There's the pursuit of happiness... and then there's the pursuit of categorizing happiness as a psychiatric disorder.

I heard about this the other day:  the proposal to include "happiness" in the long list of mental disorders.  Needless to say, a lot of people are somewhat put off by the suggestion.  Mental disorders are bad things, right?  No one wants to be obsessive compulsive, but everyone wants to be happy.

Fortunately for this doctor (and humanity in general), science is not based on what people simply want.  There is a system for deciding these things.  The biggest factor that helps prove that happiness is a disorder is the simple fact that happiness is not normal.  It's more abnormal than unhappiness.

I shy away from stating simply that I'm a "happy person."  I'd rather just say, "Things are good right now."  I can be content, excited, or laughing my ass off at something, but that does not equal happiness.  The state of happiness is this rarely attainable emotion that, as soon as the thought "I'm happy" enters my head, I panic and know that it's all downhill from there.  Then I'm no longer happy.  I'm anxiously trying to regain the happy and kicking myself for letting something so stupid as my mind interrupt it.

On my moving day over two years ago.  Happy as a clam that David was there to help me move.  Not so happy about the move itself.

Any thoughts on this?  Do you think happiness should be a mental disorder?


  1. I hate to think that happiness is considered a mental disorder, as it is the one thing that makes all my other mental disorders go away. I become happy at the sight of my great grandson, all my grandchildren,my children ( most of them) my favorite niece and nephew, my sister, my husband and the fact that I can get out of bed in the morning and see that I can put one foot in the front of each other and I am still breathing. So if you make happiness a mental disorder I am very very miserable!!!!!

  2. say what?! Happiness as a mental disorder? Fk, you might as well claim the whole human race is insane.

  3. I understand the point, but I do not agree with it. First of all, I believe people have different natural energy settings that are established from the time of birth, and influenced by their upbringing, especially in the first five years. The higher the energy, normally the happier the person. Secondly, the basic type of happiness everyone normally talks about IS indeed a temporary, momentary, and fleeting feeling. But true happiness is within one's soul. It is a deeper and more permanent state of being. An inner peace if you will. Therefore, I cannot agree that happiness is a mental disorder (however, I will not say that unhappiness is necessarily a mental disorder either, but that's another discussion...)