What is Happiness?

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.

[Chinese Proverb]

What is happiness, really? Is it “happy pills?” Mother’s little helper? Is “happiness” the opposite of “depression,” so that an anti-depressant should make one happy? Unfortunately, what anti-depressants do is actually detach one from reality; and the only happiness accrues to pharmaceutical companies who rake in $80 billion a year worldwide for psychiatric drugs.

As is usual with English words, “happiness” has more than one definition: 1) transient pleasure; 2) overcoming not unknowable obstacles toward a known goal; 3) a condition or state of well-being, contentment, pleasure; 4) joyful, cheerful, untroubled existence; 5) the reaction to having nice things happen to one.

Psychiatry, however, redefines happiness as a manic or hypomanic indication (associated with a bipolar diagnosis) which occurs in 14 separate entries in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5.)

Manic: characterized by frenetic activity or wild excitement; excitement of psychotic proportions manifested by mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganization of behavior and elevation of mood.
Hypomanic: A mild form of mania, marked by elation and hyperactivity; a mood state characterized by persistent dis-inhibition and pervasive euphoria.

“Treatment” generally includes psychotropic mood stabilizers, unless the state is a result of drug abuse or drug side effects — in which case the “treatment” may include psychotropic sedatives. All of these psychotropic drugs are addictive, mess up the central nervous system, and can have many disastrous side effects including violence and suicide.

For more information about mood stabilizers such as Lithium, Depakote (sodium valproate), Depakene (sodium valproate), Lamictal (lamotrigine), Lamictin (lamotrigine), Lamogine (lamotrigine); download and read the booklet Mood Stabilizers — the facts about the effects.

One psychologist even overtly proposed happiness as a psychiatric disorder. [From the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health]. One might think this was an April Fool’s joke, except that it was published in June.

Published in the Journal of Medical Ethics – J Med Ethics. 1992 Jun;18(2):94-8
“A proposal to classify happiness as a psychiatric disorder”
Richard P Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool in the UK:

“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.”

We think we can safely say this psychologist’s attitude is a misanthropic manifestation; the DSM-5 might call it “Adult antisocial behavior”, “Antisocial personality disorder”, or maybe just “Unspecified anxiety disorder”.

It is true that a euphoric condition is often associated with certain hallucinogenic drugs. We wouldn’t actually call that “happiness”, however; and the mania associated with many psychiatric drugs is not sustainable.

What would promote happiness is an actual cure for mental distress. The psychiatric industry itself admits it has no capacity to cure. We generally take cure to mean the elimination of some unwanted condition by some effective treatment. The primary purpose of any mental health treatment must be the therapeutic care and treatment of individuals who are suffering emotional disturbance. The only effective measure of this treatment must be “patients recovering and being sent, sane, back into society as productive individuals.” This, we would call a cure.

While it is illegal for FDA-regulated products to make cure claims, there are in fact many non-drug and non-psychiatric alternatives which may prove effective in handling traumatic conditions. The trick is in finding out what is really wrong and fixing that, not just suppressing the central nervous system with drugs so that one does not feel the bad emotions.

Click here for more information about alternatives to fraudulent and abusive psychiatric treatments.

Click here for the truth about psychiatric drugs.

Click here for The Way To Happiness, the first moral code based wholly on common sense, containing twenty-one basic principles that guide one to a better quality of life.

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