Euphoria (emotion)

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

A very happy child.


Euphoria is medically recognized as an emotional and mental state defined as a sense of great (usually exaggerated) elation and well-being. Technically, euphoria is an affect,[1] but the term is often colloquially used to define emotion as an intense,happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of well-being. The word derives from Greek Template:Polytonic, "power of enduring easily, fertility".[2][3] Euphoria is generally considered to be an exaggerated state, resulting from psychological or pharmacological stressors and not typically achieved during the normal course of human experience, although some natural behaviors, such as activities resulting in orgasm or the winning triumph of an athlete, can induce brief states of euphoria.[1] Euphoria also has spiritual meanings in many belief systems, often being claimed to be a type of connection with some deity. Euphoric experiences from illicit drug use are short-lived and often followed by dysphoria which can be severe. Subsequent dysphoria or the "comedown (drugs)|comedown" can also be much longer in duration than the drug induced euphoria, especially after regular or long term use of certain drugs.[4] On a neurological level, psychoactive drugs that induce states of euphoria typically due so by acting on dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin neurotransmitters and opioid receptors in the brain. The NMDA and CB1 receptors have also been identified as causing euphoria via the mechanism of action induced by nitrous oxide and marijuana use, respectively.



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Key DSM-IV Mental Status Exam Phrases". Gateway Psychiatric Services. 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
  2. Euphoria, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, at Perseus
  3. Online Etymology Dictionary
  4. Leonard Handelsman a; Marvin J. Aronson b; Robert Ness a; Kenneth J. Cochrane a; Philip D. Kanof M.D., Ph.D. ab (3 September 1992). "The Dysphoria of Heroin Addiction". The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Retrieved 22 January 2009.


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