Some Words Are Meaningless

Here’s what a friend of mine (familiar with my writing) said to another friend when told by a therapist that her cheating husband is “depressed.”

Note that when a therapist uses the word “depressed,” it’s most often code for: “I can’t figure out what’s wrong here, if anything, so I’m just going to use this arbitrary word to make it look like I know what I’m talking about and that you’re not wasting your money. I sure hope you don’t ask me to explain it, because I will look like a deer in the headlights.”

I like this comment! The word “depressed” is so overused, under the guise of something medical or meaningful, that is has become one of the most meaningless words in the English language. The rest of the psychiatric lexicon follows closely behind.