Are you fixated on a particular phrase? You may have onomatomania, just like Naseeruddin Shah

Updated on: 9 March 2022, 16:13 pm IST

Actor Naseeruddin Shah has left people wondering about onamatomania, a rare condition that he has! Read on to know more.

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Wonder what is onomatomania? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It was only recently that veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah opened about his struggles with sleep, because of a condition he suffers from. Yes, he has onomatomania, in which a person keeps repeating a particular word or phrase. Even when he’s trying to sleep, he can’t because his mind is never at rest. So, what is this condition all about? How can it be addressed?

To understand this better, HealthShots got in touch with Dr Priyaranjan Avinash, Consultant Psychiatrist, IWill. Here’s what the expert has to say, “In medical language, the English suffix ‘mania’ denotes an obsession with something , which could be anything. One needs to differentiate it from another medical term, hypomania, which is a major mental illness characterized by elevated mood, increased energy, goal-directed activities, decreased need for sleep, grandiosity, etc.”

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What’s on your mind? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

All about onomatomania

As mentioned earlier, it is an obsessive use of a word, term, or phrase. In its extreme form, one keeps using this term even when it is not needed.

“The person looks for opportunities to use the term or the word, making the sentence long and circumstantial. They even get disturbed, in case they are not able to use the term. The frustration is real, if they don’t remember to use the word or phrase. This can lead to restlessness, anxiety, irritability, or sleeplessness,” says Dr Priyaranjan.

Adding to this, the expert shares that onomatomania can be been linked with some mental and neurological conditions, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy, and even schizophrenia. However, this is not a sufficient criterion to diagnose any of the above mental conditions and is a very uncommon phenomenon.

Does onomatomania happen to certain people?

Research reveals that those who love literature, art, movies, or belong to any creative field can be fixated on a word, phrase, or even a line of a song. It may be a part and parcel of your life, especially if you are someone who likes to indulge in creative pursuits.

Also Read: Does having a cluttered mind promote creativity?

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Creative people tend to face onomatomania more! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Can the condition be treated?

It is best to consult with an expert to receive any guidance you need in this regard. If the condition interferes with your daily life, a specialist can suggest certain techniques or use cognitive behavioural therapy to help you feel better. There is no specific medicine for onomatomania. In case, the condition is associated with another mental health issue, appropriate action will be taken by the specialist.

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.

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