Help during the post-holiday blues
We're advising Lewisham residents to look after their emotional wellbeing during January and February, following the traditional festive holiday period.
Chair of NHS Lewisham CCG, Dr Faruk Majid, said: "Recent years have given rise to the myth of a 'Blue Monday', said to be the third Monday of January that is allegedly the most depressing day of the year.
"But in reality there is no such day, because our lives are unique and varied, and we don't share exactly the same experiences, pressures or responsibilities."
Dr Majid added: "However, despite that, many people find the post-winter holiday period stressful, due to social reasons.
"Bills arrive on the doormat, the days are short and we return to work. Existing problems such as loneliness may be magnified as we perceive – often misguidedly – that everyone else is having, or has had a better time than us."
He added: For people already coping with serious problems in their lives, the winter holiday season can often make them feel significantly worse. If ongoing worries and problems are affecting someone's life, these simply can't be discarded like an old Christmas card."
Dr Majid said: "But we're keen to advise people that help is at hand and that no one has to suffer in silence."
If someone has anxiety and depression – at any time of the year – they can book an appointment with their GP, who will advise what form of treatment is best.
Many people can receive help from what is known as a 'talking therapy'. Talking therapies can help all sorts of people in different situations. Sometimes you may hear them referred to as counselling, talking treatments or psychological therapies.
A talking therapy is for anyone who's going through a bad time or has emotional problems they need help with. For many adults it may be the same – or even more effective than medication.
The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme began in 2008 and has transformed treatment of adult anxiety disorders and depression in England.
Talking therapy services in Lewisham are provided by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). The process of being referred to a talking therapy has been made as easy as possible, in fact you can you can fill in a simple form to refer yourself without needing a GP appointment.
Dr Majid said: "Many people find this time of year difficult. So please don't ever feel alone in feeling unhappy."
Read more about accessing talking therapies.
Read more about the '5 steps to mental wellbeing'.