Do people around you feel somehow different lately? Could be the season.

Seasonal turmoil: 'Gogatsubyo' and relationships

By Hilary Keyes

With all of the possible upheaval and changes that take place in April, you would think that a month that starts with a week of holidays like May would be a kinder, gentler time. But there is something sinister that may strike at any moment in May: the so-called gogatsubyo.

What Is It?

Gogatsubyo (五月病) or “May Sickness” is the term for a Seasonal Affective Disorder-like psychological condition that affects many Japanese people (and directly or indirectly, us foreigners living here) once the flurry of activity in April and the relaxing Golden Week vacation has passed.

Many believe that the number of changes that take place in April, coupled with vacations and then push back into a still-new work or school environment, causes the gogatsubyo in the first place. Sufferers report experiencing insomnia, decreased or increased appetite, restlessness, nervousness or anxiety, mood swings, depression, or a host of other “not quite feeling right” physical symptoms that many doctors will struggle to diagnose. While this may seem like an unusual condition to those new to Japan, after being here for a few years, you will definitely start to notice that there is a difference between how people behave in April and June compared to May.

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

The girl in the photo is cute

0 ( +1 / -1 )

She is. That's a really good pic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Always a bit of a come down after any holiday season but I sympathise with SAD sufferers. Especially when there's always going to be some genius braying at them how it's all in the mind/made up sickness and so on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That LOOOOONG friggin hot humid rainy season and summer is coming soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agree that's a rad shot.

My wife always used to talk up gogatsubyou and I always laughed it off until I worked in HR for 3 years in Osaka and could observe the disintegration of freshmen firsthand. They arrived like fresh-faced daisies in April, to busy orientations, warm welcoming parties, and fun under the cherry blossoms. Friendly senpai took them under their wings, hell, even their bosses handled them with kids' gloves (by Japanese standards). Then came the week after Golden Week and I wanted to hand out a suicide help line cards.

There's a honeymoon phase at new jobs or schools in the West too before the reality sets in, but given the nature of that reality in Japan, the letdown is so much worse. Talk about lives of quiet desperation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Golden Week is on of the causes! Golden Week is far from 'relaxing!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites