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A fixation? An obsession? A ..... what....?

 
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 05:35 pm
What is it called when someone gets obsessed or fixated with a certain idea that everything else is excluded from their thoughts but it's only for a brief period of time then they return to normal until they fixate on something else. Fixated to the point where they'll be explosive and irate until the idea is resolved in some kind of way.

Something where a person could becomes completely irrational about it but it blows over very quickly.

Is there a word or phrase that describes that state of being?

Fixation doesn't sound intense enough and obsession implies (to me, anyway) something that is ongoing in a day after day after day way.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 1,659 • Replies: 11
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DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 05:38 pm
@boomerang,
Mania? Pre-occupation?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 05:41 pm
@DrewDad,
Mania. That might be it!

ma·ni·a/ˈmānēə/
Noun:

Mental illness marked by periods of great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity.
An excessive enthusiasm or desire; an obsession: "our mania for details".

Can someone be "manic" for just a short time, say 30 minutes or a couple of hours, and then move on like nothing ever happened?
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 05:56 pm
@boomerang,
There is such a thing as hypomania. (Mania is a spectrum disorder, so some people will exhibit a little bit of mania, some people will have full-blown mania, and some people will be in between.)

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 05:59 pm
@DrewDad,
I was just reading about hypomania.

The thing is, even with lesser mania it seems that there is a much longer duration. I'm talking about something more like a fugue state -- really irrational but just for a very short time, then normal.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 06:33 pm
@boomerang,
http://www.livestrong.com/article/10490-recognize-different-forms-bipolar-disorder/

Quote:
1. Recognize Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder

Some people with bipolar disorder switch from manic to depressed and back again with startling frequency. While rapid cycling bipolar disorder is technically classified as having at least four mood changes within a year, many people with this type of bipolar disorder actually change moods several times a week, or even in a day.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/10490-recognize-different-forms-bipolar-disorder/#ixzz1ryAinzEi


or maybe episodic OCD?
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 06:36 pm
@boomerang,
craze would be good too.
craze = an enthusiasm for a particular activity or object that typically achieves widespread but short-lived popularity.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 07:33 pm
@ehBeth,
Thanks, ehBeth.

That didn't sound quite right but following some clues from there I came across this....

Quote:
Intermittent explosive disorder

Explosive eruptions, usually lasting 10 to 20 minutes, often result in injuries and the deliberate destruction of property. These episodes may occur in clusters or be separated by weeks or months of nonaggression.

.......

The degree of aggressiveness expressed during the incidents is completely out of proportion with the precipitating event.


And...

Quote:
Additionally, there may be differences in the way serotonin, an important chemical messenger in the brain,


http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/intermittent-explosive-disorder/DS00730

Which led me to some stuff about antihistamines effect on serotonin which might explain some things.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2012 07:35 pm
@CalamityJane,
Craze certainly feels like the right word but I think a craze is more like a fad; the "widespread" part doesn't fit.
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2012 01:59 am
If you want to get all poetic and writerly, you could use idée fixe, which means a fixed idea--fixed in the precise sense of a fixation.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2012 09:59 am
@Setanta,
That's a good one.

It's interesting that so many words dance around this idea.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2012 10:06 am
In his novel In Praise of Older Women, Stephen Vizinczey describes meeting a little girl at an amusement park in Budapest who has her even smaller brother by the hand. She confides in the protagonist that her brother has a mania. The author then comments that mania is a commonly used word among the Hungarians.
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