Birthday Blues

birthday blues

Birthday Blues Are a Real Thing

I’m a birthday enthusiast; I come from a family of birthday fanatics.

I didn’t know there was such a thing until I had to look it up. I recently celebrated my birthday, and I had an unexpectedly special day. But I was miserable the few days leading up to my birthday. And I could not pinpoint my sadness. I have a melancholic personality and I generally gravitate towards sadness. I’m seldom sad but I like sad music and movies that make me cry, and I feel deeply for another people. But the sadness I was feeling at this time was coming from within but when I looked at my life everything seemed good. I couldn’t think of anything that made me sad, but here I was, constantly on the verge of tears.

I came home after work in a low mood and my partner found me crunched up on the couch. I said “nothing” when he asked what was wrong. He asked again the second time and I said I was tired. I really was tired, but I was also said I couldn’t explain my sadness.

The next morning on my drive to work I did some introspection. I always interrogate the feelings and thoughts I get and want to know the root. I remembered that I felt the same way during my birthday last year. But I remember brushing off my feelings because I was heavily pregnant – I attributed my mood to pregnancy hormones. But I realised it’s the exact same feeling.

As soon as I got to work I googled something along the lines “feeling anxious and depressed just before your birthday” and BOOM! Google had the answer. It’s called Birthday Blues.

The Urban Dictionary defines Birthday Blues as a general sadness or feeling down by a person on or around their birthday.

This was I, obviously but what causes this depression during a time that’s supposed to be happy and joyous?

While there may be many reasons to cause someone to feel down on their birthday, some of the most common reason include:


  • This was the first go-to thought for my reason for feeling down. I just turned 31! Age has never been an issue for me. I was always amongst the youngest in my group of friends and I never looked my age as I grew older. People were always shocked when I mentioned my age. But what I’m faced with now is being surrounded by “youngins”. I now work with 25 year olds and it was just yesterday when I was the 25 year old.


  • Birthdays are a time to take stock of your life and where things are going. If you’re experiencing negative life events, it’s highly likely that you want to zoom in on them on your birthday.
  • I feel okay about my achievements so far. But I woke up to the fact that I’m now in my 30’s and with all I’ve achieved, there’s so much more I still need to and the years are not on my side!


  • Some people use a birthday not only to reflect but also to compare themselves with peers. This comes naturally but it can ruin your day really fast.


  • There’s this unspoken idea surrounding birthdays that they have to big, exciting, epic. And this expectation alone can cause birthday nerves and anxiety. The root cause here may be because you’re worried people will forget it’s your birthday or you don’t have a big group of friends to go out and celebrate with.


  • The fear of your parents dying or you dying and leaving your children. Getting older only means death, right!?

I feel like birthday anxiety came too soon for me, but I feel better after being open and speaking about it with the people around me.

Oh, I ended up having a pretty dope day. As much as I was feeling down, I still managed to make a fuss about it. I spoke through my anxieties and was able to bring myself back to myself.

Have you ever been hit by birthday blues? Could you pinpoint the root of your sadness?




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