Aboulomania: The Crippling Fear of Making Decisions

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Aboulomania: The Crippling Fear of Making Decisions

People suffering from Aboulomania feared of making decision for themselves / Photo by Getty Images


Making decisions is not always easy. When being confronted by critical decisions, one may feel hesitant and slightly distressed. It can be hard for people to know which choice would solve their problem or would be the most appropriate for their situation. However, for people who suffer from Aboulomania, it is not only difficult, they really do not trust themselves to make their own personal decisions.

According to Medigoo, Aboulomania is “pathological indecisiveness” and is connected to being affected by stress, depression, anxiety, and severe mental pain. Their indecisiveness can have a serious negative impact on their relationships. It is not merely a self-esteem problem, it is a real mental health condition. It prevents them from making even the smallest decisions such as what to have for breakfast. This extreme fear of making decisions can even be a reason for suicide if it becomes too severe.


Due to their lack of faith in their own decision-making skills, they are prone to feeling disheartened when they lose their partner or get separated from them. They will do everything that they can to make sure their partner stays, even if their partner may constantly torture them with abuse.

Someone who suffers from Aboulomania may experience the following: They do not want to be left by themselves, they try to stay away from having any personal responsibility, they are immediately offended by any kind of criticism or rejection, they become very preoccupied with their fear of being abandoned, they become passive partners in relationships, they tend to be devasted when their relationship ends, they find hard to make a choice without the help of other people, and finding it difficult to disagree with others.


Aboulomania stricken people are prone to be feeling disheartened / Photo by Getty Images



Exploring Your Mind says that experts speculate that these are the probable causes of Aboulomania:

Damage in the prefrontal cortex

Since the region of the brain involved with choosing decisions is the prefrontal cortex, having an extreme fear of making decisions may spring from a malfunction or a damage in this area.

Having overprotective/authoritarian parents or caretakers

If the person grew up with overprotective parents, they may also acquire this mental disorder. Having overprotective parents can lead an individual to become overly dependent on them.  As a result, they also become extremely reliant on others to make decisions for them. If they have experienced being embarrassed in their childhood, this may induce to have many insecurities, have no self-esteem, and shame.

Their parents or caretakers may have also exhibited intrusive behavior toward them when they were children. They may have also been part of families where feelings are not openly expressed and where parents have been excessively controlling. They may also not have a good relationship with their family and their family roles may not have been specifically distinguished. They tend to believe that they do not have the capacity to perform a task and do their responsibilities. Since they behave in a manner that shows they do not have the capability to do anything without the assistance of others, this causes to draw out the caregiving tendencies of their loved ones. In turn, this makes them even more doubtful that they can live independently.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Aboulomania

The patient who is experiencing symptoms of Aboulomania will go through a physical and medical history examination. In addition, the doctor may use other diagnostic examinations to make certain that it is not a physical health condition that is prompting the symptoms. Once it is clear that the patient is not actually suffering from a physical illness, they will be instructed to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. After that, the psychiatrist or psychologist will get a diagnosis from the outcome of their interview and evaluation tools.

Before they diagnose the patient with Aboulomania, they must first take note of their age and their cultural background. In some cultures, it is a common rule to assume a courteous, respectful and dependent posture when associating with a different gender or with someone who has a higher position than them. A patient may only be diagnosed with Aboulomania if their symptoms fit the standard symptoms of Aboulomania and if their dependence does not stem from cultural factors. Other diagnostic tools they may use are Thematic Appreception Test (TAT), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), Rorschach Psychodiagnostic Test, and Millon Clinical Multi-axial Inventory (MCM-II).

Bustle suggests that for long-term treatment, the Aboulomania patient can go through psychotherapy. On the other hand, they may also benefit from being subject to goal-oriented therapy. Some of the objectives the goal-oriented therapy are to assist them in improving their assertiveness and helping them build up their confidence. They may also take medication for anxiety and depression. It is advised that their dosage should be tracked because taking medications may cause them to develop unhealthy drug dependence or could result in drug abuse.




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