Clinophilia: definition, symptoms and treatments

Are you familiar with clinomania (also called clinophilia)? It is the obsession with lying in bed. Definition, symptoms and treatments: we tell you more about this anxiety disorder.

Woody Allen humorously says, “When you’re dead and someone yells ‘Get up in there, it’s time to get up’, it’s hard to put on your slippers”. Yet for some people getting up is a real ordeal.

Also called clinomania, clinophilia is a form of hypersomnia which results in medicine by the obsession with lying in bed. Patients no longer feel any energy to get up.
Typically, this disorder is just the tip of the iceberg and sometimes hides more serious psychiatric problems, such as schizophrenia or severe depression. We explain everything you want to know about clinophilia in this comprehensive article.

Definition of clinophilia, a still unrecognized psychiatric disorder

The clinophile no longer wishes to get out of bed, all day long. Considered by doctors and scientists to be a psychiatric disorder, clinophilia can still have several translations. Etymologically, this disorder means “the fact of loving to lie down”.

For the clinophile, lying down all day quickly becomes an addiction. Those who have it can thus stay in bed for several days without wanting to get up. What is sought above all: a feeling of security and well-being.

While clinophilia is not a pathology in itself, it must be taken into consideration with regard to other underlying psychiatric pathologies such as depression or schizophrenia. In addition, certain risk factors must be considered: burnout or a depressive illness caused by a sudden and traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one, for example. When a patient consults for clinophilia, the doctor is necessarily interested in the stress factors that may have plunged the individual into this state.

What are the causes of clinomania?

In general, a person who suffers from depressive disorders or who is simply not well, tends to withdraw into himself. How? ‘Or’ What ? By staying for example in a place where she feels safe, her home obviously but more precisely still, in her room. Patients with clinomania stay home, most of the time in a state of sleep. The bed is where a clinophile feels best, like in a cocoon.

This place, which he considers particularly reassuring, actually pushes him into a vicious circle: the longer he stays in his bed, the less he manages to get out.

Clinomania or clinophilia: a depressive disorder

Addiction to his bed and the fact of not wanting to get out of it testifies to a great psychological discomfort. This addictive state of clinomania is observed in several different psychiatric illnesses. This symptom is almost always found in depression and burnout episodes. When we ask victims of professional exhaustion how their burn-out period started, it is very common for them to say that they could not get out of bed one day …

This phenomenon then leads to a loss of energy and a decline in the vital momentum that inhabits us all. Result: the clinophile can no longer leave his home, unable to do everything that he previously liked (going out, playing sports, shopping, practicing an activity, etc.).

Clinophilia: a psychological disorder linked to schizophrenia

This disorder can also be caused by certain psychoses, including paranoid schizophrenia. In this case, the patient who remains lying in bed all day does so in the context of delusional episodes. He feels persecuted and is afraid to go outside where he feels he is constantly in danger. Out of his cocoon, he may for example believe that passers-by are angry with him, hear voices, or even be subject to visual hallucinations.

Such a level of stress and psychosis then pushes the sufferer not to leave his home and to take refuge in a place where he feels safe, in his bed. Another fairly common example would be dissociative syndrome in schizophrenic patients. The people concerned feel totally inhibited, which prevents them from being able to be in the concrete, in the action. They are thus blocked in their will (however sometimes very present) to do simple and basic things of the daily newspaper.

Anxiety Disorder and Agoraphobia: Common Sources of Clinomania

In some cases, it is possible that the onset of clinomania disorder is accentuated by certain anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia for example (fear of crowds and public spaces). People who have it may have great difficulty leaving their homes due to their phobia. So although these individuals do not lack energy or momentum, they are hindered by their anxiety.

The emotional wins over the rational: fears are stronger than reason. This can create real suffering on a daily basis that it is important to treat as quickly as possible so as not to sink into a state of chronic ill-being.

Clinophilia, a psychological disorder with many consequences

A person with clinophilia can often be seen by those around him as being lazy, lascivious, lacking in willpower and drive. And all this further accentuates the feeling of discomfort in the person who has it. Yet clinomania is a symptom of a real psychological or psychiatric disorder. As it can herald the onset of more serious pathologies or mental problems, it is important that loved ones stay alert if someone close to them is affected. Even more when clinophilia hurts adolescents or young adults: bullying or hidden violence can be at the origin.

The consequences of clinophilia can be significant, especially in the long term. They are of a physical and psychological nature:

  • A great feeling of fatigue that does not pass despite the time spent lying in bed;
  • a very rapid decrease in muscle mass;
  • ulcers and bedsores from lying down;
  • constipation;
  • a loss of motor and mobile skills (such as walking which can become a real ordeal).

If this disorder can easily affect people in a situation of burn-out or those who are already followed in psychiatry for psychotic behavior, it is considered that there is no typical profile. Everyone, young or old, man or woman, can be affected by clinomania at some point in their life, to a greater or lesser extent.

Clinophilia or clinomania: which treatment to cure?

The first thing to remember for people with this disorder is that nothing is irremediable. Thus, there are several types of treatments that will restore the situation to normal.
It is necessary to eradicate clinomania in comprehensive treatment since it is important to take into account any symptoms that may be related to an underlying psychiatric illness. The care must above all be adapted to each individual in a personalized way. For this, it is important that the disorders are diagnosed by a health professional (doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist etc.).
In the event of severe depression, the psychiatrist may for example prescribe antidepressants. Rather, they will be antipsychotics if the person has schizophrenia and anxiolytics for anxiety disorders.

However, beyond the medical treatment itself, many health professionals emphasize the importance of psychotherapeutic approaches in parallel.

Cognitive behavioral therapy to treat addiction, psychosis, depression or anxiety disorders

This therapy is intended to initiate awareness in the patient, using active listening and empathy. Through practical exercises centered on the patient’s symptoms, on his behavior and on the accompaniment of a therapist, this type of therapy aims to intervene on the patient’s cognitive process, at the origin of his emotional disorders. Over the course of the sessions, the clinophile comes to realize that being in bed for a long time is negative, although at the same time it reassures him.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a proactive approach that allows patients to take ownership of their past, present and future. He intervenes in session to express himself and positively restructure his thought patterns.

Interpersonal psychotherapy to treat certain relationship difficulties

This therapeutic approach helps to highlight the importance of interpersonal relationships. The goal of the therapist is to demonstrate to the patient that the bonds of social attachment bring real benefits on a daily basis. Anyone who is anxious at the idea of ​​leaving home and who prefers to stay in bed sees things in a different way over the course of the sessions. He regains a taste for social interaction and the group. This type of work is also linked to attachment. It allows the clinophile to find a balance in life and to feel happy and peaceful.

To prevent episodes of clinomania as much as possible, it is recommended to maintain a strong and quality social network. It is also important to do activities that we really enjoy, in order to feel motivated on a daily basis.


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