The diagnosis of ADHD is effectively a clinical opinion that an individual is not reaching their full potential. It's also a claim about the underlying mechanism (being mediated by dopamine; a disturbance in executive function).

I am trying to come up with the name of a disease entity that means idiopathic unfulfilled potential.

Can someone suggest a creative and legitimate-sounding name for a disorder conveying any of the following (or similar)?

  • Insufficient potential
  • Desire not being satisfied (individual's ambition greater than ability)
  • Hidden/latent ability
  • Drive is not fully awoken

Here are my potential candidates. However, none are wholly satisfying to me:

  • Idiopathic amotivation
  • Idiopathic apotentia
  • Idiopathic anhedonia

Only criteria I have is that it sounds good and begins with idiopathic.

Jah Bless


A couple of suggestions - two using Greek (to match the Greek etymology of idiopathic) and one Latin (because this is Latin Stack Exchange).

idiopathic eudaimonapenia - a lack of flourishing

I started with the Greek philosophical concept of eudaimonia (εὐδαιμονία), the highest good humans can achieve, by being the best human they were always intended to be. It is often translated as happiness but flourishing is also used to dissociate it from the transitory happiness of merely satisfying pleasures and to highlight the idea of fulfilling our potential.

Penia (πενία) means poverty, need, lack. It is a common suffix in medical terminology (osteopenia, thrombocytopenia etc.)

(I made it eudaimonApenia rather than eudaimonIApenia for euphonic reasons, but this is entirely subjective)

idiopathic cryptodunamis - latent potential

From cryptos (κρυπτός) / hidden + dunamis (δύναμις) / ability, power, talent, faculty, potential

dunamis is also a philosophical term that Aristotle, in particular, used to contrast with the idea of actuality, what is actually happening (vs what could happen).

(for the record, both adunamia (ἀδυναμία) and adunatos (ἀδύνατος) are Greek words but have the sense of being feeble, weak, crippled even, so I thought they tipped over into judgement rather than description of the condition)

EDIT: On reflection, I would change this to idiopathic cryptodynamia (see comments below for clarification)

idiopathic florens occultus - hidden flourishing

Cicero translated the concept of eudaimonia as beata vita but I couldn't create a catchy term out of it and so chose florens instead.

  • i've often wondered if you there was a rule about mixing greek and latin. are you aware of any convention]? – faustus Nov 25 '17 at 5:21
  • @faustus I don't think there are formal rules, it happens all the time, television, for example (I can't think of the term for those kind of words, at the moment ... hybrid?) but some purists think it should be avoided :) – Penelope Nov 25 '17 at 5:31
  • Should it be cryptodynamia instead of cryptodynamis? – Joonas Ilmavirta Nov 25 '17 at 14:09
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Good question! dunamis is the actual Greek word and so I left it as is but dunamia certainly flows better and since adunamia is legitimate, why not cryptodunamia? Also, re: the u vs y - I think dynamia looks better and is in line with the change from krupto to crypto so cryptodynamia would be my final answer! I'm not sure what my thought-process was at the time that made me keep the u - perhaps to make it quite clear that it is the philosophical concept of dunamis. – Penelope Nov 25 '17 at 23:05

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