5 Of The World’s Weirdest Mental Disorders

Published June 3, 2014
Updated September 12, 2018

Mental Disorders: Aboulomania

Mental Disorders Lindsay Lohan

Bad decisions take many forms. This is one of them. Image Source: Fashion Rat

Think back to when you clicked the link to this article. Those were the days, huh? Now—why did you click on this article? How? While you’re at it, try to remember what you were thinking when you decided to put down the gun that you were cleaning with a Confederate flag (we’ve done audience research) in the first place. Why did you choose not to wear pants to work today?

The short answer is that your brain is equipped with a deliberative mechanism that helps you sift through actions and prioritize the things you want to do. Aboulomania is what happens when that mechanism is disabled or defective.

People with aboulomania report being paralyzed with indecision over every minor decision they have to make. Normal daily activities such as going for a walk, getting some work done, or deciding which politician to troll today become impossibly difficult to prioritize.

What’s interesting about aboulomania is that the affected person is otherwise completely normal. Sufferers (Aboulomaniacs?) know they have a problem with pathological indecision, yet they will still agonize at length over every little thing. People with the condition (Aboulominions?) just can’t stop obsessively working up elaborate arguments in favor of, say, eating chicken piccata and then tossing them all out to build their case for fried fish. That is, of course, before they almost talk themselves back into that chicken again.

Treatment for victims of the disorder (Aboulomennonites?) consists mainly of ruling out depression and then—gently—encouraging them to knock it off already. Clinical research is no doubt hampered by the difficulty in scheduling visits with patients.

Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton is a freelance science and technology writer from Sacramento, California.