Thought Disorders

Usually a disorder of the form of thought, such that the speech is difficult to follow or incoherent and follows no logical sequence.

Knight's move thinking (or derailment) occurs when the patient moves from one train of thought to another which has no apparent connection to the first - it takes its name from the chess piece that moves two steps forward and one to the side. A less severe form is called loosening of associations which merges into tangential thinking and loss of goal.

Some patients may invent neologisms (new words), exhibit verbal stereotypy (repetition of a single word or phrase out of context), or use metonyms (ordinary words given a special personal meaning).

Negative thought disorder includes poverty of speech (limited quantity of speech), and poverty of content of speech (limited meaning conveyed by speech).

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