Posts tagged with "Type of anxiety"

Panic when life’s going well? You could have this condition.

April 10, 2024

Picture the scene: You’ve been going on great dates and the possibility of a healthy relationship is on the table. Your boss is eyeing you up for a promotion; your friends are inviting you to parties; and you’ve recently saved enough cash for the trip of a lifetime. So why do you feel, just … wrong? Scared, even?

Well, there are lots of reasons―among them, adverse childhood experiences and anxiety―that could cause this feeling, reports The Huffington Post.

But there’s another condition, called cherophobia, which Healthline says “is a phobia where a person has an irrational aversion to being happy.”

What’s that?

Well, it’s not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) yet, and it’s “not widely researched or defined.”

But insofar as it’s talked about among experts, the condition is a fear of happiness that prevents sufferers from accepting good news or moving forward with things that could make them happy.

The stress often comes from actively choosing a happier path, as those with the condition may fear that misery will quickly follow.

They might become so consciously or unconsciously convinced that sadness follows joy that choosing the “happier” path feels like signing up for a difficult time.

What are the symptoms?

Some experts classify the condition as a type of anxiety.You may face excessive fear around happiness, and have thoughts like “I’m a bad friend or family member if I choose to be happy” or “sadness always follows good news.”

This may lead people with the condition to avoid accepting party invitations, job promotions, and generally anything that sounds “fun.”

Healthline points out that someone with the condition isn’t necessarily sad; he or she just struggles to opt in to events or decisions that make him or her happy.

Researchers have created a fear of happiness scale that you can fill in if you’re unsure.

You’ll be asked how you feel about statements such as, “Having lots of joy and fun causes bad things to happen;” and “I believe the more cheerful and happy I am, the more I should expect bad things to occur in my life.”

Again, the condition is not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But if you’re constantly worried about being happy, you may find cherophobia to be a useful reference point.

Research contact: @HuffPost