Clinophilia (not getting out of bed): features of the symptom and treatment

When we are sad and tired, like when we have a disappointment in love or when we are fired from an occupation, even the slightest effort can become a world. We may not feel like doing anything and even all we do in the first few moments is lie on the bed, sleep or not, think or just let the time pass.

It is usually something occasional, but sometimes this kind of attitude is much more common than usual and even becomes a trend. This tendency, typical of situations of great emotional distress and even medical or psychiatric conditions like depression, has a specific name: we are talking about clinophilia.

    Clinophilia: what is it?

    It is understood as a clinophilia in the excessive tendency of a subject to lie or lie downOften without the desire or the strength to do some other activity beyond staying in that position. This permanence is not justified by the presence of an organic cause: that is to say that the subject is not nailed to the bed so that he cannot biologically get out of it. So, behind this, there is usually some kind of psychological alteration or discomfort, and the association with suffering is common.

    Clinophilia is not a disorder per se, but rather a behavioral manifestation that could indicate the presence of a: i.e. we are facing a symptom of the existence of a problem. It is generally associated with emotional discomfort that cannot be avoided.


    In this sense and to a large extent, we can consider that clinophilia is associated with the feeling of learned helplessness: continued exposure to a situation to which we have found no solution makes us consider that our resources are not sufficient. to deal with it. the aversive situation, inhibiting our action and acquiring a position of passivity in this regard.

    Lying down or lying down prevents us from finding the cause of our pain and allows us to be in a controlled and relatively safe place, so that exposure to the direct cause of the discomfort is avoided. But on the other hand, it prevents its resolution, which in the long run usually causes even greater discomfort.

    While clinophilia itself is just that tendency to remain virtually still and passive in bed, it is often accompanied by apathy, sadness, mental or physical fatigue, irritability, and difficulty finding beauty. and everyday pleasure.

    Depending on the case, crying may occurLikewise, a lack of sensitivity and emotion, such as emotional anesthesia, may appear. It is not uncommon for hypersomnia to also appear due to a lack of activity and / or is accompanied by nocturnal insomnia with a lack of restful sleep.

    At the level of consequences, in addition to reinforcing the above, it is common to generate in those who express a certain feeling of guilt for lack of action and a decrease in self-esteem.

    At the social level, there may be work failures (For example, punctuality or absenteeism), and at the social level, this can also generate conflicts with the environment (such as the couple or people who cohabit with the subject) and even isolation (both due to the lack of desire on the part of the subject to be told as a possible rejection of this attitude).

      Causes and problems in which it usually appears

      Clinophilia is a passive attitude that usually occurs in reaction to a stressful, traumatic or painful situation for the subject. This behavior it should not be derived from suffering from a psychiatric disorderBut it can appear due to the experience of phenomena such as those written in the introduction, the death of a loved one (can appear in a grieving process), partner issues or even the simple lack of vital goals. and self-actualization.

      In either case, what is usually the basis is a high level of emotional pain and discomfort which draws energies to the subject.

      In terms of onset in mental disorders, the disorders most closely related to clinophilia are major depression and other depressive disorders, anxiety problems, bipolar disorder (in the depressive phase) and psychosocial stress that persists over time. .

      Its appearance is also possible after experiencing trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (While in this case there is also hypervigilance and restlessness, staying in bed is restless and tense), and in personality disorders such as depression or borderline.

      Another possibility with which it may seem associated is abulia and allergy existing in patients with cognitive impairment, as in psychotic patients with negative symptoms.

      However, it should be noted that clinophilia can be both a symptom of a disorder and a response to the diagnosis, evolution, prognosis or difficulties generated by it (In other words, it is not the disorder that generates it but a reaction to an aspect of it). It can also be a reaction to the diagnosis of medical conditions such as cancer, HIV-AIDS, diabetes or heart disease.

      Treatment of this behavioral symptom

      Treating clinophilia can be much more complicated than it looks. Although the treatments may seem relatively straightforward, it is necessary take into account the great suffering and discomfort that it generates that the patient is in this state, Understand it and give an answer. It should also be borne in mind that in order to go for a consultation, the patient (or his environment) had to overcome his resistance to action, which must be evaluated and reinforced.

      The first step would be to find out why the person with clinophilia maintains this behavior, what they consider to be its cause, their emotions and thoughts regarding their lack of action and their interpretation of it (as well as the functionality you can find there.). It should also be assessed whether there are disorders such as major depression or bipolar disorder for appropriate treatment (remember that clinophilia is a symptom of something, whether or not it is a mental disorder and not from a disorder per se).

      This done, the fundamental step is to promote the activation of the subject. It is useful to establish psycho-educational guidelines, As well as programs of pleasant activities or small steps (more or less graduated according to the problem, if a radical change is requested the patient probably does not accept it) that the subject is obliged to take. For example, take out the trash or take a walk around the apple. By gradually promoting an activation contrary to emotional distress, the subject will show some behavioral improvement, but this does not have to be the only thing that is achieved.

      And it is also necessary to work on the causes of their discomfort. An example of this can be found in Beck’s cognitive therapy or in cognitive restructuring of the patient’s beliefs and prejudices. Work on self-esteem and self-conception also becomes necessary.

      An important step is to promote the progressive empowerment of the person. To do this, they can try to recall similar moments that the subject has successfully overcome, explore their attitudes, actions and the consequences they have had, and analyze their applicability to the current case. also favor the presence of activities in which the subject has a certain mastery and expertise, In such a way that he considers himself valid and capable.

      Stress management training can help to become aware of the different ways of dealing with difficulties, as well as expressive therapies can help to resolve the internalized discomfort of the sufferer. In the event of sleep problems, appropriate treatment will also be necessary in this regard, as well as sleep hygiene.

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