January Blues: When should I be worried?

It’s that time of the year again when the joy and exhilaration of Christmas has ended, and reality has finally dawned. And amongst the plethora of advice and motivation to turn a new leaf, become active, healthy and stop smoking (all for the benefit of your long-term health) there also seems to be a growing tendency to be experiencing the “January blues”.

In this article, Qured General Practitioner Dr Hemal Shah tackles the phrase “January blues”: what it is, when it can lead to something that lasts a bit longer, and where you can seek help.

What is January Blues?

January blues isn’t medical terminology but simply put a situational condition to describe the low mood people sometimes feel after the joy and fun of the festive period. Similar to the mood you may feel after returning from holiday. It differs from the medical disorder of seasonal affective disorder, which results in a low mood during the winter months which is perceived to be due to reduced exposure to sunlight.

On this basis, your mood should be picking up in a relatively short time but for some this low mood can persist and lead to further impacts upon your mental health. And if this is the case then we would always advise that you seek further medical help with regards to this.

Who should I go to for advice?

Your first port of call can be your GP who can always give you advice and help you through this tough period. Additionally, you can always contact your local NHS counselling services many of which will accept a self-referral (no need to be referred by your GP) by simply searching the phrase “IAPT (Improving access to Psychological therapies)” and your local area. Many of these services have local websites which offer a range of ways for you to self-refer.

In addition to this, there are a range of charities which offer advice and services which can help you, these include, but are certainly by no means exhaustive, MIND, Relate, Anxiety UK etc. If things become too much and you ever need more urgent help then there is always someone who can help, in these cases you can always present to the Accident & Emergency department or contact 111 for urgent advice.

Here at Qured, we know it is easy to oversee your mental health, especially going about our busy, everyday lives. If you need support, download our app and book an appointment with one of our doctors today.

About the Author

Dr Shah works as a GP within the NHS and private sector. He qualified in 2007 from University College London and has considerable experience within children’s medicine, including 3 years of paediatric specialty training. Meet more of Qured’s practitioners here.