• Friday July 10,2020


Abulia is a symptom of various illnesses, which manifests itself predominantly in the form of lack of will and weakness of will. Accordingly, the abulia can not be treated independently. Rather, after the diagnosis, the treatment of the underlying disease is in the foreground.

What is Abulie?

Abulia occurs as a result of various diseases. It expresses itself as pathological lack of will.
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The Abulie is a pathological lack of will connected with weak will, indecision and the inability to make decisions themselves. It is not a disease of its own but is a symptom of another disease. It is most common in diseases of the forehead, such as tumors, neurosis or depression, as well as schizophrenic psychoses.

Concerned people would like to carry out an action, but are not in a position to take a decision in this regard or to execute it. This concerns both work and leisure activities and self-sufficiency. Good intentions can no longer put the patients into action, actions are postponed time and again, and concentration on the actual project is not possible.

As a result, the person loses his willpower and becomes socially less active, which can lead to complete isolation. In addition, the inability to speak due to a loss of functional supply to the vocal tract is also called an abulia.


Abulia occurs as a result of various diseases. As different as these diseases may be, they are also the trigger. Often, however, the pathological lack of will occurs in the context of depression. This, in turn, can have many causes that are still not fully understood.

It is clear, however, that usually several internal and external factors interact. These include heredity, alcohol, drugs, certain medications, physical illness, mental disorders, stress and biochemical triggers. More and more frequently the pathological lack of will occurs in connection with a cannabis addiction.

But also brain tumors, neurosis or a schizophrenic disorder can trigger the abulia. Often it is then a consequence of sadness, listlessness or the impoverishment of emotional life.

Diseases with this symptom

  • tumor
  • depressions
  • eating disorder
  • brain tumor
  • Catatonic schizophrenia
  • Paranoid schizophrenia
  • Cardiac neurosis (cardiac phobia)
  • drug psychosis
  • Affective disorders
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Schizoaffective disorders
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder
  • anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • hypochondria

Diagnosis & History

If there is a suspicion of abulia, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Finally, the diagnosis requires a pre-existing disorder, such as a brain tumor, schizophrenia, depression or neurosis. If such a disease has not yet been diagnosed, the doctor will initiate appropriate investigations. First contact person is usually the family doctor.

This will check the physical health and engage in detailed conversation suspected of various mental disorders. Subsequently, the doctor will turn on appropriate specialists. They conduct further investigations, which include behavioral observations of the patient, neuropsychological test procedures and questioning the relatives.

Only as a result, targeted therapeutic measures can be started. However, the problem is often that the weakness of the will in many cases even prevents the decision to see a doctor. This makes an early diagnosis extremely rare. In the further course of the disease, the abulia is often accompanied by a melancholy.

In addition, dumbness (mutism) or a wordless language with long interruptions and the inability to make long speeches. In addition, the abulia often leads to social isolation and in many cases to alcohol or drug addiction. Not infrequently, the abulia ends in the patients themselves losing their will to live.


The untreated abulia often leads to a permanent melancholy or even depression. Frequently, patients base their lack of will as a temporary phenomenon based on increased stress. They avoid the doctor's visit and take refuge in medications to calm or drink more alcohol. This in turn means that in many cases a dependency occurs.

Abulia can also affect communication with other people. This means that those affected only speak less or do not speak at all. In some cases, their language is slowed down and it is difficult for the other person to follow them in their train of thought. The variety of drugs requires that the correct diagnosis is made. Common complications in the treatment of abulia are the side effects of the medication as well as the dependence on the therapist.

Patients, for example, feel safe under the care of their doctor and can structure their daily routine. Once they are on their own again, their suffering worsens. The danger with medicines exists not only in the dependency. They can also cause disorders in the gastrointestinal tract, the libido and the Herzrhytmus. Another complication in drug treatment of abulia is weight gain. Although the patients feel comfortable and manage their daily routine as usual, they suffer from their increased weight.

When should you go to the doctor?

Abulia is initially a general lack of will. It is a symptom of several different diseases and can only be treated as part of the therapy of the underlying disease. Affected by an abulian are not able to implement a project or make decisions - whether professional or private. As the abulius progresses, people continue to retreat to the extreme of social isolation. In addition to this definition, Abulie also refers to the organic inability to speak.

