A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

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default A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by anarkandi on Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:47 am

http://jme.bmj.com/content/18/2/94.full.pdf+html


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 ofa discrete cluster ofsymptoms, is
associated with a range ofcognitive abnonnalities, 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.
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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by unicorn13 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:07 am

Oh my gosh I thought this was a spoof at first and I had a laughing scoff when I saw the quote you posted... Then I saw it was real and I read a bit more of the article and hmmm... interesting...

A couple of things...
- Totally fascinating that they identified happiness as abnormal and also that the focus on happiness in psychology as a major thing has only been fairly recent as far as I was taught, i.e. there was a huge rise in self-help, how to be happy books based (sometimes loosely) on psychological research/concepts. So one might say the desire to be happy is only a recent phenomenon.
- Positive psychology has kind of taken the approach outlined in the article (as far as it can without identifying it formally as a disease as such) where it identifies happiness as abnormal and it looks at high achievers, outliers, what it takes to be super happy for example and it's the one area of psychology that had I still been in this field would have happily gone into... I did a tele-course on it a few years back via University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment:
http://www.amazon.com/Happier-Learn-Secrets-Lasting-Fulfillment/dp/0071492399 In fact, just as an aside, positive psychology combined with the non-violent communication research offers much (my feeling is) to the peace area you're looking into... Not sure whether the two areas collaborate much on research/articles but they should Smile
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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by unicorn13 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:13 am

Haha, so funny... bizarro world... Just saw your post in the obsession thread re: positive psychology... and you were typing about the same thing!

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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by anarkandi on Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:52 am

unicorn13 wrote: In fact, just as an aside, positive psychology combined with the non-violent communication research offers much (my feeling is) to the peace area you're looking into... Not sure whether the two areas collaborate much on research/articles but they should Smile

I really hope so. I really hope I'll be able to gain both a deeper understanding on how to make the world better for people on a small level, understand the key mechanics behind happiness, violence and similar, and be able to apply them on a general, global level too, to analyse the world and our conflicts and similar and be able to propose solutions for them.

I worry it's too impossible to get there, that I need to pick one and shut down the other, but I really can't, no matter what, and the psychologist Steven Pinker and similar people have really revolutionised the peace and conflict research, so hopefully I can do something there too,

You've got so much knowledge on your hands, really interesting. Smile Glad to read your posts.
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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by melodiccolor on Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:29 pm

I sincerely hope that proposal is never adopted. I mean can you just see it? Being medicated for being happy, sad, upset, anxious or having any emotions at all. At this rate all emotions will be seen as affective disorders, What a sham.

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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by Nucky on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:09 pm

What Mel said.

Also, I have very seldom if ever heard anyone say "I'm too happy."

On the top, it says the proposal is from 1992.

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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by wstein on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:17 pm

Being stuck in any one emotion is a disorder in my book.
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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by unicorn13 on Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:07 am

anarkandi wrote:
I really hope so. I really hope I'll be able to gain both a deeper understanding on how to make the world better for people on a small level, understand the key mechanics behind happiness, violence and similar, and be able to apply them on a general, global level too, to analyse the world and our conflicts and similar and be able to propose solutions for them.

I worry it's too impossible to get there, that I need to pick one and shut down the other, but I really can't, no matter what, and the psychologist Steven Pinker and similar people have really revolutionised the peace and conflict research, so hopefully I can do something there too,

You've got so much knowledge on your hands, really interesting. Smile Glad to read your posts.

Thanks so much!! - very happy to share Smile

There's a few extra things that I wonder if you've looked into that may assist as it can get quite mind-imploding (perhaps in a good way sometimes Wink!) - you're traversing a lot there with the topics you're posting Wink

I agree, you don't need to pick one and shut down the other... Though, perhaps like me, there's coming to a place of peace with a way forward... It feels like I'm closing in on something, not sure if you feel this way too at your end...

I only read Pinker as part of a Learning & Cognition course at uni and his work was focused on extensively but the lecturer left more of an impression on me than Pinker's work as he was able to convey the ideas in a way I could absorb them easily... This was sometime ago, so it sounds like he's been doing amazing things...

Here's the things you may/may not have come across (I like clustering things from all sorts of areas, going hmm, that relates, that might help, that's cool, that's good too, so they're perhaps a little random):

- Meditation as a way to bring peace to societies, i.e. it reduces crime rates when people meditate: http://www.dubrovnik-peace-project.org/sci/maharishi_effect.htm (I didn't watch the whole of the Psi documentary you posted, but this may have been included in there)

- Trauma release exercises for the emotional scars of violence on the body for prevention and treatment and facilitator of inner and outer peace. This is one example as I believe there are more methods, but he developed the technique after spending a lot of time in war torn unstable zones and uses it with people who've been in war. I've tried the exercises and was amazed at how much I 'shook' out so to speak: http://traumaprevention.com/2009/07/19/founder-ceo-david-berceli/

