From the Journal of Medical Ethics comes an article that is very much tongue in cheek about how disorders are classified. A whole other issue in the area of psychiatric classifications is how certain disorders seem to be ‘popular’, i.e. lots of people get diagnosed with a certain classification. From what I am told Bi-polar is all the rage for the last 15 to 20 years. Abstract from the article below.
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.