Seasonal Affective Disorder: Legitimate illness or hypochondriac’s wet dream?
By Sam Hagan, Staff Reporter
Record snowfalls in 2008 have resulted in a major surge in North America of what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Referring to the depressed emotional state felt by many during winter months, the new term has become the widely accepted nomenclature describing people who are just fucking sick of winter.
Labelled by some cynics as an excuse to be a fat lazy slob, symptoms include fatigue, oversleeping, overeating, weight gain, and an inability to stop watching Fresh Prince of Belair re-runs.
Readers should be reminded of the important distinction between SAD and its lesser-known sister-disorder, Seasonal Affected Disorder. The latter is a common diagnosis for those people who are merely pretending to be affected by the seasons much like a bad actress affecting a British accent on a made-for-TV movie. Commonly diagnosed to whiney hypochondriacs as an inside joke in the medical profession, pharmacists chuckle when they read Seasonal Affected Disorder on prescriptions and generously dole out extra-strength laxatives to unsuspecting patients.
Less common still is SAD’s other oft-mistaken sister-disorder, Seasonal Effecting Disorder, which temporarily bestows upon its sufferers a unique ability to alter the weather to suit his or her particular mood. Patients who have been diagnosed with SED are encouraged to consider getting a real doctor.
SAD and its related “disorders” represent a recent trend that has given rise to a fun cocktail of acronyms that Dr. Seuss (speaking of bogus doctors) would get a kick out of. Included in this happy family are Mood Antagonism Disorder (MAD), the new PC term for “pissed off,” Behavioural Aggression Disorder (BAD), a moniker typically fitting for misbehaved children, and perhaps most severe of all, Fashion Awareness Disorder (FAD), a nasty disease common to people who are afflicted by whatever the cool kids have.
Whereas today doctors treat SAD with medication, ionized-air reception or melatonin injections, back when SAD was commonly known as “gloomy,” it was treated with a slap across the face and a neat Kentucky Bourbon.