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Depression By Day of Week: Peaks on Monday
Does depression vary by weekday? Our data suggest that it does, with a peak on Mondays and diminishing levels as Saturday, the least-depressing day, approaches.
DepressedTest.com has offered an online depression screening test for a number of years, accompanied by overviews of six different types of depression. When we analyze our web server's traffic data, a clear pattern repeats itself week after week. Below is an image showing the number of visitors depressedtest.com received in the month of May, 2010.
Notice that the most web traffic occurs on Monday and occassionally Tuesday. It appears that early in the work week, people are most likely to seek information on depression. Conventional wisdom holds that Monday is the most depressing day because the weekend has ended and most people return to work. Our data reinforces this view.
Saturday is the least-depressing day
On Saturdays, the fewest number of people are seeking information on depression. The number begins to increase on Sunday. After the peak on Monday or Tuesday, we find a clear downward trend. Indeed it appears there is a rather linear relationship between day of week and decline in people seeking information on depression. The decline approaches the bottom as the work week ends, with relatively few people looking up depression on Fridays--the day traditionally viewed as a day to look forward to, signaling the end of the work week.
How reliable is this data?
This is not a scientific study, however because most people find our depression test by looking up depression in a search engine, we can deduce that more people are beset with depression concerns on the peak days seen in the chart above than on the trough days.
In other words, just an interesting observation. Further study might reveal more answers. One peculiar aspect to this data is that we know depression is relatively constant in those suffering from it. Depression does not rise and fall on a weekly basis. A lingering question then is, why do we see the clear fluctuation above? Is it possible that individuals are more accutely aware of their symptoms on Mondays, and more easily distracted from them on Saturdays? Our data does not answer this question.