Cherophobia (aversion to happiness): symptoms, causes, treatment

Cherophobia is a concept that can be shocking for many people, because its existence makes us question something that we all seek in theory: happiness. And it is that cherophobia is aversion to happiness, the rejection of those experiences or habits that we think could lead us to be happy.

How is it that someone does not want to strive for happiness? What is the reason for this psychological phenomenon? Let’s look at this in the following lines.

    What is cherophobia?

    As we saw in a few words above, cherophobia is aversion to happiness, the tendency to avoid what we associate with happiness.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that people are afraid of the very idea of ​​happiness; they are able to think about the concept itself, however they want to get away from what makes them happy in an unstable and coherent manner.

    the causes

    We humans are able to embrace a myriad of lenses to perceive and value life, for better or for worse. This leads to relatively rare cases in which some people adopt mentalities that seem very far from common sense.

    As with most psychological phenomena, there is not a single cause that leads us directly to cherophobia as a result. Instead, there are several possible causes that make us more or less likely to fall into this mental state.

    One of the causes emitted by these cases relates to the pressure that exists today to force almost everyone to be happy all the time, as if it is part of their job and their responsibilities. Feeling this link between happiness and obligations can, in some cases, cause aversion.

    Another explanatory hypothesis of cherophobia is based on the idea that people who experience it are afraid of being happy at first and then seeing how all that happiness sinks down. The resulting feeling of loss is anticipated and generates so much discomfort that one completely gives up the pretense of being happy, even avoiding falling into this state by chance.

      Is aversion to happiness a problem?

      As strange as it may be to avoid happiness, it is possible to understand people who do not seek to complicate their lives and maintain an austere philosophy of life. However, it should be noted that cherophobia it’s not about humility or austerity, Values ​​which in themselves are not negative and are in fact legitimate.

      The hallmark of cherophobia is that the person makes active efforts to move away from happiness, although this comes at a high cost. These efforts significantly affect people’s quality of life, isolate them and make them less able to deal with everyday problems.

      This is why cherophobia it is not another attitude of life towards which we must maintain a neutral attitude; it is clearly a problem that makes people suffer.


      Cherophobia is a complex phenomenon based on relatively abstract concepts and therefore can manifest itself in different ways. however, it is possible to find some generalities in the symptoms of this problem.

      In general, those who suffer from direct cherophobia they keep a conservative profile and not very open to new experiences. In a way related to the latter, they tend to be introverted, as personal relationships lead to some instability and exposure to emotionally charged situations, which goes against their intention to always stay longer or longer. less the same. pleasant experiences.

      On the other hand, meeting new people can lead us to seasons of calm and stability in a context of satiety, that might break down and generate feelings of loss and grief. Remember that those who have an aversion to happiness do not want to be distinctly unhappy, they are simply seeking to avoid suffering.


      Fortunately, cherophobia itself is not depression or a neurological disorder, so the psychological intervention should be able to recover until this form of discomfort almost disappears, All of this in a relatively short period of time.

      In general, aversion to happiness is linked to clinging to inappropriate beliefs and an unhealthy lifestyle that generates psychological wear and tear. For that, cognitive restructuring can help, As well as other forms of intervention in anxiety problems, such as exposure in controlled contexts to what is feared (in the most pronounced cases where there is an anxiety attack in the face of stimuli specific).

      Bibliographical references:

      • Joshanloo, M., Weijers, D. (2013). Aversion to happiness in all cultures: an examination of where and why people oppose happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies. 15 (3): 717-735.
      • Robinson, J. (2014), What’s Wrong With Feeling Happy? Springer.

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