Why happiness is actually a psychological disorder

Illustration for article titled Why happiness is actually a psychological disorder

Happiness is supposed to be a good thing, particularly when we're talking about the science of the mind. But at least one psychologist took a long, hard look at happiness and realized the grim truth: happiness is a psychiatric disorder.


We're guessing this is going to remain a minority view - indeed, there's an entire subfield of psychology that's essentially dedicated to increasing human happiness - but one must admit there's a certain logic to the argument. Here's why happiness, or, as it should more properly be called, "major affective disorder, pleasant type", is 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."


Emotional judgments are irrelevant, eh? I think we've officially identified the spot when psychologists started turning into Cybermen. Somehow I always knew they'd be the first to go.


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If you take the technical definition that disorder is just an abnormality of function ([medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com] and assume that most people are not happy therefore happy people are the abnormality, then yes.

of course, that definition does not include a negative context to the word "disorder" and in this case, the disorder would be a good thing. Most genius's probably have a brain disorder too but few people would advocate treating people to cure "genius"