- "Take your Joy!"
- — Many people in Wellington Wells.
The Joy Spiral is a substance abuse disorder mentioned multiple times in We Happy Few that relates to one forgetting about having taken Joy, taking too much Joy and thus overdosing.
When someone ingests Joy, the drug will induce happiness, euphoria, heightened mood and cause hallucinations, making the world appear much more bright, colorful vibrant and happy. As a downside, Joy also causes amnesia (Both retrograde and anterograde), which is the source of the Joy Spiral.
The Joy Spiral manifests itself in the following way: After someone ingests Joy, the Joy-induced amnesia makes them forget that they already took Joy, which causes them to take Joy again, thus making them forget (again) that they took Joy, which inspires them to take even more Joy, which makes them forget that, leading to yet another dose of Joy and so on.
As a result of the above chain reaction, the Joy user runs the risk of overdosing on Joy, which can completely destroy a person's ability to function (as it renders them unable to carry out even simple everyday tasks) and will more or less completely wipe out their memories, making them oblivious to what previously happened, which can perpetuate the Joy abuse.
The authorities of Wellington Wells are very quick to suppress any citizens who raise concern about the Joy Spiral, with Uncle Jack stating in one of his shows (which is broadcast to the whole city) in response to a letter sent by an concerned viewer that there is no such thing as a "Joy Spiral" and reassures everyone that Joy is harmless; even if one were to take too much of it, they would most likely faint and pass out before any serious health problems were to arise, and then wake up later with their memory restored.
In those cases where Wellies have written worried letters to the Executive Committee about their concern of getting caught up in a Joy Spiral, they have received similar responses; with the authorities dismissing their concerns as ungrounded and telling them to take another Joy and forget about the non-existent problem.
The statements provided by the authorities are, of course, far from the truth, but the heavy use of Joy prevents the citizens of Wellington Wells from seeing the truth.