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Why Do I Want to Be Unhappy ?

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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?

Why Do I Want to Be Unhappy ?

Answered by on -


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

Why Do I Want to Be Unhappy ?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Why Do I Want to Be Unhappy ?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 28 Jun 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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