Symptoms can range from a vague sense of uneasiness to full blown panic attacks. The condition? “Sunday neurosis,” increasingly known by the more casual term “Sunday night blues.” The former term was coined by Austrian psychotherapist Victor Frankl in 1946, suggesting this problem is far from new. The names may vary, but all of them describe the negative feelings – including anxiety, dread or plain sadness – that can accompany the knowledge that you’ll return to a difficult or stressful job on Monday.
The Sunday night blues have probably existed in some form since the start of the five-day workweek, which became institutionalized in the U.S. in 1926, after Henry Ford began shutting down his automotive factories on Saturday and Sunday. Now, science is confirming the phenomenon. In a November, 2009 paper, German and Swedish researchers said surveys of 12,000 individuals confirmed that Sundays are the least happy day for most people, while Fridays are the happiest.