From an article by Monica Cassani (August 2013, Mad in America website):
“I noticed in my wanderings through social media, after the article by Giles Fraser in The Guardian titled Taking Pills for Unhappiness Reinforces the Idea That Being Sad is Not Human, that all sorts of people came out crying ‘foul.’ How dare Giles, they said, minimize the horrors of depression by calling it ‘unhappiness.’ …
Well, perhaps they have point. Maybe he should not have called it ‘unhappiness,’ though for me his argument remains cogent anyway. Depression is one variety of unhappiness in my book. Sometimes it’s really, really severe unhappiness. It can, more aptly, perhaps, be called despair.
“I … do not like the clinical term ‘depression’ because … it takes us away from the very human experience of despair.”
I, in fact, do not like the clinical term ‘depression’ because as Giles suggests it takes us away from the very human experience of despair. Acute mental distress is no less human than unhappiness. In my mind there is no compelling reason to take drugs in most instances of acute despair, either. Despair is generally there for a reason. And if we are given the space to delve into it we can learn a lot from the experience. This, of course, is not welcome news to many who have no interest in doing that …”
Read more here.