What are Thought Disorders? Signs, Causes, and Types

  • Posted at Jun 6, 2022
  • Written by Rebecca
What are Thought Disorders? Signs, Causes, and Types

Thought disorders are mental health conditions that are characterized by abnormal thinking patterns that result in abnormal speech and written wording. They can be individually diagnosed or signifying symptoms of other mental health diagnoses like schizophrenia, depressive disorders, and personality disorders.

The Difficulty That People With Thought Disorders Face

Getting help for thought disorders is challenging because they are commonly mistaken as symptoms of mental health disorders rather than recognized as particular diagnoses. Furthermore, symptoms of thought disorders may only appear on sporadic occasions, making them hard to identify. Finally, being able to identify the signs and symptoms of thought disorders can help individuals recognize if they may be dealing with thought disorders in their own lives. However, there are many different types of thought disorders, making it even more difficult to pinpoint which type a person may be dealing with themselves.

However, when a diagnosis is made, there is treatment available that is shown successful in reducing the severity and frequency of symptoms. Therefore, helping people diagnosed with thought disorders identify and utilize practical methods in their own lives to maintain better overall mental health.

What are the Symptoms?

While every thought disorder has its own characterizing symptoms, there are some similar characteristics that every thought disorder shares. For example, all people who are diagnosed with thought disorders experience struggles with communication. And, a disturbance with the connection between thoughts and ideas.

Other than the defining characteristics of thought disorders, recognizing specific characteristics of thought disorders can help people identify the specific types of thought disorders they may be experiencing. Some of the most common types of thought disorders and their symptoms include:

Alogia: People with this type of thought disorder don’t speak very often because speech may be difficult for them. If they do speak, answers and statements may be limited. This type of thought disorder is commonly diagnosed in people who also have schizophrenia or dementia.

Blocking: This type of thought disorder experiences symptoms that include stopping talking in between sentences or conversations. Symptoms of this thought disorder may also include jumping from topic to topic.

Clanging: Symptoms of this type of thought disorder include using words based on their sound instead of what they mean. Examples of this can include using words that rhyme, alliterations, and puns.

Echolalia: Characteristics of this thought disorder include repeating words that are spoken by others.

Neologism: This thought disorder involves symptoms of coming up with words and their meanings on the spot. These words are used by individuals in their daily speech with others even though they don’t have any meaning.

Causes of These Disorders

While there may be causes of thought disorders, they are unknown. However, it is believed that while mental health diagnoses can occur on their own, they are typically found in people with concurring mental health illnesses like schizophrenia. Overall, like other mental health issues, it is believed that thought disorders have a variety of causes including genetic, biological, and environmental factors.

Getting Help Through Treatment

The symptoms of thought disorders can be debilitating to daily life and affect relationships, communication with others, career life, and more. However, people struggling with these disorders can get help through treatment in order to learn to manage and cope with the symptoms of these diagnoses. For example, Yellowbrick offers outpatient therapy and psychiatric treatment for people living with mental health issues including thought disorders at our Evanston, IL mental health treatment facility. Learn more about our services and programs from our website to find out how we can help.

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