Friday, May 18

A Proposal to Classify Happiness as a Psychiatric Disorder

Is he suffering from a psychiatric disorder?
Happiness is an emotional state of well-being characterized by pleasant emotions. Something we all strive for. There even is an entire branch of psychology, positive psychology, that is dedicated to increasing human happiness.

One psychologist, Richard Bentall, however, proposed in 1992 that happiness, or, as he proposed it to be called, "major affective disorder, pleasant type", should be classified as a psychiatric disorder.

"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."

You can read more about why Richard Bentall thought that happiness should be classified as a psychiatric disorder here.

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