x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

I got the post-party blues

Feeling sad, nostalgic and a bit weepy? You may be suffering from PPD - post-party depression.

My illness happens all the time. Sometimes it hits me just after a big night, occasionally after a long weekend and all too often after a week's holiday. A doctor might not be able to precisely diagnose it, but through a highly scientific method of self-diagnosis (randomly tapping symptoms into Google), worry not because I have discovered the nub of the problem.

The plague that I am often struck with, most recently earlier this week, is called post-party depression (PPD). It must be a proper disease because there are websites devoted to it, sort of. These tell you that symptoms of the illness include lying in the dark, listening to Leonard Cohen songs, cleaning the house and cooking too much food for one person to possibly stomach. You feel sad, nostalgic, exhausted and often a bit weepy.

In minor cases, it can be cured with 10 to 12 hours of sleep. In worse cases, it takes a few days to shift, with several early nights and a run of evenings spent lying comatose on a sofa, watching Friends and eating salt and vinegar crisps. After the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, I suffered a particularly vicious bout of PPD. Trouble was, the Grand Prix was something we had all looked forward to for several months, and great expectations are a primary cause of PPD. It was always going to be three days of great, mad, sweaty, noisy fun - watching at the track, dancing at the four gigs on Yas Island and celebrating at frenetic parties afterwards.

My friend Jamie had seven others fly out from the UK for four days, and, like some kind of physicist, he e-mailed us all an itinerary of events before the weekend. Interspersed, with militaristic timing, were lunches, dinners and general merrymaking - Sho Cho, Pearls and Caviar, Vasco's, Etoiles and Amber Lounge were all on there. Water-skiing, boat trips and car simulation expeditions were ambitiously timetabled for the mornings before track time in the afternoons. Just reading it made me feel a bit sick.

Tiredness is another harbinger of PPD, so as we finished every night at 6am, I partly blame Jamie and his itinerary for my most recent bout of the syndrome. The onset started early, in the car on the way back from the Aerosmith gig on Sunday night. But there was still one party to fight through - at Etoiles, for the Brawn and Virgin Galactic do. It was tough going, but the group of us valiantly pushed on, dreading the next day because the morning after is the worst of all for PPD.

"I wish it was four days ago and we could do the whole thing again," I moaned to my friend Emily on Monday morning, squinting in the mirror at my skin where the remnants of last night's eyeliner were soldiering their way down my face. Suffice to say it was touch and go for a couple of days, but I can happily report that my PPD cleared soon after. What's that? Hypochondria, you say?