“And they lived happily ever after…”
This was always the end of most of the childhood stories we heard. From amongst the life lessons given by grandparents to our Moral Science classes, everyone emphasized on happiness in life. There were times when a small piece of candy would give immense joy. But in present times, people seem to find most of the happy occasions ‘too good to be true’.
Have you come across people or if you are one of them, who tend to avoid a situation that may make them happy? Have you come across the term “Cherophobia”?
Cherophobia or aversion to happiness is a condition where the person is too afraid of being happy, that this habit starts affecting his life. This affects the people around him as well.
The word is derived from the Greek word “chero”, meaning “to rejoice”. Although this hasn’t been declared a mental health disorder yet, there are experts with their views about the condition and treatments.
The behavior a Cherophobic person exhibits in the situation is irrational and it could stem from various beliefs. A reserved attitude, a past trauma or experiencing a discomfort in a group or social gatherings are amongst some reasons. A constant time period of experiencing stress or anxiety can also result in such thinking pattern.
A person who has the phobia does not show symptoms like sadness or grief all the time. But they avoid participating in activities that may lead to experiencing happiness or bringing about any positivity in life. He might feel anxious if someone invites him to a social gathering and usually give up on these opportunities that may benefit him. This person thinks that being happy would bring bad luck or hurdles in life and also it will make him unproductive. He would avoid any fun activity.
It is important to understand that Cherophobia is not Depression. Taking details of the past is one thing that can prove to be helpful while dealing with such a person. Dig deep and figure out the traumatic event that was the trigger in the first place. Focus on breaking the negative association between a favorable and unfavorable event. Teaching tolerance and patience can also help. This condition is more of a defense mechanism. Therefore, there has to be a change in the pattern of thinking.
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