Why Do I Want to Be Unhappy ?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I’m a 38-year-old man who likes being unhappy. I have no idea why I like being unhappy. To be fair I do have challenges that make me this way, but I think my problem is I enjoy being sad. Is that possible?

One challenge I have is work. My partner and I bought a business in a remote part of the country, which is now failing. I have not doubt that at some time the business shall be taken by the bank (I have got letter to that affect). In the mean time he and I adopted 2 children. There would be no financial way I could support the family in such a remote place. To save the children the stress of relocation of home and school the children and my partner live in another property we own, a 6 hour drive from here. I rarely see the family.

Another challenge I have is socially. I’m not very close to anyone, including my mum and sister. I have a few people I know to say hi to but no true close friends. I don’t get many social invites, which suits me because I don’t often feel very social. I rarely speak to my mum or sister, once a month or less. There is no special reason for this, I just don’t have a bonding supportive relationship with them. My parents split when I was 10 and nether I nor my sister bonded with my mums partner so I did my best to go unnoticed. I was much closer to my dad but sadly he died when I was 26.

When I have a set back I really seam to wallow in it because I find it comforting. If I allow my feelings to get on top of me I can sink really low. I believe I feel bad because a hidden part me enjoys it. How can I stop doing this to myself?

A: The way that you have described this leads me to believe that you are not happy being unhappy –but rather that you are familiar with the feeling. Being familiar with an emotion is not the same as being okay with it. Rather it indicates that feeling is the dominant one, and the one you have had the most experience with. I would strongly recommend individual psychotherapy at this point as the conditions that point to a a situation that may likely be improved by therapy.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Why Do I Want to Be Unhappy ?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/28/why-do-i-want-to-be-unhappy/

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