Some live it extremely well, others dread it enormously. Birthdays can sometimes be experienced as a real nightmare, a phenomenon called “Birthday blues”.
No party, cake or gifts. For some, birthdays are synonymous with depression and sadness, so much so that they can commit irreparable acts. This phenomenon, often considered a myth, is very real and could make victims suicidal, especially during major life stages, such as the transition to 40s and 50s, according to Asian scientists.
As proof, the Daily Mail reported the case of a man who, on each birthday from the age of fifty, tried to end his life. This automotive engineer, forced to retire due to an incurable back problem, found himself with little interest and developed depression. It was from this moment that his mental state plummeted. Treated at the Cheng Kung National University Hospital, he never ceased to affirm his wish to die on his birthday.
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“He fell to the bottom”
His 58th birthday is also engraved in the memory of the doctors in his charge. “He fell to rock bottom. He lay curled up in bed shivering, refusing to meet or talk to anyone.“, they recounted while explaining that his behavior had improved significantly the next day. He would even have thanked the staff for having him “recovered from the gates of death”. In an attempt to get his thoughts in order, the man received cognitive behavioral therapy, medication and participated in music and movement “appreciation sessions”.
The concept of “Birthday blues” is very common and can be linked to the fear of getting old. In this specific case, being 60 years old in one’s culture had the cultural meaning of “completeness”. But as scientists point out, “any date of personal or social significance” could be a risk factor for suicidal ideation. Autism-like traits could also contribute to feelings of birthday blues.
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