Since my disability due to chronic illness, I often feel hebetudinous. Healthy people tell me to exercise, or even walk, thinking that will help me. It’s difficult to comprehend Exercise Intolerance until you’ve experienced it. Recovery from exertion or falling is worse than being still to begin with and only doing what I can handle, when I can handle it. I only wish my friends could understand why I use a wheelchair outside of the house.
Did You Know?
Hebetude usually suggests mental dullness, often marked by laziness or torpor. As such, it was a good word for one Queenslander correspondent, who wrote in a letter to the editor of the Weekend Australian of “an epidemic of hebetude among young people who … are placing too great a reliance on electronic devices to do their thinking and remembering.” Hebetude comes from Late Latin hebetudo, which means pretty much the same thing as our word. It is also closely related to the Latin word for “dull,” hebes, which has extended meanings such as “obtuse,” “doltish,” and “stupid.” Other hebe- words in English include hebetudinous (“marked by hebetude”) and hebetate (“to make dull”).