What am I afraid of? Dolphins. And that includes orcas.
I love these ocean creatures and want the best for them in the same way that I love all animals on this planet. But friends, I am terrified. Their smarts, strength, and social prowess leave me shaking—even here on dry land very far from any ocean.
It’s true. I live in Toronto. Not a briny sea in sight!
Anyway, I’ve always been fascinated by the many types of fears—or phobias—out there. And I recently just learned about cherophobia. Have you heard of it before?
It comes from the Greek word “cairo”, which means “to rejoice.” And people who suffer from cherophobia do not like to rejoice. In most basic of terms, if you have cherophobia, you have a fear of being happy. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are sad all the time. It is not the same as depression (although there are similarities). But people who live with this fear tend to avoid activities or events that could bring them joy.
Why? Well, a few reasons. Many with this condition believe that if they let themselves be happy, something terrible may happen. Others think that they don’t really deserve true happiness. And some worry about the sadness they may feel after the happiness stops.
As I’m sure you can imagine, this type of fear makes it difficult to live a healthy and, well, happy life.
Some medical experts are now classifying cherophobia as a type of anxiety. And thankfully, like with many other phobias or psychological disorders, it can be treated. It may not be easy, but there is hope for those who suffer from cherophobia to one day experience joy and happiness—just like they deserve.
Because, yes, we all deserve to be happy. We really do.