Heather Fisher Professional Drug & Alcohol Interventionist


A thought disorder is a mental health condition that affects how a person thinks, their beliefs, and perceptions of the world around them. Thought disorders clutter a person’s way of thinking leading to abnormal and disorganized ways of expressing language when speaking and writing. Thought disorders change the way an individual is able to put together sequential ideas and can have a negative effect on their behaviors by causing them to experience delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. Formal thought disorder is often one of the primary symptoms of schizophrenia but can be present in other mental health conditions such as Bipolar and depression.

Symptoms of a Thought Disorder

Thought Disorders are usually diagnosed when a person’s behavior and speaking show illogical, problematic, or incoherent patterns. Someone who is able to process information is typically able to think about something, connect thoughts together and then speak and deliver those thoughts in an organized and clear pattern. An individual suffering from a thought disorder cannot complete a thought process without experiencing internal disruption. Symptoms that someone is suffering from a thought disorder are:

  • Rapid or illogical speech
  • Frequent interruptions in a person’s train of thought
  • Delusions and false beliefs
  • Seeing things that are not there
  • Inability to follow a logical train of thought and connect related ideas
  • Incoherent speech
  • Emotional Flatness
  • Reckless behavior
  • Poor judgment and insight
  • Social isolation
  • Monotonous voice
  • Unusual motor behavior or movements

Thought Screening

Adapted from PQ-B and DSM-5
Responses should be based on behavior over the past 90 days

NOTE: Addiction is progressive, chronic and 100% recoverable when treated.

Disclaimer: This screening is not designed to make a diagnosis or take the place of a professional diagnosis
consultation. Use this brief screening tool to help determine if further action is recommended.
For help in selecting the proper level of treatment in your area please contact our office.

Types of Thought Disorders

Individuals can display and experience different characteristics of behavior when struggling with a thought disorder. Below some of the most common types of thought disorders are described:

Blocking: Individuals struggling with thought blocking often interrupt themselves mid-sentence and may stop speaking for several minutes. When they are able to speak again the topic of conversation has been changed.

Alogia: This type of thought disorder is often seen in individuals with dementia. Individuals with alogia rarely speak unless prompted and will give brief and sort responses to questions.

Clanging: An individual with a clanging thought process makes word choices based on the sound of the word rather than the meaning. They speak in rhymes and use puns to make sentences that ultimately don’t make sense logically.

Echolalia: People struggling with echolalia will repeat noises and words they hear instead of their own thoughts.

The Johns Hopkins Psychiatry guide lists 20 types of thought disorders. Consulting a professional clinician will help you better understand how to help someone suffering from a thought disorder.

What Could Cause a Thought Disorder?

There is no specific cause of thought disorders, although biological, genetics, and environmental factors can all contribute. Individuals with a mood disorder, bipolar disorder, and those that have suffered a traumatic brain injury are at higher risk of developing a thought disorder. Other factors such as being under extreme stress and the use of mind-altering drugs may cause the development of a thought disorder.

Treatment, Help, and Resources For Thought Disorders

At Heather Fisher Recovery Services, my goal is to help individuals and families find the proper care and resources for their loved ones. Living with or being in a relationship with someone who is struggling with mental health conditions can be a challenge. Finding the right kinds of providers to address your loved one’s specific needs can often feel like a tireless uphill battle. As a professional in the mental health field for many years, I have personally toured and vetted every facility I may connect you to. I am available to assess your loved ones’ therapeutic needs, provide guidance and structure to the intervention process, and get individuals connected to support. If you have questions about how to find services in your area, call Heather Fisher Recovery Services for a free consultation today.