- This last one, I have to type carefully because it's the one I'm still integrating, coming to terms with, settling in with... So bare with me... You may have come across terms or phrases like everything's in divine perfection, there's nothing wrong, the world is a self-balancing/self-healing system and the world is currently going through a massive upliftment and everything, everything is coming to the surface to be cleared out... Well, my most recent teacher I've been following the work of (William Linville) describes how everything that is not of love is coming up to collapse, coming up to collapse, coming up to collapse and dissolve on every level to come back to neutrality/balance and a place of love... That's every level, so emotional, spiritual, physical, earthly, multi-dimensional etc. etc. etc. and this is all happening NATURALLY... Soooo (and I've heard this before from other folks but it's never made sense to me or jibed with me), if we go in to try and fix something because it's wrong, or change something because we've judged it or meddle with the natural flow, we're actually more than likely inhibiting the process of it naturally coming back to love... If we ask a different question, how can I assist, it has a different energy and it's asking to be an instrument to facilitate the natural process... On a personal level, I can happily say, yes, when I clear things, most definitely when I've asked, what's collapsing/dying off and I get the answer, then go ok (no judgement), the thoughts/emotions/energies collapse and die off much faster than if I resist them, analyze them, get the mind involved, get more emotion involved etc. etc. (but am still (re)mastering this)... So in terms of implications for all the environmental activity and activities to help and assist there or campaigns for peace/poverty/equality etc. etc.... Well if the activity is coming from a space of assisting and love rather than fixing the wrongs, then it's assisting... So for me, stepping back and being able to see that everything is indeed collapsing and asking deep down how can I assist in this process to help things collapse and a new energy arise is the core question I'm asking myself... Because it's all happening anyway, apparently!... (it's a hard one for me to swallow, because I want to help, get involved etc., so I'm still in progress with this, but I understand it from personal experience and logic so now it's about taking it to the next level of understanding it from a worldly/universe perspective and when I'm out in public etc.). I don't have an easy link or reference to refer this idea to but perhaps you've come across similar... There's a lot of space to respond to the above idea in terms of what if's/buts/no's/that's not how it works and I've grappled with this but after trying it personally on myself, I see it works there and am open to it integrating further Smile

Follow up note. I've been redrafting my last paragraph and after I inserted this sentence, 'asking to be an instrument to facilitate the natural process', that was what my entire paragraph was about... And it was a very helpful sentence for me to type... Though I feel no more edits are required... so am posting Smile

Will now go and ask this question and see what happens sunny flower
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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by unicorn13 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:45 am

unicorn13 wrote:
There's a lot of space to respond to the above idea in terms of what if's/buts/no's/that's not how it works and I've grappled with this but after trying it personally on myself, I see it works there and am open to it integrating further Smile

Following on from this comment I made I've done some further thought about one particular area, in the area of causes for humanity. Clearly if you adopt the above idea, it might appear as though one has stepped back completely and allowed nature to take it's course without any action at all and I've come a little bit further along with this to allow this not to be the case...

So, say you have someone working on a cause for humanity they are doing it because they feel they must, it's their calling, they want to make a difference, they want to help, they want to change the world, they want to make the world a better place and they're doing it from love for humanity/all life/earth. This fits into the above view because at the level they're at they are making a difference, they are changing the world... and they can and may be oblivious to what's going on at a macro level, where things are naturally shifting and collapsing and they're facilitating and are a part of this natural process.

I haven't been able to reconcile this or put this view into perspective because I see a lot of activism coming from aggression (and feel this way myself when I see injustice where I get angry etc.) so this is planting a seed for me of how the same actions can take place, just with a basis of love rather than aggression or wanting to fix things/right the wrongs etc.

I still have some way to go on this but thought I'd add this addendum to ponder, I oscillate between how the micro fits into the macro a lot so typing about this is quite tricky (phew, did it!) Smile
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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by Reamsie on Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:51 am

melodiccolor wrote:I sincerely hope that proposal is never adopted. I mean can you just see it? Being medicated for being happy, sad, upset, anxious or having any emotions at all. At this rate all emotions will be seen as affective disorders, What a sham.

Your comment reminded me of the movie Equilibrium, where society is medicated so that no one has emotions.

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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by rombomb on Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:27 am

anarkandi wrote:http://jme.bmj.com/content/18/2/94.full.pdf+html


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 ofa discrete cluster ofsymptoms, is
associated with a range ofcognitive abnonnalities, 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.

Nonsense!

Note how they say "probably reflects". What the fuck does that mean? This is not science. Its mysticism!

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default Re: A proposal to classify happiness as a disorder

Post by rombomb on Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:46 pm

anarkandi wrote:http://jme.bmj.com/content/18/2/94.full.pdf+html


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 ofa discrete cluster ofsymptoms, is
associated with a range ofcognitive abnonnalities, 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.

BTW, this was a parody, not a serious article. Or more precisely, it's an argument, in the form of a satire, against the prevailing method of classification of conditions as psychiatric disorders.


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