Cherophobia is fear of being happy or phobia of happiness. It is a condition where people avoid positive emotions because they perceive them to be negative and outright dangerous. There is a strong possibility that this phobia is a defense mechanism which has been developed in response to some kind of conflict or trauma in one’s past.
The cause of cherophobia may stem from any number of reasons, such as past trauma which has been associated with a positive event or if anything nice occurs in one’s life, they may assume that something terrible will inevitably follow. Meaning they may avoid any joyous experiences to protect themselves from potential harm.
It is unclear exactly how cherophobia develops, but it may stem from existing mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Furthermore, a family history of mental health or other anxiety disorders puts a person at an increased risk.
Symptoms may include:
- Excessive worrying or anticipation of feeling happy
- Avoidance of happy events or situations
- Physical discomfort such as nausea or sweating
- Worrying about attending a social gathering
- Putting off taking risks that could improve one’s life because one is afraid of what might happen
- Choosing to sit on the sidelines and watch the “fun” unfold
- Assuming that the fact that one is joyful portends unfavorable events
- Thinking that it’s pointless to make an effort to enjoy life
Ultimately, as we repeatedly say in this blog, happiness is the #1 goal. That being said, cherophobia – an unnatural and undesired reaction that can develop due to unfortunate and unhappy life circumstances – is an obstacle we must address in order to improve our well-being and have a life worth living.
If you or someone you know is suffering from cherophobia, it is vital to seek help from a mental health professional. Here at Optimal Happiness, we specialize in helping individuals achieve a state of happiness by providing guidance in learning to cope with and overcome fear. Through understanding our past, renegotiating our relationships with positive thoughts, and discovering long-lost happiness, we can assist you in overcoming your phobia.