Every fall, I start to feel miserable and don’t feel better until the spring. I get depressed, exhausted, antisocial, grumpy, and my life generally turns to garbage. Someone somewhere finally officially recognized this phenomenon a few years ago as something legitimate that happens to many people and named it Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “S.A.D.”
“Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Are you feeling a little SAD? Oopsie-whoopsie!”
You know what? FUCK YOU GUYS. This is a serious problem that makes a bunch of people feel really fucking horrible for months on end every year, and you name it SAD? Could you be any more condescending and insulting? Do you ever wonder why there are so many suicides this time of year? SAD!? Are you fucking kidding me?
I hope I can discover a new, particularly deadly form of cancer so that I can name it “O.U.C.H.I.E.”
Depression would be an extreme manifestation of SAD. SAD covers a spectrum of undesirable changes in affect. A person may suffer from SAD to the point where treatment is desireable without meeting the criteria for a diagnosis for depression.
But people with Seasonal Affective Disorder DO get sad? I think Sad is both accurate AND precise. I’m sorry if you think the word SAD isn’t emphatic enough to describe your depression, but depression is just deep sadness.
The word “affect” has a specific meaning in psychology. While some people use the name “manic depression”, the proper name is “bipolar affective disorder”. The DSM lists the symptoms of “flat affect” for several disorders. Last time I checked “mood” was not a recognized term in the field of psychology.
Many terms in psychology and pychiatry are turned into initialisms. Why say attention deficit hyperactivy disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder when you can just say ADHD and OCD?
No, depression is not just deep sadness. Depression (or, more properly, Major Depressive Disorder) is a pathological condition in which one of the symptoms is sad mood, but it is not “just” sadness, deep or otherwise. To be diagnosed with MDD, the person has to have sad mood or lack of enjoyment/interest in usual activities for at least two weeks. They must also have 5 of the following: appetite or weight change, insomnia or hypersomnia, fatigue, thoughts of death or suicide, persistent feelings of disproportionate guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, or low self-esteem, psychomotor agitation or retardation, and difficulty concentrating or making decisions.