Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan

Another state of joyfulness

Another state of joyfulness… To be talkative, energetic, self-confident… To instantly produce solutions to problems. The state where creative power reaches its peak… Great ideas… The ability to simultaneously and rapidly think about more than one issue…

Where one does not give a damn about social norms. To be daring… The art of bravely taking risks! Extraordinary sexual performance… Ability to observe contradictions… Oh, that witty humour… To make others fall about laughing… To know no limits in generosity… To determine fashion itself, from the dress down to the shoes… Is that not a nice state of mind? Did you know that this state which you probably wish for, is called “hypomania” in psychiatry? One “click” further down the line is “mania”… the well known bipolar disorder itself. Don’t say: “No way!” or “Can there be an illness like that?” I can almost hear you wishing that you had it too. What nonsense that a person like that should define himself as ill. I will not philosophise. I won’t say: “What is there to be this joyful about in this cruel fickle world where children are killed without ever having had a chance to eat sweets, where God knows what else is happening. At the end of the day everyone has a right to their own philosophy, and I won’t put a damper on anyone’s mood by saying “anyway, which philosophy is valid for every moment” and by conducting an autopsy on fickleness. I won’t examine the sociological aspect either. Neither will I go in depth into the relationship between social norms and walking in the streets without shoes or clothes. I will proceed by only saying that all these norms are there to make the life of a person or a class easier. I will not mind being stigmatized as a madman etc. For those who are joyful I will wish them greater abundance of joy… Looking from the psychological aspect I’d say: “Nothing arises without a reason. Joyfulness is either a deserved state or maybe a psychological defence!” Who can say anything against that? “What is the harm in it?” “If we call this illness what is left?” – that is what you are thinking, is it not? What about the biology of it? Can we leave it out? It would be a shame; the world of science does not throw people to the ground. It is said that the human sleeps little, eats little, brain chemistry changes… The electrical currents of the neurons increase/decrease. Many more things happen. I will say: “The brain is a plastic organ. It will surely adjust itself to the new situation”. Actually excessive joyfulness usually comes on as a sudden change and sometimes it frightens people. But why should we label it as an illness and cause panic in the person which then triggers a real illness? Why should we offend the joyful souls… You remember the “click” I mentioned above… up to that point we have no objections to any of the arguments. But that “click” is a click of excessiveness… Where your associations break down, the moment when you say “How wonderful I am!” and punch anyone who says that you “have an eyebrow above your eye” (a Turkish saying)… The rest I leave to your common sense…

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