The consumption of water in adequate amounts is essential for good health. However, excess water or other liquids can be counterproductive. In this way, when someone is obsessed with drinking water, potomania occurs. This term comes from the Greek potos, which means drink, and the Latin manía, which is equivalent to dementia or madness.
To keep the body properly hydrated it is advisable to drink about 2 to 2.5 liters of water a day. In this sense, to know if someone suffers from potamania there is a clear indicator: drinking water compulsively without being thirsty, with more than 4 liters per day.
The origin of the problem
From a medical point of view, potomania is considered a mental disorder. This alteration should not be confused with another: dipsomania (the dipsomaniac is an alcoholic). Neurologists believe that the origin of this pathology lies in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain responsible for regulating the amount of water needed by our body and for emitting thirst signals. If the hypothalamus undergoes a change, there is an imbalance with regard to water consumption. When this happens, a neurological pathology manifests. On occasion, this condition is due to some psychological problems related to eating disorders or personality disorders .
Certain risk factors can trigger potomania, such as anxiety, some mental illnesses or the frequent use of drugs that cause dry mouth.
It should not be ignored, on the other hand, that the addiction to drinking water is directly related to the cult of the body, especially the obsession with weight loss. In this sense, there is a false myth that water thins and this makes some people replace food with large amounts of water or other liquids.
consequences of potomania
Lack of water has direct consequences for health, especially dehydration. Too much water causes other negative effects such as cramps, fatigue, nausea or headache. On a more serious level, potomania produces a lack of sodium, changes in the blood, problems with the kidneys or the brain and, in some more extreme cases, it can lead to death, more particularly from water intoxication.
If potomania is caused by a mental illness , psychotherapy is the most common treatment. However, if the origin of the problem is neurological, the treatment will probably be based on the consumption of drugs.