Feb 6, 2012


Summary: Pardon my aboulia of late. It's taken me awhile to decide which direction to go toward with my 'next' blog post. Read on to see what broke the spell—and just what the heck aboulia is, anyway.

 On a recent trip to Terry Abner Salon to get my nails done by Jamie Fritze, nail tech extraordinaire, I spotted a book that jumped out at me amid the usual selection of home decor and celebrity gossip magazines. Although its title escapes me today (something along the line of Weird, Wonderful Words), the 1980s font is emblazoned in my mind's eye, along with the physical feeling of joy that overcame my being when I realized I could sit down in the lobby and escape into my favorite subject of all. ... And, well, that's weird and wonderful words.

I didn't get very far into the book before Jamie came to greet me with her usual stylish and sweet look and demeanor, accompanied by the lilting-voiced, "Hi, Kealah." (If you haven't read it yet, that's KEY - la. Think cartoonized singing house key.) But no matter: I only had to read the first entry to find a word I could newly love.

Aboulia (ay - BOO - lee - YAH) – (n.) the absence of willpower or decisiveness; an abnormal lack of ability to act or to make decisions that's characteristic of certain neurotic or psychotic conditions. Typically used as a medical term, the word can be spelled without the O, as in abulia. It hails from the same ancient Greek word that literally means "without will." With an adjective form, aboulic, it's been used in English presumably since the language's dawn.

What are some cognitive challenges that have aboulia as a symptom? They can include depression, mood disorders (bipolar disorder or schizophrenia), addiction/alcoholism, autism, and even ADD, especially when it comes to decision-making.

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2012

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