days for holidaying!

The Samaritans has decided to stay away from the whole "Blue Monday" fiasco and has renamed it "Brew Monday" - if you are suffering from depression and want to talk to someone, they're happy to have you over for a cuppa and a chat. They are free to phone and always there to listen. Just don't rant about the bollocks behind Blue Monday - keep that for Twitter.

Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Mental Health Foundation.

Words Laura Hamilton

Featured Image Credit: Knucklerkane

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