The obsessive pursuit of health and happinessBMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7276.1576 (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1576
- David Greaves, senior lecturer in medical humanities
- School of Health Science, Centre for Philosophy and Health Care, University of Wales, Swansea SA2 8PP
Manic depression is part of my life, and as I have suffered both the agony of manic episodes and the despair of depressive ones, the thought of obtaining lasting happiness has a recurring appeal. Yet deep down I know this appeal to be false.
Richard Bentall once proposed that happiness be classified as a mental disorder,1 but only as a device to parody psychiatric orthodoxy, and so did not intend it to be taken literally. He may have stumbled unwittingly, …