From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Pharmacology (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Pharmacology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Pharmacology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Psychology (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Psychology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Psychology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Medicine (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Medicine, which recommends that medicine-related articles follow the Manual of Style for medicine-related articles and that biomedical information in any article use high-quality medical sources. Please visit the project page for details or ask questions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.


"great (usually exaggerated) elation" Is this meant to imply that people usually exaggerate, even when nobody's around? That they aren't as elated as they seem? Why? Euphoria is a feeling, isn't it? How can one exaggerate something purely internal? Does the exaggeration make the feeling more or less intense, and why? It sounds like utterly incomprehensible nonsense to me. Unfree (talk) 03:17, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

I too think that the use of the word "exaggerated" could be made clearer. Exaggerated in what way? If you mean that drug-induced euphoria is more intense than euphoria achieved through more "natural" means (e.g. winning a race) then that should be made clear. As it is now it would be easy to confuse the intended meaning. (talk) 08:30, 29 May 2011 (UTC)


Why "medically recognized"? Why is "medically" a link, redirected to "medicine"? Is euphoria unknown outside the field of medicine? More nonsense? Unfree (talk) 03:21, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Use in definition[edit]

"the term is often colloquially used to define emotion as an intense state of transcendent happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of wellbeing" How preposterous! How often, in colloquial speech, do we attempt to define "emotion"? Never! If one ever attempted to do such a thing, wouldn't it depend on the sentence we used "euphoria" in? How can one be "overwhelmed" by a sense of being well? What does happiness transcend? Since when does "emotion" have any such definition? Gosh, this gobbledygook is driving me nuts! Unfree (talk) 03:34, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Unfree, you do not seem to understand the Wikipedia Talkpage guidelines. Are you really trying to bring clarity to the subject, or just venting? This works for me: "the term is often colloquially used to give verbal expression to an emotion which is experienced as an intense state of transcendent happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of wellbeing" Yes, Unfree, no one is trying to "define emotion". It is clear in the context that someone is trying to give verbal expression to an emotion that they are experiencing. I have been "overwhelmed" many times in my life, sometimes by sadness, but often by euphoria. The sense of overwhelm means that the experience is inexplicable, often uncontrollable, and beyond comprehension. This feeling can be expressed in various ways such a person experiencing euphoria saying that they "felt oneness with god and all life". This is what is meant by "transcendent". It means that the experience transcends common human comprehension, and is beyond the normal experience of "happiness". This is not meant to be the definition of "emotion", but rather the experience of one type of emotion, commonly referred to as "euphoria". This might seem like gobbledygook to the naive or inexperienced. (talk) 19:03, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Actual meaning[edit]

Thanks to the link to the Online Etymological Dictionary at the bottom of the page, I found a more reasonable meaning for "euphoria":

1727, a physician's term for "condition of feeling healthy and comfortable (especially when sick)," from Gk. euphoria "power of bearing easily, fertility," from euphoros, lit. "bearing well," from eu- "well" + pherein "to carry" (see infer). Non-technical use, now the main one, dates to 1882.

That's more like it. Incidentally, from my Greek-English dictionary (not under "euphoria", which doesn't appear at all there, but under "euphoros"), I found "borne well", indicating that "bearing easily" above doesn't refer to childbearing, but rather to the more general sense of "enduring", "suffering" (in the old sense), or "holding up under". I don't have an ordinary dictionary at hand, but I understand the word to be used nowadays not only to mean "feeling healthy, especially when sick", but "feeling happy, marvelous, great, fantastic", and not meant to imply any sort of mental or psychiatric pathology at all. I feel sorry for anybody who, when experiencing a state of euphoria, considers it a pathological condition and rings up emergency services. Unfree (talk) 04:09, 12 March 2010 (UTC)


"Euphoria is generally considered to be exaggerated, resulting from an abnormal psychological state ... not typically achieved during the normal course of human experience. However, some natural behaviors, such as activities resulting in orgasm or the triumph of an athlete, can induce brief states of euphoria." I see. The article tells us that when a swimmer wins a race, he may experience an "abnormal" (pathological?) "state" "not typically achieved during the normal course of human experience". Having won many, many such races myself, I don't know whether I ought to display my medals under bright lights or to hide them, to exaggerate or to underplay them. (Perhaps my experience is super- or subhuman.) Will Wikipedia *please* take a stand on my dilemma, and generally consider it to be exaggerated? Unfree (talk) 04:25, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Could Gaming be mentioned as another source of Euphoria, I know personally that I've achieved a state that I would consider Euphoria (similar to orgasm or a state achieved through psychoactive drugs) when achieving victory in certain games in similar situations to athletic victory. Applepwnz 06:15, 24 November 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Applepwnz (talkcontribs)


"Euphoria has also been cited during certain religious or spiritual rituals and meditation." I doubt the source will support that statement, being familiar with meditation (and "certain religious and spiritual rituals") myself. When I'm meditating, I have more pressing concerns than to go about uttering citations to anything, much less to words devoid of contexts. Where in the Latin Mass does the expletive "Euphoria!" creep in? In the Dies Irae? Unfree (talk) 04:37, 12 March 2010 (UTC)


Following that psychiatric gateway link, I discovered that the page uses the word to introduce "affect":

"Common affects are euphoria, anger, and sadness."

