Major Affective Disorder, Pleasant Type

J Med Ethics. 1992 June; 18(2): 94–98. PMCID: PMC1376114 Author: R P Bentall

A proposal to classify happiness as a psychiatric disorder.


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.


Now my world makes sense! Don’t you feel better too, knowing you don’t have a psychiatric disorder? Well, maybe that’s a bit presumptive of me. If you are wondering what it might be like to be clinically happy, try this:

Lavender-Blackberry-Raspberry Truffles

For the ganache

  • 1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted) blackberries
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender (may substitute three 5-inch fresh lavender sprigs; see headnote; optional)
  • 11 1/2 ounces 60 to 65 percent cacao chocolate, coarsely chopped or broken up
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry extract
  • Warm water (optional)

For the coating

  • 1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, a cacao percentage you like, finely chopped in a food processor
For the ganache: Combine the blackberries and sugar in a nonreactive medium saucepan. Let them stand, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release their juice. Place over low heat, stirring and mashing the berries with the spoon. When all of their juices are released and the berries are mushy, increase the heat to medium or medium-high so the mixture boils briskly. Stir in the lavender and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the liquid boils down and thickens somewhat in the pan but does not burn. Remove it from the heat.

Strain the berry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium microwave-safe bowl; press down on the solids to force through as much liquid as possible. Add the chopped chocolate to the bowl, but don’t stir it into the berries. Without stirring, warm the chocolate by microwaving the bowl for 1 minute on 100 percent power.

Rinse and wipe out the saucepan previously used. Bring the cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour a scant half of the cream over the chocolate mixture (no need to measure) and stir until well blended and smooth. Slowly add the remaining cream, stirring vigorously until the mixture is thoroughly blended and smooth. Stir in the raspberry extract. If the mixture looks oily and is stiff, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons of warm water or enough to yield a slightly soft consistency. Don’t worry if the mixture seems too fluid; it will gradually stiffen as it stands at room temperature.

Use nonstick cooking oil spray to grease an 8-inch square pan, then line it with baking parchment or wax paper, allowing it to overhang on two sides. Grease the paper with nonstick cooking oil spray. Turn out the mixture into the pan, shaking the pan to even the layer. Cover it and let it stand at room temperature for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours. Then, refrigerate it until chilled and firm, up to 36 hours if desired.

Lift the ganache slab out onto a cutting board. Cut the slab in quarters and peel off the paper. Working with one quarter at a time, cut the portion into 10 equal portions.

To coat the truffles with chopped chocolate: Put the grated chocolate in a shallow bowl. One at a time, roll the truffle portions between your hands to form a ball, then immediately roll and press each into the chopped chocolate until evenly coated all over. Place in individual paper candy cups or
small decorative presentation boxes.

Refrigerate the truffles for up to a week. Let them warm up slightly before serving.

Recipe Source: From cookbook author Nancy Baggett.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s