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.Aboulomania

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.


  1. Mark

    This reads like an autobiography of my issues. Thank you for sharing this.

    • maisteri

      Thank you for your comment! We hope that the information was helpful.

    • Pierre Palmieri

      Hi. I read your comment. I have the same symptoms. It s eating me alive. Are u in the process of doing something about it? And if yes, what is it? Thank you

      • Jane

        This disorder is completely wrecking my life. I can’t decide anything. I have no career because instead of picking something I have halfway pursued multiple things, chronically paralyzed about making the wrong choice. It takes me so much longer to do something than most people. I’m terrified of commitment. I will go to a store and buy something, return it, then buy it again. My friends comment on how much I agonize over everything. In college I changed my major five times. It’s chronic chaos and I feel completely helpless. But I’m glad I’ve discovered it has a name.

        • Sean Carter

          If this isn’t me I don’t know what is. It every goes to picking clothes and if I should workout or not. Rather I should eat before work or after. If I should wake up and work on my hobbies or save them for the weekend. I go back and fourth and end up doing nothing.

          • Shelnita

            Myself as well

          • Angel

            I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety both, but I can tell you this article revealed the true cause of those issues! Now I’m afraid to tell my doctor because what if he says I’m only out to change meds? I’m so tired of the overthinking and fear of making decisions. It is ruining my relationships and career. Anyone know how to approach this with my doctor?

          • maisteri

            The best option for you is to speak sincerely with your doctor about the issues you are facing. You can start psychotherapy in order to modify your behavioral patterns but it requires a strong will to face the difficulties and struggle together with your doctor. If you don’t feel comfortable with your current doctor consider looking for another one – a person whom you can trust and with whom you’ll be able to talk about all your emotions and thoughts without any difficulties. Without a reliable and sincere relation with your doctor, you can’t deal with your psychological problems. Good luck!

        • Shelnita

          Omg this sou ds just like me. I feel like I’m losing my mind at times

        • Adam

          Same ive been like this my whole life if i dont have someone give me directions i cant do anything

        • Liam

          You’re not alone. I’m suffering with this too. I can stand and look at the shelves in a supermarket for hours deciding what to buy. Have you been diagnosed with anything else?

        • James Dauda

          Hello Jane. Have you gotten any help yet? I am also suffering from this disorder. please if you have gotten help,kindly connect me.

    • Tori Knutson

      me too! it goes to simple as picking clothes and it’s to the point where i have to use dice or cards and use this system pattern to pick what i’m going to wear for the day.

  2. Kate

    Hello Sean, Jane & Pierre,
    Do any of you live in London, it would be great to meet up and cross reference? I have been to therapy for years about feeling paralyzed by decisions and getting completely stuck in my life, but only yesterday found this which completely fits. No-one else has mentioned it. There doesn’t seem alot of info.

    • S W

      Hello Kate
      Obviously some time has gone by since you posted your comment here, but I’ve only just discovered this page. As it is I’m based in London and if you’re interested in chatting please feel free to drop me a line. I’d be interested in finding out if you’ve managed to make any progress and what help you may have found.
      All the best

      • Clo

        Hi Simon and Kate, (I posted this before but my comment seems to have disappeared!) I live in London and would be keen to speak to others with this condition, we could arrange an online zoom chat for now. I’ve for sure had this all my life. I’ve tried to look for professional help, but there doesn’t seem to be much on this specific topic.

        Thanks, Clo

  3. Mike

    I can’t believe this is a genuine condition that has a name.Finally it feels like all the pieces have fallen into place.At 72 years of age I finally find out why my life has been such a mess.There have been times in the recent past where I have found out the names of problems I suffered from like panic attacks, anxiety attacks, depression, social anxiety.These symptoms were never given specific names previously and all I knew was that I was different.But I still didn’t feel that they covered everything.Aboulomania diagnosis actually explains the reasons for this mental breakdown I have been living.Fancy finding out the real reasons for my miserable life at 72. Next step is to tell my doctor who of course is on vacation until February. No, life wasn’t meant to be easy.
    Thank you.

