The word cherophobia originally comes from ancient Greek and means something like „fear of happiness“. The fear of suffering from such a disorder (fear of happiness) is currently present in many psychotherapeutic practices and in the media.
What is Cherophobia? Meaning, explanation, definition
However, there is no exact information about how much people who suffer from depression are also prone to the fear of happiness. Some people, when they feel bad, assume they lack the ability to be happy. As long as one thinks this way, every event is probably perceived through this interference filter. This is where the error lies.
Aristotle already wrote that all people want to be happy. For most people this may be true; however, for cherophobics this is not always true. Cherophobics are afraid of happiness and fear cheerfulness. People who suffer from this avoid situations in which they might experience pleasure or joy. They also often avoid socializing with happy people. If a cherophobe does experience euphoria, they quickly fall into the position of fear because they suspect they will soon lose this happiness again.
The question of whether there is too much happiness would probably be answered in the affirmative by cherophobes. In every feeling of happiness, no matter how small, they suspect a warning sign. According to their theory, too much happiness is seen as a harbinger of coming disaster. Thus, the cherophobe continuously suppresses feelings of happiness and ensures that the focus is on failure and dissatisfaction. In fact, it can be observed that some people feel uncomfortable when only good things happen to them for a long time. In order for them to avoid this anxiety, they need this discomfort and prefer to retreat into the despair they know.
In some cases of cherophobia, it is observed that there are connections to depression. One is inclined to permanently put oneself in an unpleasant mood. However, not everyone who exhibits depressive symptoms is automatically a cherophobe. Numerous healthy people also suffer from cherophobia. They are driven by habitual patterns, such as superstition or daily behavior, as well as sayings that one should not praise the day before the evening. In particular, everyday behavior puts people in the position of preferring to accept tomorrow’s misfortune rather than today’s happiness. It is even worse when people conjure up disasters and then wallow in the expected consternation or dejection. In doing so, they fail to give the present a chance at all.
What does the fear of happiness mean?
It is not the mere feelings of happiness that frighten those affected. Rather, it is the negative feelings or consequences that might result, such as loneliness, sadness and disappointment. Many beautiful experiences bring these consequential feelings with them. Cherophobes can then quickly fall into a hole when experiencing these feelings. Other people, on the other hand, even have a problem with allowing themselves pleasure and joy at all. They believe they are not entitled to such pleasure because they are not worthy of it. Above all, this is due to various internalized beliefs that one has heard a thousand times in life and then thinks that good is always followed by bad. The assumption that bad luck follows good luck is firmly manifested in brains.
These thoughts always get in the way of cherophobics and result in them deliberately blocking out positive experiences – which every human being needs in order to recharge their batteries – and not wanting to experience them. The production of various happiness hormones, such as dopamine, serotonin or norepinephrine, is also important for human well-being. If a person produces too few of these happiness hormones, he or she runs the risk of developing depression.
Is there a recipe for happiness?
Some scientists believe that about 50% of the population is born with the ability to be happy. Leaving aside the possibility of depression or the fear of happiness, it is in everyone’s own hands to be happy.
The recipe for happiness lies in unmasking various saboteurs of happiness and settling for only the best. An outstanding quality is who can feel joy in bad or difficult situations. Those who let destructive patterns steal the good times have lost. Every person should track down for himself which obstructive patterns prevent him from being happy. Once you have found this out, happiness is no longer genetically determined.
Psychologists and psychiatrists describe cherophobia as a fear of cheerfulness, good humor and cheerfulness. If one specializes in a „disorder“, one will find the term „anxiety disorder“. Cherophobics deliberately avoid occasions in which they might encounter cheerfulness and joy. For example, they do not go to festivals, parties, carnivals, or other parades. Sometimes people who suffer from cherophobia are also commonly described as those people who go to the basement to laugh. However, such a statement is both derogatory and presumptuous.