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Aboulomania (from Greek a– 'without', and boulē 'will')[1] is a mental disorder in which the patient displays pathological indecisiveness.[2][3] It is typically associated with anxiety, stress, depression, and mental anguish, and can severely affect one's ability to function socially. Although many people suffer from indecision, it is rarely to the extent of obsession.[4] The part of the brain that is tied to making rational choices, the prefrontal cortex, can hold several pieces of information at any given time.[4] This may quickly overwhelm somebody when trying to make decisions, regardless of the importance of that decision. They come up with reasons that their decisions will turn out badly, causing them to over-analyze every situation critically in a classic case of paralysis by analysis. Lack of information, valuation difficulty, and outcome uncertainty can become an obsession.[5]

Researchers speculate extremely authoritarian or overprotective parenting can lead to the development of aboulomania. They believe the disorder is a result of overinvolvement and intrusive behaviours. The caretakers who have caused this extreme dependency may have rewarded loyalty and punished the child or patient for independence. It is thought the family of the diagnosed might also be neglectful or avoid expressing emotions in order to demonstrate properly defined relational roles in the family. [6]


  1. ^ "aboulia". The New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed.).
  2. ^ Chrisomalis, Stephen (2007). "Manias and Obsessions". The Phronistery.
  3. ^ Rawat, P.S. (2002). Midline Medical History. Jane Publishers. p. 11. ISBN 9788131903537.
  4. ^ a b Byrne, Jennifer (2010). "How to Overcome Indecision". Livestrong.
  5. ^ Rassin, Eric (2007). "A psychological theory of indecisiveness". Netherlands Journal of Psychology. 63 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1007/BF03061056. S2CID 144834627.
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