Further down the page, it suggests that it isn't so normal. Strange. Surely they must have cures for all common affects. Unfree (talk) 04:48, 12 March 2010 (UTC

I thought it was a good article. It had a few words I needed to look at to make sure I was understanding the meaning. It has lots of different references I could check out. It also gave a few different ways euphoria can be achieved. I'm sure the article could have videos and charts and other things to make it even more informative, but it does tell you the basics. Stabers (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2011 (UTC)


Succeeding the obvious fact that euphoria occurs within someone, the biological processes associated with euphoria should be expanded upon. Neuroscientific research should be included in this article. Arossomanno (talk) 20:31, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

This seems like it would be a good addition to the article. --MTHarden (talk) 15:07, 28 June 2011 (UTC)


Through meditative or spiritual processes, the practices of attaining this state should be recognized as well as those who attempt or succeed in attaining it. What they have done, how they have done it, etc. Arossomanno (talk) 20:31, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

You'd have to be careful with how you add this to ensure an encyclopedic quality. --MTHarden (talk) 15:07, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Relevant Research[edit]

^ a b Deshmukh, Vinod (16). "Neuroscience of Meditation". TSW Holistic Health & Medicine 1: 285. doi:10.1100/tswhhm.2006.244. Retrieved 27 July 2011. ^ Hockenbury, Don, Sandra (2011). Discovering Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers. pp. 54. ISBN 978-1-4292-1650-0. ^ Boecker, Henning; , Sprenger, Spilker, Henriksen, Koppenhoefer, Wagner, Valet, Berthele, Tolle (21). "The Runner's High: Opioidergic Mechanisms in the Human Brain". Oxford Journals 18 (11): 2523-2531. Retrieved 27 July 2011. ^ Jasinski, DR; Nutt, Haertzen, Griffith, Bunney (11). "Lithium: effects on subjective functioning and morphine-induced euphoria". Sciencemag 195: 582-584. doi:10.1126/science.319532. Retrieved 27 July 2011.

Arossomanno (talk) 03:54, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Passion Flower listed as a euphoric?[edit]

"Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) is widely used as a sedative that has calming effects on the nervous system and acts as a sleep aid. One harmala alkaloid present in this herb in the form of harmine is thought to induce meditative and euphoric effects.[13]" Passion Flower listed as a euphoric? I seriously doubt a medical reference would list it as such. Even the statement refers to it as calming (anxiolytic) and sleep aid (sedating), neither are directly euphoric (psychoactive tied to the pleasure system of the human body, commonly dopamine releasers). The Harmine page ( makes no mention of the term euphoria. (talk) 08:21, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Abuse, addiction, and dependence[edit]

The article states:

Some euphoriants are notorious for their problems with abuse, addiction, or dependence; most euphoriants possess reinforcing effects through their activity in the reward system of the brain.

This statement, IMHO, does not do justice to euphoriants. To understand why, let's address each of the three issues:

  • Dependence, like for coffee, for all practical intents and purposes, is a non-issue. It is by never a problem in itself.
  • Addiction is more a feature of the individual than it is a feature of the substance. Some individuals, in the context of their medical, social and environmental conditions, are much more predisposed to particular addictions than others. From this perspective, addiction is best viewed as an adaptation. In other words, like dependence, addiction is a feature, not a bug. Reinforcing effects driving addictions simply don't happen to everyone. No matter the substance, the reinforcement is conditional.
  • Abuse is something that next to no one who is not suicidal will choose to do intentionally if have foreknowledge of what to expect from the administration of a particular substance or interaction. It occurs, in effect, due to a knowledge gap. The gap can come to exist if a substance of an unknown concentration or unsafe dose is used, or if substances are used without an understanding of their interactions over time, idiosyncratic or not as such interactions might be.

I can only hope that someone will rewrite the quoted statement to describe euphoriants more neutrally, and perhaps look beyond presenting them as "notorious". --IO Device (talk) 07:38, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

I probably should have rewritten the whole lead instead of kept some sentences when I went through it... Abuse is just a cultural term as opposed to a medical one, so that should definitely be cut. Dependence technically isn't that notable of an issue in certain types of euphoriants (e.g., addictive stimulants), so I agree. The one thing that virtually all euphoriants have in common is that they're addictive (or satisfy the definition of that term: being both rewarding and [positively] reinforcing).
That said, I've edited the page per your request and revised the statement. Seppi333 (Insert  | Maintained) 07:55, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Removal of unsourced info[edit]

Much missing information about euphoriants was added by Unfortunately, the added information was not sourced, and was therefore difficult to verify. For this reason, the edit had been reverted. Perhaps some of it can be re-added but with sources. The purpose of this post is to help preserve a better memory of the edit. --IO Device (talk) 03:31, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm not as familiar with barbiturate pharmacodynamics as I am with that of benzodiazepines, but I know benzos aren't really rewarding/addictive and therefore wouldn't be a class of euphoric drugs. I know they're both GABAergics which produce similar forms of psychoactive effects though, so I doubt barbiturate would be a euphoric drug class either. They're both likely to induce dependence syndromes, but that's not a necessary characteristic of euphoriants. Individual cholinergic drugs may be euphoriants (e.g., nicotine), but not the class as a whole. I agree that, as you noted, referencing for each drug would be necessary in that case. Seppi333 (Insert ) 04:14, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Benzodiazepines and other GABAergics[edit]

Many GABA-ergic drugs, including phenazepam (and generally almost all benzodiazepines), phenibut, baclofen, pregabalin may induce "uplifting" and euphoric feel by unknown mechanism, and these medications are often abused as some kind of "recreational drugs".

Sources are in Wikipedia on each drug mentioned above. I think this information ca be added to Euphoria article (talk) 10:05, 16 June 2015 (UTC) Max-Msk