Why Am I Never Happy? How To Determine If You Might Be Living With Mental Illness

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated July 19, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Tanya Harell, LPC

Everyone has days where they feel down, and it’s not unusual to be unhappy from time to time. It’s a different story when you feel like you’re never happy at all. If you’ve been going through life and you’re struggling to remember the last time that you felt pleased, then that’s not a good sign. You could be coping with some type of mental illness, and getting help, like from an online therapist, might be the best way to try to find happiness once again. Mental illnesses can create a severe health problem that requires treatment to get better.

Mental Illness Can Present Itself In Many Ways

It is said that nearly one out of every five adults in the United States has a mental illness of some kind. If you want to be happy, then you should consider getting help for your mental health. You might not be sure whether you’re having mental health struggles or not, though, and sometimes there can be a fine line between having a disorder or dealing with ordinary challenges in life, but there is a difference, nonetheless. Read on to explore reasons why you might be asking questions like "Why can't I be happy?" and feeling unsatisfied with your own life. You will also learn how you can determine if you’re experiencing mental illness issues. If you notice any parallels between what you’re going through and what is being discussed, then it might be time to reach out to a mental health professional for assistance.

You Worry All the Time

Excessive worry is a sign that you might be dealing with a mental illness. It’s normal to worry about bad things a bit, and seemingly happy people will have stress, but worrying all the time and not being able to shake that worried feeling is different. You could be dealing with an anxiety disorder or something like a panic disorder if you’re worrying so frequently. Worrying is associated with several mental illnesses, especially anxiety disorders. Those who feel worried that something bad will happen to them or have a sense of dread for seemingly no reason might have reason to believe that they have a mental illness. How can one recognize excessive worry vs. standard moments of worry? If you can attribute your worry to a specific source, and know how to calm down when needed, you likely are experiencing standard feelings of worry and there’s nothing to fear right now.

You’re Feeling Sad Almost Every Single Day

Sadness is another emotion that everyone is going to experience on occasion, even happy people. It’s fine to be sad and to experience sad days from time to time. However, it’s not good to feel very sad every single day. If you wake up most days feeling unhappy, then this could be a sign of mental illness. You could be dealing with a type of depression that makes you feel sad far more often than normal. It can be tough to cope with a mental illness like this, and it can seem impossible to feel good again, but you can get help by reaching out to professionals who are trained to provide treatment for them.

It’s Hard For You To Concentrate On Tasks

Mental illness can also make it tough for you to concentrate on tasks. Your mind might be muddled, and it could be wandering to problems that you’re dealing with currently. People who experience anxiety disorders often report having issues with concentration, and you will likely want to get help to overcome this problem. It’s a significant indication that you have an anxiety-based mental illness and that you should be getting help. You don’t have to experience issues like this by yourself, and there are treatments available to overcome anxiety and manage its symptoms in the present moment.

You Experience Mood Swings

Mood swings should be seen as another big sign of mental illness. Someone can have a mood swing and not have a mental illness, but frequent mood swings are a different beast entirely. If your family members notice that your mood swings seem to be getting worse and you seem unhappy more often than usual, then it might be time to get help. You don’t want to snap on your family members or friends, and getting treatment for mental illness can make you feel better. Mood swings could indicate that a person has a mood disorder or bipolar disorder. Talking to a doctor about what you’re experiencing will allow you to get an accurate mental illness diagnosis and begin treatment.

You Tend To Avoid Friends And Social Gatherings

Some people with mental health disorders start to avoid gatherings and hanging out with friends or family members when they’re struggling with mental illness. You might commit to going to things weeks in advance and will then start to dread having to go as the date for the event comes near. This could even involve you turning family members or friends down when they just want to come to say hi. Mental illness often causes people to want to pull away and withdraw from society and be alone. You could be avoiding the people in your life and social situations because you’re experiencing a mental illness. These are all bad things that can derail your social relationships and your wellbeing.

You might even notice changes to your activities online when you’re unhappy and going through mental illness struggles. Some people stop posting on social media entirely when they’re feeling depressed. Others will post more depressing things on social media in a veiled attempt to get help. Your social actions with friends and social media actions can be an indicator that something is amiss. If your friends or family members have noticed that something is up, and they are wondering about your safety and wellbeing, then you should pay attention. It could mean that a mental illness is present and changing your life for the worse and you should seek treatment to halt it.

Sex Drive Changes

Sex drive changes can be a huge indicator that something is up. If your partner or spouse has noticed that your sex drive isn’t what it used to be, then it might be good to take notice. You might not be interested in sex like you were in the past because of mental illness. This can sometimes make it difficult for people to get aroused, or they might be too nervous or depressed to want to have sex and this can cause fear or apprehension towards it. All of these things can make it difficult to maintain intimacy. Sex can be an important part of life and your relationship, so pay attention to sex drive changes when looking for indications of mental disorders. In addition to therapy, there can be other more-specific treatment methods for sexual problems and establishing physical intimacy that you can research and get medical advice on.

