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Lethologica is a psychological disorder that inhibits an individual's ability to articulate their thoughts by temporarily forgetting key words, phrases or names in conversation.
|The temporal lobe, shown in green, is affected in lethologica.|
Lethologica was first identified as a serious, debilitating disorder by Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Jung in 1913 in his Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (The Psychology of the Unconscious). Detailed studies of the disorder were first carried out by American psychiatrists in the 1950s. Current research identifies the ailment as extremely prevalent but also highly variable in its severity of manifestation. According to the American Psychiatry Association, "9 out of 10 Westerners will suffer some form of Lethologica during their lifetimes."
The word 'Lethologica' is derived from the Greek language - letho (forgetfulness) and logos (word). 'Letho' originates from Greek mythology, in that the Lethe (pronounced 'LEETH-ee') was one of the rivers that flowed through the realm of Hades. Called the River of Oblivion, the shades of the dead were forced to drink from this river in order to forget their past lives on earth.
Lethologica's severity amongst sufferers is dependent upon a myriad of factors including stress, physical fitness, social interaction and base memory capacity. As such it can be classified as a 'lifestyle disease' which is also affected by individual personality traits. These factors have been shown to affect the temporal lobe which in turn causes the sporadic functioning of episodic and semantic memory capacities. Lethologica afflicts in a manner almost opposite to that of other memory disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia in that strenuous mental exercise can precipitate an onset of memory loss.