Aboulomania: Definition, Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Aboulomania is a mental disorder is which the patient suffers from mental derangement by weakened willpower or pathological indecisiveness. Aboulomania is typically associated with anxiety, stress, depression and mental anguish. It can severely affect one's ability to function socially. In extreme cases, this can lead to suicide.
Although the exact cause of aboulomania is not known, it most likely involves both biological and developmental factors. Some researchers believe an authoritarian or overprotective parenting style can lead to the development of aboulomania in people who are susceptible to the disorder.
It is commonly thought that aboulomania is a result of overinvolvement and intrusive behavior by their primary caretakers. Caretakers may foster dependence in the child to meet their own dependency needs, and may reward extreme loyalty but reject attempts the child makes towards independence. Families of those with aboulomania are often do not express their emotions and are controlling; they demonstrate poorly defined relational roles within the family unit.
Individualy with aboulomania often have been socially humiliated by others in their development years. They may carry significant doubts about their abilities to perform tasks, take on new responsibilities, and generally function independently of others. This reinforces their suspicions that they are incapable of living autonomously. In response to these feelings, they portray a helplessness that elicits caregiving behavior from some people in their lives.
People with this disorder do not trust their own ability to make decisions. They may be very upset by separation and loss. They may go to great lengths, even suffering abuse, to stay in a relationship.
Symptoms of aboulomania may include:
- Avoiding being alone.
- Avoiding personal responsibility.
- Becoming easily hurt by criticism or disapproval.
- Becoming overly focused on fears of being abandoned.
- Becoming very passive in relationships.
- Feeling very upset or helpless when relationships end.
- Having difficulty making decisions without support from others.
- Having problems expressing disagreements with others.
If symptoms are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical history and physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose aboulomania, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.
If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, health care professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate aboulomania.
Age and cultural factors should be considered in diagnosing aboulomania. Certain cultural norms suggest a submissive, polite, or dependent posture in relating to the opposite sex, or authority figures. Aboulomania should only be diagnosed when it meets the above criteria and is clearly outside one's cultural norms.
The diagnosis of aboulomania is based on a clinical interview to assess symptomatic behavior. Other assessment tools helpful in confirming the diagnosis of aboulomania include:
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2).
- Millon Clinical Multi-axial Inventory (MCMI-II).
- Rorschach Psychodiagnostic Test.
- Thematic Appreception Test (TAT).
As is the case with many personality disorders, people with aboulomania generally do not seek treatment for the disorder itself. Rather, they might seek treatment when a problem in their lives — often resulting from thinking or behavior related to the disorder — become overwhelming, and they are no longer able to cope. People with aboulomania are prone to developing depression or anxiety, and symptoms of these disorders might prompt the individual to seek help.
Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is the main method of treatment for aboulomania. The goal of therapy is to help the person with aboulomania become more active and independent, and to learn to form healthy relationships. Short-term therapy with specific goals is preferred because long-term therapy can lead to dependence on the therapist. Specific strategies might include assertiveness training to help the person with aboulomania develop self-confidence.
The use of medication might be used to treat people with aboulomania who also suffer from depression or anxiety. However, medication therapy must be carefully monitored because the person might become dependent on or abuse the drugs.
NOTE: The above information is for processing purposes. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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