Synthesis - Symptom notes - Ennui



  • Listlessness, dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement/ lack of patience
  • Synonyms
    • Tedium, boredom, weariness, dullness, indifference, nothingness
  • Antonyms
    • Excite - to stir into action or feeling, stimulated, motivated, interested

Situation / characterization

To be a bore - to be tiresome, dull. 

  • A problem of engagement of attention, e.g you are prevented/ forced to/ unable to engage with a subject or task because of a suppressive agent (prescription drug, overbearing parent, irascible teacher). 
  • Situation might be when one is in a depression already - there is a lack of energy and motivation to be one’s true self. If a problem is left to fester rather than allowing things to run their course, there is suppression of the vitality - ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
  • Ennui may arise from depressive states as the individual has become stuck in a ‘holding pattern’ rather than embracing the opportunities life presents them.
  • The perception of one’s environment as dull, tedious, lacking stimulation is really a reflection of an inner state, where there is denial/ suppression of freedom of expression.
  • It is the manner of ‘looking’ that makes a situation seem tedious. If there is impatience and a lot of mental noise, then it will be difficult to switch off, hence people are trying out lots of new experiences, trying to change their external environment to remedy their dysfunctional internal state.
  • Daydreaming may be a passive way to avoid boredom - whilst also avoiding the ‘world out there’ they focus on the world ‘in here’ which might become very expansive in such attempts to wish-away ennui.

Opposite expression

  • Fascination with life: seeing, participating and being present to enjoy all the subtleties of existence. There should never be a reason to be bored!