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Logo of jmedethJournal of Medical EthicsVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
 
J Med Ethics. 1992 June; 18(2): 94–98.
PMCID: PMC1376114

A proposal to classify happiness as a psychiatric disorder.

Abstract

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.

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