At some point in our lives, we have all been tormented by having to make a complicated decision, which generates high levels of anxiety and uncertainty. Now imagine that this feeling accompanies us constantly, in each of the activities that we perform.
This discomfort is what it feels like with aboulomania, A very rare mental disorder in which the person feels unable to make a decision, no matter how simple, and is also accompanied by obsessive thoughts about those decisions.
What is aboulomania?
Aboulomania consists of a strange mental disorder that affects a person’s will, debilitating and generate a feeling of constant and pathological indecision. As a result, the person feels absolutely incapable of making any decision whatsoever, not even in the activities that he carries out on a daily basis.
In addition, this disorder it is strongly linked to pathologies such as anxiety, stress, depression and feelings of distress; it therefore greatly interferes with the person’s ability to initiate and maintain social interactions. Arrive, in the most serious cases, to cause the suicide of the person.
Although feelings of doubt, indecision, or uncertainty are generally not abnormal when experienced on time and with a normal degree of intensity, with aboulomania these feelings become obsessions that generate levels. high anxiety in children. moreover, these doubts flood absolutely all contexts and activities of the patient.
Therefore, when making a decision, regardless of its importance, the person with aboulomania feels the need to constantly reassess their decisions, Which tends to qualify negatively. As a result, this uncertainty and negative overanalysis of situations ends up becoming a typical picture of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Abulomania and Abulia: Differences
Abulia is another disorder related to will and motivation, similar to abulomania, in which the person also experiences decreased motivation, energy and willpower with the main difference that in this case these sensations do not become an obsession for the patient; which acts almost automatically, as if by inertia.
Unlike aboulia, in aboulomania this inability to make decisions becomes obsessive, And generates recurring and intrusive thoughts in the person, who is unable to avoid constantly ruminating on them.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom experienced by a person with aboulomania is, as mentioned above, a complete inability to make decisions. This handicap is constant and continuous and extends to all areas of a person’s life.
Outraged, this uncertainty generates very high levels of anxiety and distressBecause in many cases the person is left in a situation that is harmful or unpleasant to them just because they are not in a position to decide whether or not to stay in that situation.
Ruminations, recurring thoughts, and obsessive thoughts about the decisions you need to make are other symptoms that belong to the clinical picture of aboulomania. Likewise, just as this disorder exhibits emotional and cognitive symptoms, a number of behavioral symptoms can also appear such as:
- Avoidance of responsibilities staff.
- The person avoids being alone by all means.
- Passive attitude in intimate relationships or as a couple.
- Avoid being exposed to the public for fear of being criticized or disapproved.
- Avoid ending a relationship so as not to feel helpless.
- Problems expressing disagreements or disagreements with other people.
What is the cause of this disorder?
So far, it has not been possible to determine the exact cause of aboulomania. However, we hypothesize that factors related to the psychological development of the person, associated with biological factors they can trigger this type of will disorder.
As for the organic root of aboulomania, a possible involvement of the prefrontal cortex is speculated. The reason is that this area of the brain is directly associated with conscious decision making.
Some studies suggest that this organic basis, coupled with certain authoritarian or overprotective parenting styles, can play a very important role in the development of this disorder.
Researchers theorize that parenting styles in which parental overprotection and intrusive behaviors predominate they can encourage addiction in childrenSo that if the child has an organic susceptibility will be quite likely to develop a will disorder such as aboulomania.
However, these researchers treat this problem with great caution, pointing out that the person has to go through many other negative experiences for this disorder to appear. These experiences can range from very traumatic dropouts or breakups to situations where the person has felt publicly humiliated or embarrassed. Outraged, they can also generate many doubts and great uncertainty in the person who is not able to properly perform any type of activity, nor to assume responsibilities or to lead an independent life.
How to diagnose it?
The first step in diagnosing aboulomania is to completely rule out that there is an organic base that produces it. This is why the healthcare professional will have to perform all kinds of physical tests and examinations, as well as a complete medical history.
Once the possibility of organic damage to the brain or neurology is eliminated, the patient should be referred to a mental health specialist. The psychologist or psychiatrist in charge of the file will then have to carry out a complete medical history of the patient. For this purpose, the healthcare professional can use the following diagnostic tests:
- Millon multiaxial clinical inventory (MCMI-II)
- Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory (MMPI-2)
- Thematic Assessment Test (TAT)
Is there a treatment?
Usually, the number of people with substance abuse who decide to seek help or treatment is very low. However, due to the symptoms related to anxiety and depression that accompany this disorder, some patients end up asking for psychological assistance.
If the mental health expert is able to shed light on the problem of aboulomania, symptomatic treatment can be provided for anxiety or depression problems combined with training in skills to facilitate the development of self-reliance. nobody.
Training in assertiveness techniques and social skills it can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of drug abuse, as well as in helping the person establish healthy personal relationships with other people.