Inability To Enjoy Things You Once Loved

Mental Illness Can Present Itself In Many Ways

Are you starting to have a hard time enjoying things that you once loved? Mental disorders often make it difficult for people to focus on the things that they enjoy. You might find yourself losing interest in hobbies that used to bring a lot of happiness to your life in the past. This could be mental illness sapping your joy and making you feel like nothing matters anymore at the moment. It could be the answer to your question about why you’re never happy, too. If the things that usually make you happy just aren’t doing it for you any longer, then mental illness could be playing a role. For information on how to move forward in healthy ways and get support, keep reading.

Simple Daily Activities Feel Incredibly Difficult To Accomplish

Struggling with mental illness is rough, and it can make you feel like you don’t have any energy at all and that nothing can make you happy and motivated to get through the day. When you’re having a tough time getting up in the morning, it is unlikely that you’re going to feel energetic enough to handle your daily responsibilities. This can even include tasks that should be simple for you under normal circumstances. For example, people who struggle with mental illness might have a tough time getting motivated enough to clean, and even doing the dishes or laundry will feel like it takes a herculean effort. Eating food can sometimes feel like a chore due to a poor appetite.

Problems like this could be a sign that you’re going through depression. Depression, like other disorders, impacts the lives of millions of people in the United States and throughout the rest of the world, so you don’t have to feel alone. This is a mental illness that can take your energy and make you feel like you aren’t capable of doing much. It can be very frustrating to want to get things done but feel like you just can’t do it. Some people deal with depression so bad that they even have trouble getting out of bed in the morning and interacting with their friends and family. Conversely, some people with disorders like depression and anxiety will struggle with insomnia and will reduce their ability to get enough sleep.

Thankfully, many health services in the United States can give you the support you need and assist you with your mental health. You can count on these services to help you find a therapist who will work with you to determine how severe your mental health issues are. The first step is going to be reaching out to get things started. You can start feeling happy again, but you have to get treatment to address your mental illness first.

Mental Health Treatment Options

There are many different treatment options when it comes to mental health. You can talk to your doctor to get diagnosed and figure out what type of problem you’re dealing with. You might have an anxiety disorder, or you might be dealing with depression. There are a large number of different mental illnesses that people deal with, and you need to make sure that you work with a doctor to determine what it is that you may need help with, and this can involve doing research on your symptoms so you can describe them to your doctor. Once you’ve been diagnosed, you can figure out an appropriate treatment plan from there with the help and support of your doctor and/or a mental health professional.  

Many people who are dealing with mental illness in their daily lives may find benefit from going to therapy to work through issues and overcome unhappiness. With a professional, people can learn how to recognize symptoms of mental conditions or disorders. Some will also be able to get relief by going to therapy in conjunction with other treatment options. For all guidance regarding treatment options, please consult a licensed medical professional. 

Everyone deserves help - you included. You don’t have to wonder if you can get better, and you should not hesitate to reach out for the support you deserve today and rediscover what makes you happy.

How To Move Forward: Online Therapy Can Help

There are an increasingly large number of studies pointing to online counseling as an effective means of providing mental health care to those experiencing complicated emotions, such as discontent or a lack of fulfillment. In one comprehensive review, researchers looked at the effects of online therapy on a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They collected over 90 studies, which included almost 10,000 total participants, concluding that online therapy—and online cognitive-behavioral therapy, in particular—is as effective as in-person counseling. Cognitive-behavioral therapy works by helping individuals reframe negative thought patterns that may be underlying unwanted behaviors and emotions, such as unhappiness.

As considered above, if you’re feeling as though you’re never happy, online therapy is a valuable resource. With BetterHelp, you’ll be able to connect with a counselor from the comfort of your home, via live chat, messaging, voice call, or videoconference. And you’ll have the option of reaching out to your therapist at any time, day or night. If you need to go over a topic, have a question, or just want to chat, send a message and they’ll get back to you as soon as they are able. The licensed counselors at BetterHelp are there for you when you’re feeling dissatisfied with parts of your life. Read below for therapist reviews, from those who have experienced similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“Shayna has been a huge help for me. She helped me with a lot of issues that I struggled with and is helping me to pave the pathway for more happiness. After meeting with her for a couple of months the quality of my life has improved greatly and so has my mental health. I definitely recommend her and BetterHelp to anyone seeking help.”

“I put off finding a therapist for a long time. I dreaded my first conversation with Neil and all the awkward, clunky explanations I'd have to give about my depression and anxiety. All of the things that felt like dirty little secrets that caused me so much pain. But I was so pleasantly surprised by the way Neil accurately picked up on what I was saying and gave me more insight into how my brain was working. It made my issue feel so much less of a personal problem and more of a universal problem we could examine together. He always gives me a thoughtful response within a day or two any time I send a message. I actually think we've made more progress in between sessions just by being able to communicate things that are coming up in real time. Neil is intelligent and kind. I really appreciate his communication style and highly recommend him.”


Happiness might feel elusive at the moment, but it won’t be that way forever. You can work with your therapist to get through this trying time, and you’ll feel better after you’ve worked through your mental health problems. No one has to face mental health issues alone, and you’ll always have allies on your side.


Commonly Asked Questions On This Topic Found Below:

Is it possible to never be happy?

What do I do if Im not happy?

What causes people not to be happy?

Why is it difficult to be happy?

What is being emotionless called?

What causes Cherophobia?

What is Leukophobia?

What is happiness anxiety?

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