Encyclopedia of Adolescence

2011 Edition
| Editors: Roger J. R. Levesque

Thought Disorder

  • Roger J. R. LevesqueEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2_616

Thought disorder (sometimes referred to as formal thought disorder) refers to a pattern of disordered language that presumably reflects disordered thinking. The term applies specifically to the presumed disruption in the flow of conscious verbal thought that is inferred from spoken language. It is not meant to refer to delusions (firmly held false beliefs) or hallucinations (distortion in a person’s perception of reality, typically accompanied by a powerful sense of reality) of psychosis, which also could be considered disorders of thought processes. Thought disorder is considered a symptom of psychotic mental illness (especially schizophrenia), although it occasionally appears in other conditions (such as depression).

The psychiatric literature contains many distinct concepts that describe disordered thinking (see Rule 2005). For example, formal thought disorder refers to a disorder of the form of thought, as opposed to its content. Paralogiais defined as “positive thought disorder”...

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  1. Rule, A. (2005). Ordered thoughts on thought disorder. Psychiatric Bulletin, 29, 462–464.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA