People who experience symptoms affecting the way they think and perceive things may have a mental health condition known as a thought disorder. When an individual is having issues with putting together sequences of ideas in a way that is affecting their daily life and their behavior then they may need treatment from a professional therapist. Even though a thought disorder can be a serious illness, it is possible to use treatment as way to help manage the symptoms and improve the condition.
There are many different issues that can occur when you have a thought disorder and it can affect people in various ways. At the core of a thought disorder are issues with illogical, problematic or incoherent patterns of thinking. These irregular thinking patterns may cause the person to behave in ways that interfere with their ability to function normally.
Normal thinking follows a certain flow starting with a thought, followed by stringing together different thoughts on that subject and then the delivery of a thought pattern. When someone has a thought disorder it disrupts aspects of the thought process so that it doesn’t flow in a logical pattern. Thought disorders come in many forms including illnesses like schizophrenia which can be debilitating if not properly treated.
Recognizing a Thought Disorder
These are not often discussed and people may not be familiar with what constitutes the illness. In order to recognize a thought disorder in yourself or your loved one it can be helpful to look through the various symptoms and signs associated with the problem. These are some of the common symptoms of a thought disorder-
- Incoherent, rapid or illogical speech
- Bizarre thoughts or false beliefs
- Continual interruptions in a person’s train of thought
- Delusions that persist in spite of evidence against them
- Hallucinations or seeing and hearing things that aren’t really there
- Unusual speech patterns in which the individual discusses several unrelated topics
- Inability to convey an idea or tell a story
- Paranoia that includes fearful or suspicious thoughts
When you see any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one then it may indicate a problem with thinking patterns and a possible thought disorder. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to meet with a psychiatrist for an assessment so that they can diagnose what type of thought disorder you have. More serious thought disorders such as schizophrenia may require inpatient treatment to resolve issues of hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.
How Thought Disorders are Treated
A person’s thought disorder can accompany a different type of mental illness including bipolar disorder, schizotypal personality or psychosis. In order to manage the symptoms of a thought disorder and the associated mental illness it is imperative that the individual receive an accurate diagnosis. Knowing what condition is connected to the thought disorder can help make treatment more effective.
Once you receive a diagnosis and have been evaluated by a professional they can start to determine what type of treatment plan will be most effective. A psychiatrist may recommend inpatient or outpatient treatment or regular therapy sessions to address the symptoms. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and how much it interferes with regular functioning.
If you have a thought disorder you can discuss with your psychiatrist what the best options are for medication. Taking a regular prescription medication may be necessary with a thought disorder to regulate mood and minimize hallucinations and delusions. Different medications such as antipsychotics may be helpful in managing a thought disorder but it is important to work with a psychiatrist to find the right dosage.
People who have thought disorders can greatly benefit from psychotherapy in order to help address some of the behavioral and emotional issues that can occur as a result of their disrupted thinking patterns. A therapist can help guide the individual through their thoughts and feelings so that they improve their quality of life and make it easier for them to function in day to day. The individual may see a lot of improvement while staying in an inpatient treatment center that will provide them with daily therapy sessions for intensive recovery.
Receiving a diagnosis of a thought disorder may seem devastating but with regular treatment and medication it is possible to minimize symptoms and stabilize a person’s mood or behavior. Treatment is very important for a thought disorder because if the symptoms become worse they may be lead to risky or dangerous actions. However, having a thought disorder does not mean that the person cannot lead a normal and fulfilling life.
If you or someone you love seems to be experience symptoms of a thought disorder, contact a mental health professional to start a treatment plan.