Thought disorders can be described as severely abnormal cognitive disturbances. They can impact the ability to think, communicate, and even speak.

Disorganized thinking and thought disorders can impact speech. They cause severe disorganization and disrupt the ability of people to have meaningful conversations. This could include switching topics quickly, responding to unrelated questions with minimal or no explanations, and using a mixture of words that don’t make a sentence.

Thought Disorder Symptoms

Thought disorder symptoms can severely affect an individual’s ability to communicate by writing and speaking. Remember that each person’s symptoms can be different, so diagnosis is a highly individual process.

7 Types Of Thought Disorders

Based on specific symptoms or behavior, there are seven types of thought disorders.

These are seven types:

When an individual has trouble speaking in general. Individuals may have difficulty with verbal fluency. This refers to the ability to recall and communicate information.

Blocking: When an individual has difficulty fully expressing their thoughts or completing them, particularly if there are frequent pauses in speech. They might have difficulty completing their thoughts or stop talking.

Circumstantiality When an individual talks in a circular or “roundabout” way. They may drift off into unrelated topics, but eventually, they will return to the main point of their statement or the question.

Clanging or Clang Association When a person speaks in words that are linked by their sound, vs. their meaning or any context. Instead of a single thought that is filled with meaning, the individual might use a variety of similar-sounding words.

Derailment An individual’s inability or inability to keep one thought. They interrupt a thought to move on to something that is not connected or indirectly. This can be seen in a person’s speech and written. “Loose associations” are often used to describe derailment.

Echolalia When an individual is seen repeating the words of others. Echolalia is a repetition that’s impersonal or emotionless. Echolalia can be seen in autism and other developmental disorders. However, it is also common in people with thought disorders.

Perseverance: When an individual speaks too much with one focus on a topic or thought. This could involve repeating phrases that are related to these topics.

Causes of thought disorder

Although there is no single cause for thought disorders, research suggests a link between epilepsy and genetics. Some patients are also found in homes with unusual speech patterns and communication patterns. Thought disorders are often symptoms of schizophrenia. This condition can be caused by many factors. They can also be seen in other conditions like psychotic and mood disorders as well as developmental disabilities, neurological issues, and physical issues.

Children who experience an interruption in object permanence (learning objects exist even though they are not seen) can have difficulty identifying the world around them. This can impact their ability to see boundaries and differences.

Some theories are based on communication between individuals, their guardians, and families. Research with adoptees found that those who are at high risk and lived in homes with high levels of abnormal communication had higher rates of thought disorder. Although there are many theories about how thought disorders develop, others have shown that both genetics and the environment can play a part in their formation.

Thought disorders are normal in children’s development, specifically in diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD), seizures, epilepsy, and high-functioning autism. However, they noted that children with partial seizures and epilepsy could have a thought disorder, which can impact their ability to develop certain skills.