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Injecting "Happiness".

Could we perhaps inject "Happiness" into ourselves? I have been reading up on what causes our emotions and the chemicals in our brain that contribute to our sense of happiness. My question or "conversation" is could we do this? I'm not looking for the specific chemicals (which is why I don't name them as it is not the point of the conversation) I just wonder if we could create a product that would replicate the emotion of happiness or cause it. I know that such products exist although i would like to know if they are stronger than the happiness we create ourselves. I believe that oxytocin could be added to a chemical mix to increase it's effects. Maybe even the use of nanotechnology or nano-organisms to scan the brain for one's interest and likes. Example: What taste one prefers and the chemical along with the technology can give the person it's preferred and satisfied sense.... I am open to any chemical suggestions and any ideas that might contribute to this emotion.

Although my main point is to ask what would happen if we did acheive this?
If it worked would he brain repel against it?
Would eternal happiness in the end, destroy our happiness?
Do we need a contrast of emotions?
Does 1 emotion need none at all?
Will the Synthetic happiness be less effective?
Do we want this for humanity?
Will we lose the will to live because the drug does it all for us?
In the end will we be happy?
Can happiness just be made by the chemicals that contribute or do we
need something else?

Would love to hear others thoughts on the matter.

  • Dec 23 2011: I think one short cut to happiness is to elevate the joy level of one or more OTHER people. This can be done on a regular basis starting right now. Any person you encounter may be an opportunity for you to improve their well-being and happiness. Without the intent of elevating your own happiness the result will be that your own happiness will increase. The constant use of positive words and the frequent commission of positive acts causes happiness in others and yourself. It is quite simple. It is a habit you can develop, if that is your intent. Happy Today.
  • Dec 28 2011: Like Beste was saying, if people continuously used them for a long period of time, would we still be able to function without them?

    I think oxytocin amongst other things is partly responsible for sexual arousal, feelings of love and maternal behaviour (I've read).
    If a person takes a little bit of oxytocin every now and then would the brain stop producing as much because it doesn’t need to? What happens when someone stops taking the drug? Will there be an absence of love or maternal behaviour?
    I really have no idea, so that’s just curiosity.

    However I did come across something interesting on Wikipedia: “According to some studies in animals, oxytocin inhibits the development of tolerance to various addictive drugs (opiates, cocaine, alcohol) and reduces withdrawal symptoms.”
    So it could be that the users of the drug you’re talking about won’t end up using more and more because of a tolerance build up.

    But to entertain the thought, what if you didn't sell it, but added a very small dose of this mix of chemicals you talk about to common food products, like they would vitamin C.
    That would truly be happiness in every bite I guess.
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      • Jan 2 2012: Don, Morality does add to the effect of happiness but mainly through the empathy we have for others. I have a question for you. You mentioned before that 8 hugs a day increases your oxytocin. But does 8 hugs a day increase your own happiness? I mean after a while hugs to me seem less and less meaningful. So can you have to much of a good thing?
    • Jan 2 2012: So Sherwin, if we over use this " happiness drug" we will grow a tolerance to it. So could we keep the perfect balance? I think a balance would be possible but for the time we are off the drug life would be pointless. The balance would also replicate the current life we have now, with the balance of emotions except it would be artificially made. The happiness could fact be stronger but it could be out wayed from the continues withdrawal. So we agree that such a drug is possible. But would such a drug still work after 24/7 use? We could test this through drug addicts and so forth.BUT if we did need a balance would it be worth while considering that making choices in life and deciding your own path for happiness and that "roller coaster" of emotion better than the measuring of a drug? I thank you Sherwin.
      • Jan 3 2012: I’m really no expert but I think people that do drugs still get a high no matter how often they do it in a day. So the “happy drug” will most likely work after 24/7 use. The problem they get as you said is the tolerance build up for the drug. So they need to constantly use more to get the same feeling.
        The oxytocin that you considered adding to the drug might be able to help with that. I read that it also helps against the withdrawal.

        Also I think you’d have to look at how long the effect of the drug lasts?
        There might not be a need for you to use it every hour of every day.
        But perhaps I’m thinking about it the wrong way. I’m seeing this as something similar to anti depressants, weed or even cocaine.
        Maybe if you viewed it as something more common, like vitamins etc?
        Picture a centrum (:vitamin brand) bottle, every pill with a dose that slightly increases chemicals in the body that induce the happy feelings, without you actually feeling any distinct change physically or emotionally.
        Just like a little extra vitamin C ensures you don’t get sick I suppose this can ensure you don’t get uncontrollably mad or sad?

        But we’d be comparing anger and sorrow to the flu,.. an illness, while those emotions are just as important and healthy to have around as happiness.
        I can’t think of any examples at the moment, but you learn and “grow” from those emotions.

        You said:
        “The balance would also replicate the current life we have now, with the balance of emotions except it would be artificially made. The happiness could fact be stronger but it could be out wayed from the continues withdrawal”

        If that’s true I’ve got to say we’d be creating an artificial version of what we already have. In fact it sounds a little worse.
        So I’d have to use a rule of thumb on this one: if it aint broke don’t fix it.
        Just ride the “roller coaster of emotions”, could end up being more fun than you think.

        Cool topic by the way and sorry I wrote so much.
        • Jan 3 2012: No problem for the amount of knowledge you spread, I prefer more. So such a drug needs to be tested. Think I relate the drug more towards anti depressants or cocaine like you said. I think looking at it as a vitamin affect would work in early stages but it would take more control over ones life as it progressed. I believe that it would begin to work like the drugs that you mentioned before but without immediate effect. So I think we both agree that unless you are constantly on the drug there is no point for it. And yes there is no point to fix something that is not broken but to me the point of living is happiness and if we can reach the most we possibly can this way why not?

          Thank you so much for your input if I can't find any tests on the tolerance build up or continues use of drugs (I'll probably look on tests about cocaine). Hope we can both find an answer
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    Dec 24 2011: I think even if we achieved a drug like this,the happiness we feel wouldnt be real.....then would we 'really' be happy?
    • Dec 26 2011: That is what I believe too. But the real question is why? When we naturally make happiness the brain goes through the same chemicals so why wouldn't creating and using those chemicals work the same way?
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        Dec 26 2011: I think it wouldnt work the same way because supposing it worked and a drug like that is produced,after a while, if we keep on using this product (which I think most of us would because I think due to the conditions of the modern society,feeling 'empty' thus 'unhappy' has rather become the sickness of the century),we would get addicted to it and feel numb.Therefore the term 'happiness' will lose its meaning because we will no longer experience emotions such as pain and sadness,we will also no longer know what being 'happy' is.
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    Dec 24 2011: The first thing that came to mind when reading this conversation was the fictional drug "soma" in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
    • Dec 30 2011: Same feeling here. What are the drugs like heroin? May be they make one forget themselves and be in a world which is not sad.
      Will the happiness drug solve our problems? When the effect of drug wears off, we are back to our sad selves, may be even sadder. To forget the sadness, we will be addicted to that happiness drug.
      Also, may be if we are always happy and content, we stop striving to be happy. We stop working. And in the end, we may become like any other drug addict.