Abulie is mainly associated with endocrine diseases, neurosis, depression and schizophrenic psychoses. To initiate a therapy, the first thing to do is to visit the family doctor. After initial examinations, this patient often refers his patients to a neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist. The treatment of the abulia should be as soon as possible.

Otherwise, a manifestation of depression and alcohol or tablet abuse threatens to better endure the situation, but this would create new health problems and start a vicious cycle. Helpful in the treatment of abulia has been the involvement of relatives of the patient, who act as co-therapists, so to speak.

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Treatment & Therapy

The abulia is not an independent disease, but the symptom of another disease. For that reason, she herself can not be treated. Rather, it is first necessary to treat the underlying disease. For example, if the pathological lack of will occurs in the context of depression, the treatment of this disease is in the foreground.

In this case, both the intake of drugs and psychotherapeutic measures can be prescribed. It is important that all underlying diseases are detected first, because often there are several mental disorders at the same time. In this case, only a holistic approach to therapy can lead to success. The relatives are regularly included.

Depending on the disorder patterns and behavioral problems, there are different forms of therapy. Some approaches focus on problem solving and behavior management. Other approaches, however, are dedicated to manipulating or modifying the patient's environment. In any case, it is helpful if Abulie people clearly structure their daily routine and focus on a few tasks.

This can prevent failures that would otherwise lead to self-doubt and strengthen the will weakness. A written agenda and checklists can be very useful. They can provide relief and counteract the constant shifting of certain actions. In addition, patients usually need external help in performing their day-to-day tasks as well as encouragement and appropriate praise. Relatives are often called in as co-therapists.

Outlook & Forecast

The prognosis in an abulia always depends on the underlying condition. If the symptoms are based on depression or schizophrenia, there may be a further increase in the weakness of the will. However, if the cause is recognized early enough and adequately treated, the abulia will also decrease during the course of the disease. Already formed automatisms can prepare the affected person however also after the recovery for a long time difficulties in the everyday life.

Depending on the severity of the abulia, therapy can positively influence the course of the disease. Abulia resulting from psychosis can also be effectively treated by rapid action. The prognosis for an abulia is accordingly positive. Even with a weakness of the will as a result of a neurosis or other mental disorders, a therapy can increase the chances of success.

Since Abulie can often lead to the development of various problems, and because of procrastination also to marginalization from social life, the treatment is a lengthy process, which is often associated with setbacks. The prospect is nonetheless positive, as the right measures are taken early to treat the abulia and the underlying cause.


In order to prevent abulia, a timely diagnosis of the underlying disease is necessary. For example, it helps when depression is detected at an early stage. Professional therapy measures can be initiated in this case, even before a pathological unwillingness is added and the patient probably completely isolated.

If abulia-promoting illnesses occur, above all the environment of the affected person must be very attentive. You should regularly observe the patient's behavior and inform the doctor about abnormalities.

You can do that yourself

Depending on the underlying disease, sufferers can support the treatment of pathological unwillingness with self-help measures. The transition from outside to self-help is fluid. Coping strategies learned in a therapy must be integrated into everyday life on one's own responsibility. This also reduces the risk of relapse.

In order to counteract an apathetic, will-less basic mood, a structuring day plan in written form is helpful, which makes the repeated shifting of activities more difficult. Excessive demands and unrealistic objectives are to be avoided. It makes sense to prioritize the daily goals and to balance out unpleasant and pleasant activities.

On the one hand, such a prepared daily and weekly plan offers important planning help and on the other hand it provides motivation through documented healing successes. For recurring, complex tasks, checklists are recommended as a relief. The contact with relatives and friends is secured by regular meetings with binding appointments. Self-help groups and patient clubs also offer the opportunity to counteract social withdrawal and isolation.

Depending on the underlying main disorders, sufferers can train with mindfulness exercises in everyday life, on the other hand to distinguish between healthy withdrawal and self-protection behavior on the one hand and morbid unwillingness on the other. Some patients benefit (depending on their individual circumstances) from living with pets. They give reason and motivation to get out of the paralyzing lack of will. It is important that there is no additional pressure and that being together with the animals can be positively experienced.

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