The fear of happiness, or Cherophobia, is when a person has an irrational aversion to happiness. Are you afraid of happiness?
Happiness is something that you would think a lot of people experience. But there are a few out there who feel a sense of anxiety creeping up on them when they're experiencing happiness. People sometimes actively avoid happiness because it causes them distress.
Why do people fear happiness?
The fear of happiness, or Cherophobia, is when a person has an irrational aversion to happiness. A person who suffers from Cherophobia is terrified of any joyous moment in their lives. They even go as far as to avoid any events or activities that would bring them happiness.
A report published by Psychology Today explores the reasons behind this irrational fear. Experts suggest that a pattern of happy moments followed by sad times causes an aversion to anything that could bring the person any kind of happiness.
The report also says that people who have depression often develop an aversion towards any activity that would bring them happiness. This could also lend towards Cherophobia. This constant reinforcement can increase feelings of disappointment or future let-downs.
Who can suffer from Cherophobia?
Many cases of Cherophobia can stem from a recurring pattern of happy times followed by sad times. People who develop Cherophobia fear any kind of activities or events that could bring them happiness, as they fear that bad times will follow. This could stem from a childhood event that was traumatic or emotional.
Some people with introvert tendencies could also suffer from Cherophobia. They generally spend time with themselves and avoid social interaction to avoid any kind of blunder. This social aversion could cause some introverts to experience Cherophobia.
People who have a nack of being perfectionists also can develop an anxiety towards happiness. When a perfectionist sees that things are not up to their expectations or they aren't really going the way they intended them to, it can cause some stress, leading to the makings of Cherophobia.
One thing should be understood: a person who has Cherophobia isn't necessarily sad. They merely have an anxiety disorder. They avoid any activities that would make them happy, as they get anxious about an impending bad time. They avoid feeling joy because they feel like it will be snatched away soon. Here are a couple of symptoms of Cherophobia:
You start to panic about a social event that you are about to attend. You feel uneasy and restless thinking about going for the social event. You already have a set number of excuses set up to use when you are invited to any social gathering.
People with Cherophobia tend to dismiss any change that would positively influence their lives. They tend to reject any kind of opportunity that could benefit them. They're constantly worried about failure, rejection or the feeling of unhappiness if things don't go according to plan.
In most cases of Cherophobia, a person will fear being exposed to happiness because they feel like something bad will definitely happen to them. They tend to isolate themselves, worrying ost of the time about being struck by bad fortune following a good spell.
Sometimes, a person with Cherophobia feels guilty about any happy emotions that they experience. They are often faced with conflicting thoughts about their happiness, often they feel like they are undeserving of the joy. You think that feeling happy will make you a bad person.
People with Cherophobia are generally aversive towards happiness because they feel like it will be followed by sadness or disappointment. They rewire their minds into thinking that happiness is a waste of time. That way, they avoid the risk of getting hurt.
How could you treat Cherophobia?
There are no medicines to cure the fear of happiness. Some experts feel that the continuous exposure to happiness will help dispell the negativity attached to feeling joy and happiness. Others suggest hypnotherapy, though it may not be effective for everyone.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is also something that experts suggest. This is a type of therapy that helps a person with Cherophobia recognize why their fear of happiness is irrational, and identify any behavior that could help bring about a change.
Note: This article is not meant to give any psychological advice. The most important thing to remember is that Cherophobia can be treated by a licensed professional. If you feel like you are suffering from any kind of mental distress, please contact a therapist who is trained to tackle such situations.