Fear of happiness or Cherophobia manifests itself when a person suffers from the anxiety of joy or happiness or fun. You have an aversion to happiness. People with Cherophobia believe that if they become happy, they invite something negative into their lives. The word Cherophobia is derived from the Greek charo, which denotes joy, and Phobos, deep aversion or fear. A person with Cherophobia cannot live life fully and appreciate all that it has to offer. Your phobia significantly interferes with your daily life.
Causes of Cherophobia
Cherophobia is a specific phobia. It may or may not have a definite cause. Several factors can play a role in this:
- An incident in the past, particularly in childhood. As a child, the individual may have experienced great joy or happiness only to be followed by a traumatic incident such as the death of a loved or close person.
- Phobia is also a learned response.
- A father, mother, caregiver, or older brother might warn the individual not to be too happy, as it “invites bad luck.”
- Worried and anxious parents can also create an environment that can influence phobia.
- Genes play a role, too – some people are more susceptible to phobias like this.
- Panic attacks in the past while being happy could have led to an embarrassing situation for the phobia.
- The individual’s mind then learns to create even more anxiety about happiness or becoming a joyous situation again.
- Excess stress can lead to anxiety and depression and, in the long run, can make the individual extremely fearful of being happy. This leads to phobia.
- If you are looking to overcome your intense fear of happiness phobia, it is helpful to try and resolve its cause.
- Sometimes, however, there is no simple explanation for it.
- Avoiding happy situations will only make the fear worse.
- So the best thing is to face the object of your fears, in this case, to become happy.
Symptoms of Fear of Happiness
As with all other phobias, the fear of happiness can produce different symptoms in different people. In severe cases, even thinking about happiness or joy can trigger some or all of the following symptoms:
- Dizziness, fainting
- Pounding heartbeat / Fast heartbeat
- Shaking, shaking
- Hot or cold flushes
- Inability to breathe: the feeling of suffocation
- Numbness or tingling
- Feeling disconnected from reality
- Thoughts of death or dying
- Chest tightness
- Nausea or other gastrointestinal upset.
In patients with extreme Cherophobia, fear can lead to disabling anxiety. The patient begins to avoid certain situations, people, or places that naturally impact his normal routine. If the phobia symptoms last more than six months, it is essential to seek medical help.
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Self-help is the best way to overcome any phobia, although you can also seek the help of professionals. The key is learning to manage anxiety and panic at the thought of being happy. Many relaxation techniques have been proven to help control pressure: deep breathing and meditation are some.
- Paying attention is another way to overcome Cherophobia.
- When you are consciously and fully in the present moment, you naturally free yourself from the fear that usually comes when you think of thoughts from the future or trauma from the past.
- The easiest way to be attentive is to draw attention to your breath. Take a few deep breaths when you feel anxious. You also learn to take each day and each moment as it comes.
- This will avoid excess worry and anxiety.
- Online and offline support groups can also help. When you talk to people and share your fears with others, you are comforted by the thought that you are not alone.
- It also helps to read and educate yourself about your fear. Many self-help books are available and are based on the principles of CBT or Cognitive Behavior Therapy which is a proven treatment for many types of phobias.
Professional Help for Fear of Happiness
If the above self-help techniques do not show results, you must seek the help of a professional. You can initially approach your general practitioner, who can refer you to a specialist who deals with phobias.
- CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is a proven technique to overcome specific phobias such as Cherophobia.
- Your goal is to identify the connections between thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
- The therapist can help you learn skills to manage the thought patterns that trigger the phobia symptoms.
- Another valuable therapy for fear of happiness phobia is hypnotherapy. You should seek the help of a trained hypnotherapist for this treatment.
- In extreme cases, medications (tranquilizers or antidepressants) may be given to control anxiety or severe panic attacks.
- Drug therapy should always be the last resort, as most anxiety medications are known to have serious side effects.
- Friends and family members also play an important role; they must be supportive and understanding with the individual.
Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.