Why Wednesday? Job stress! But wasn’t it supposed to be Monday blues?
If you go by popular songs, it is Monday that is the most depressing. The lyricists got it all wrong, says a recent study. It is Wednesday that is the darkest day!
People are most likely to kill themselves in the middle of the week, not the beginning and not the end. The study reveals that about 25% of suicides occur on Wednesdays, which is the highest, and 14% on Mondays or Saturdays, which is the second highest suicide rate. If you make it through Wednesday, good news! You have a better chance of survival, as Thursdays have the least number of suicides with the rate being only 11%, and you may not want to go through with the suicide.
According to professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, Augustine Kposowa, until now we have always pointed a finger at Mondays. He says, “Everyone talks about the Monday blues. But if you look at more recent data, it looks like things have shifted and now it’s the middle of the week that’s the problem.”
Researchers are not sure why it is Wednesdays. But they do indicate that the spike of suicides in the middle of the week may suggest job stress. Kposowa said, “People may be fed up and stressed by their jobs by the middle of the week. By Wednesday, the traffic has gotten to be too much, their co-workers are getting on their nerves and they can’t figure out how they’re going to make it to the end of the week.”
After examining data on people over 18 years of age for a period of five years, between 2000 and 2004 from all the 50 states, it was seen that there were about 30,000 suicides per year. An interesting fact that caught their attention was a change in suicide data. Previous studies showed that there usually is an increase in suicide rate in winter and spring, but the new data shows that there is no seasonal affect on suicides. In summer it showed 26% and in winter it is 23.8%, and the difference is not really significant.
Researchers feel the reason for the lack of seasonal influence on suicides these days could be due to the higher connectedness that people feel today. With the advent of the internet and cellphones, loneliness is a thing of the past. People are able to interact with friends and family at any time of the day or night and feel less isolated. If they are depressed, they can just go ahead and talk to someone online and feel better. Earlier, before these advances in technology took place, winters were considered to be depressing and lonely.
A psychiatrist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Alan Manevitz feels, “It goes against a lot of what we take as lore. We think about the classic problems people have on Sunday nights thinking about going back to school or work, and the winter blues, especially in people with Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
The reason this study is being given a lot of weight by researchers and related experts is because it studied the whole country over five years. However, researchers do caution against reading too much into the “Wednesday affect.” According to a research assistant professor, “While it’s tempting to conclude that people choose Wednesday because it’s the most stressful day, you have to remember that many suicides are premeditated and they don’t necessarily occur as a result of the events on the day.” However, it is possible that a stressful day can push someone to go through with their already planned suicide.
Whatever the reason for Wednesday being considered the darkest day of the week, the new studies reveal facts as they happened over those five years. Just remember, life is not for throwing it away on a Wednesday, it is all about watching a thousand Wednesdays pass you by.
If it is really the stress of the job that is getting to you, take heart and believe that things are going to fall into place sooner or later, but only if you do not give up.