    • maisteri

      We appreciate your feedback! Hope that this information will help you to deal with your condition and find the appropriate therapy.

  4. Lisa Casey

    Thank you. I feel like i am losing my mind at times. It has caused me to lose people special to me because i can’t follow through anything for the fear of being alone and not committing…this helps to know it is part of my mental health issues and can be discussed with my gp.

  5. Tayahn Bell

    I’ve always had this sort of thing. I have a hard time deciding on things and actually planning out something for the day. I even planned out for today but still I was bombarded with the feelings of uncertainty and utter indecisiveness. Now I know the name of this and thank you.

  6. Daisy

    Can anyone recommend anything I can do about this disorder that doesn’t involve doctors? It took a while for them to admit I have anxiety disorder and even then they wouldn’t do anything to help, so I imagine they’ll be equally as useless over this.

    • maisteri

      The best option for you is to find a good psychotherapist – a doctor who will understand your issues and difficulties and will help you to deal with them.

      • Nico


        any suggestions for a good Psychotherapist to cure aboulomania in New York City?

        Thank You!

  7. Demi Rainey

    This is exactly me. I can’t choose a movie to watch so I’ll sit in silence for hours trying to decide on a movie, it’s hard to decide what to eat so most times I go without eating because it’s too hard to choose. Ive just about lost my son because I couldn’t even make the simplest decisions for him, ive lost jobs and now currently unemployed, most days I end up crying because I can’t pick out something to wear, I can’t decide where I wanna sit or if I want to stay in my bedroom or go in the living room. Thankfully I have a partner who is understanding and patient with me. But I know he won’t always be patient so I fear I’m gonna lose the love of my life. I get very frustrated with myself so sometimes I consider self harm to make it stop. I can’t afford a therapist and I know I need one desperately. That puts a damper on things as well. I’m losing my mind and who I am. It even took me an hour to decide if I wanted to comment on here.

    • maisteri

      The symptoms you describe clearly denote that you require a specialist’s help and probably psychotherapy. There are numerous non-profit organizations that help people in need free of charge, and I am sure that there should be one in your city. Please contact such organization as soon as possible as it is necessary for your health and well-being. You definitely deserve better than that and your life can improve drastically after psychotherapy. I hope that you’ll get better soon! Good luck!

    • Patty

      This is me for sure… I want to live in Florida so I move there then I don’t want to be there so I move home. Then I don’t want to be home I want to be in Florida so I move back, back and forth. I want a divorce cause my husband is doing horrible things than I dont, no matter what he does I still go back and forth. It is so unbareable that I just feel ending it all, I see no end to the rollarcoaster rider. For years now I have struggled with this back and forth decision and just when I think I have made my mind up and get that breathe, nope it’s gone and my mind switches again. I just can’t take it more…..I feel like I just need someone to make decisons for me since I am no longer capable of making my own. Jesus take the wheel!!!!!

  8. Janet Kelley

    Are there any books I can read that can help .

  9. Luana

    My boyfriend has this condition, and I’m autistic. It’s so hard for us to understand each other, because while he needs constant emotional support I’m completely the opposite. I’m totally lost and don’t know what else to do. It’s also very hard to talk to him, since he can’t express what he feels and I can’t understand what’s not being said. I’m trying to convince him to start therapy but he’s also scared of that because he gotta choose the person that gonna help him. Any suggestions? Would mean a lot to us. Thanks in advance.

  10. Live2love

    any suggestions for a good Psychotherapist to cure aboulomania in Los Angeles?

  11. James Dauda

    Thank you so much for this post.This is is the best description of me. I have changed careers so much so that my relations are tired of me. no one wants to give any job again. I am from Nigeria. How do I treat it.

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