WASHINGTON, (DC)- Members of the American Psychological Association announced today that the fast food chain Hardee’s has become the first corporation in U.S history to be formally diagnosed with clinical depression. The researchers announced their breakthrough in clinical psychology at a press conference held at the organization’s Washington headquarters.

“In the landmark Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, it was decided that corporations are people too. So it was only a matter of time before one of those corporations came down with a case of depression, or as we in the business like to call it, ‘the big d'”, said Dr. Linda Clark, one of the lead authors.

The researchers explained that this diagnosis had been in the works for some time, going through the rigorous peer review and testing phases before the formal announcement today.  They explained how Hardee’s was chosen, noting that they initially did not single the chain out, but instead arrived at their choice when they realized Hardee’s fit the criteria so well.

“We knew we wanted to try and diagnose a company with depression, but we honestly could not have come up with a better patient than Hardee’s if we tried. Hardee’s exhibits all the textbook symptoms of depression: they find no passion in activities that once brought them joy, quite frankly, they just don’t seem to give a shit about anything”

The researchers emphasized that over all the other corporations they considered, which included boutique pet cremation studios, vacuum cleaner outlets, self-publishing houses, and other fast food chains like Long John Silvers, Hardee’s was still the best example of ongoing complete and utter misery.  

Dr. Arthur Stanton, one of the authors of the formal diagnosis, noted that an especially telling sign of Hardee’s case was the chain’s total indifference to never having a line in their drive-through lane despite their peers having overflowing lines of customers.

“We would ask Hardee’s if it bothered them that every other fast food joint in town had a line and they didn’t, and they would respond by just shrugging it off and would then leave to go take a bath with some wine coolers; disappearing to the bathroom for hours and all we would hear is the same Coldplay song on repeat”, said Dr. Stanton

“I’ve worked with art students and this remains the worst case of clinical depression I have seen”, said another one of the researchers.

Consumers may notice that many other fast food chains have increased the amount of marketing for their fried chicken sandwiches, despite this, Hardee’s has not. The researchers offered this as a signal of Hardee’s depression reaching a new stage of the illness:

“As Hardee’s peers engage in a new common activity, releasing crispy chicken sandwiches, Hardees does not engage and instead pulls away, descending further into their downward spiral. We asked Hardee’s to show us their chicken sandwich, and they begrudgingly threw a prepackaged chicken Caesar, a bun and some loose pickles into a bag and then told us they wanted to be alone so they could scroll through their Facebook albums from 2011 and remember the good times”

In light of their historic diagnosis, members of both the academic community and the public expressed interest in the root causes of Hardee’s depression, to which the researchers offered a few possible explanations, including feelings of inadequacy to peers, and in Hardee’s own words: “the feeling that people don’t think of me. I ask people to list fast food restaurants, and they list like a dozen without naming me, say they’re forgetting one, but then name Carl’s Jr. I’m my own person. I don’t want to live in the shadow of Carl’s Jr.”, the fast food restaurant said as part of an interview for the diagnosis.

Researchers were also asked if the medication plan, which haphazardly switches between multiple prescriptions over a 6-month period including some not typically used for depression, was part of the experimental process too.

“Oh no that’s actually the most normal part of this whole thing, we do that for everyone”, they said.