Omni Brain

Only crazy people are happy

This guy has a very good point:

J Med Ethics. 1992 Jun;18(2):94-8.
A proposal to classify happiness as a psychiatric disorder.

Bentall RP.

Department of Clinical Psychology, Liverpool University.

It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains–that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant.

PMID: 1619629

Somehow I highly doubt he’s going to get much traction on this…
Although these people *do* seem batshit crazy to me.


  1. #1 notedscholar
    November 30, 2010

    While I agree with you that 5 out of every 9 happy people are female, I’m not sure I agree with this addition to the DSM.

    For one thing, it would just add on to bad advice given by scientists, which I have recently documented in the case of studies suggesting that alcohol cures disease.

    So in this case, consider the logic:

    (1) Disorders are to be avoided
    (2) Happiness is a disorder

    The natural conclusion is: Avoid happiness! But surely that is bad advice to our youth, who already live in an age of angst.

    I get that the “pleasant” term is supposed to mitigate, but really? To be a disorder something has to be somehow distressing in a person’s life!


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