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What is Monomania?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Monomania is an emotional or mental disorder that impacts the ability of the individual to interact with his or her environment in a balanced and productive manner. Essentially, monomania is a condition in which the sufferer is so focused on one idea or emotion that it is impossible to function normally. An individual who suffers with this disorder is often referred to as a monomaniac.

The term monomania is created from the Greek word monos, which refers to one, and mania, which refers to an excited state. People who exhibit monomaniacal attributes become so focused with a single emotion or concept that the majority of their waking hours are devoted to this single subject. In most cases, paranoia is increasingly present as the condition deepens, with the monomaniac often believing others are seeking to negatively impact the obsession in some manner.

The paranoid aspects of monomania are usually manifested by thoughts that others do not understand properly, are incapable of understanding, and thus present a real and present danger. For example, if someone with monomania has become convinced that he or she is going to drown, a friendly invitation that includes being near a pool, lake, or river may be seen as a confirmation of the overwhelming fear. Further, the individual who issued the invitation may be seen as vehicle for the realization of this great fear. In order to delay what is considered to be inevitable, the monomaniac may sever all social ties to the friend or relative who made the perfectly innocent invitation.

As with many types of mental and emotional disorders, persons who suffer with monomania are often convinced the rest of the world is going mad, but they are perfectly sane. The perception is that the mania is not a mania at all, but simply a heightened sense that is helping the individual to avoid some terrible fate.

Unfortunately, monomania can also lead to an obsession with another person. The condition may manifest itself as an attachment that is so strong that it is impossible to be away from the object of affection for any appreciable period of time. In other cases, the monomaniac may become convinced that a given individual is to be the instrument of their death, and thus either avoid the individual or take steps to remove the threat by any means necessary.

Monomania is a condition that can be treated with therapy and with medication. Only qualified healthcare professionals can diagnose monomania, and treatment should be left to those who understand how the disorder works.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including The Health Board, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon316675 — On Jan 30, 2013

You should read Hua Hu Ching #29 it talks about Monomania in the 'Complete Works of Lao Tzu' by Hua-Ching Ni. No other ancient writing shows such genius and vitality of life as these writings. Modern scientific texts pale in comparison!

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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