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Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Butterfly, May 21, 2016.

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  1. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    For those of you with chronic mental health problems, have you ever noticed issues with your speech? I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and my speech usually scrambles up a little when I am manic because of the speed my mind is racing at so things often come out jumbled, but usually resolves once the mania settles. I can often have slow speech when I am really down and depressed but again, this normally resolves when my mood picks up slightly.

    I had a really, really bad depression last year that lasted pretty much the entire year with some periods of hypomania in between but I was in a very bad place. I had real issues with my speech during this time as my words constantly jumbled. The right words come out, just in the wrong order and on occasion inappropriate words would come out. I would often lose my place mid sentence and freeze, not being able to get the words out or my mind would be in a completely different place to what I was meant to be talking about.

    The problem I am finding is that this hasn't resolved itself since the depression lifted. I have been on an even keel for 5 months pretty much with a couple of hypomanic blips but no depression (yay). I find it so embarrassing when I am at work, trying to talk to relatives and explain things to them only for my speech to jumble up mid sentence in a completely random order, or to freeze mid sentence and not be able to get my words out. It's also equally embarrassing talking to colleagues, doctors, ward team and my family and friends when this happens because I can't help it or control it. It does get me down because I don't think it is ever going to get better.

    Does anyone else struggle with this?
    Citizen Insane likes this.
  2. Citizen Insane

    Citizen Insane Staff Member Safety & Support SF Author SF Supporter

    Hey Butterfly!

    This is a good topic, I think I have had this issue for a while now too and still do now and then. Though I struggle with this issue for different reasons.

    If the speech and language area in the brain is understimulated for a long period of time, it can become quite rusty and we will less likely be able to form coherent sentences (especially if they are long).
    Think: How much have I been active with language and speech each day?
    For example, if I decide to isolate myself for a month and do nothing but videogaming, eating, sleeping (a personal example) while almost not communicating with anyone in general, I will very likely start noticing that I can't have a normal sounding conversation with a person in real life without making a lot of errors.

    On the opposite side:
    If I keep reading books for a month time and play the guitar (langauge area in brain stimulation), every day and do not isolate myself socially, I start to see words again in my head.
    I can then visualize what I'm saying and what I want to say. And I'm able to have good conversations again without my brain freezing, stuttering.

    That's all for now, more to come later.
  3. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    Thanks @Citizen Insane

    My job and my life are actually quite social and I talk, write and read daily so I don't think I am under stimulated. This topic has come up on one of the BP forums I frequent and I found it interesting to read as it's been something that's been bothering me now for almost 18 months. They were discussing that it could be cognitive decline because of the illness, but they haven't really discussed how you can improve on speech and what you can do to help it. I wonder if speech therapy would help. It is something that upsets me and is noticeable. I frequently tell my colleagues mid sentence that I am going to have to start that sentence again as my words are all jumbled or don't come out. It happens multiple times a day. I know people with thought and psychotic disorders often suffer with disorganised speech and thinking. My thinking is not disorganised, just my speech.
  4. MoAnamCara

    MoAnamCara SF Artist

    Good topic, thanks for raising it. It's not something I've mentioned previously but at times I find myself unable to speak. I'll try but nothing comes out. Or it'll be ummm and hmmm and that's about it. Mine is more anxiety driven. Sometimes when I can speak but in a bit of a state my voice is shaky and very very slow. People have commented on it and I try to change the subject or excuse and run to the loo or similar. Sometimes too I can't simply think at all so there is nothing there that is trying to come out either but that part is more ptsd, well it all is I suppose.

    I've no answers unfortunately. I try to calm myself, and sometimes just removing myself from whatever situation and walking outside for a few minutes can help, as does some breathing exercises.

    I'm sorry you are struggling with this.
  5. Cicada 3301

    Cicada 3301 Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I have had issues with speech for as long as I can remember. I am not Bipolar but I have noticed that for the majority of time my speech and/or thought process does not flow properly. I am not diagnosed with any condition or disorder so I am unsure how to describe how this can vary based on my mood. You mentioned racing mind and slow speech so I wanted to touch on that. I would separate my 'mood' into 3 categories.

    First, I can be a very slow person (like now). I get confused easily, need more time to process what people are saying and then on top of that process my own thoughts so I can respond without talking gibberish. Take for example this paragraph, it has taken me 40 mins to write it and have re-written it four times now. I simply had no idea what I wanted to say, I was literally talking nonsense. In contrast, the first, third and fourth paragraph took around 10 minutes to write in total and I only made minor changes to the wording. I don't know why but I often struggle to find the right words to say when I am feeling slow like this. This is not so much an issue online as I am able to review what I write and change it, but offline it becomes a serious issue. What person is going to be waiting around 5 minutes while I try to figure out what I want to say? The conversation would be dead. So instead I limit my speech to a very basic level and avoid any deep thinking or abstract concepts as I am more than likely to be missing the right words to explain myself. It's hard enough trying to process what people are saying but when I am responding and at a loss for words mid way through a sentence it's fucking embarrassing. This whole paragraph is how I feel 70% of the time, slow. I just want to hide from the world.

    That is one part. The second is similar to how you describe yourself when manic, though as I am not Bipolar I'm sure several distinctions can be made between how both of us describe this. My thought process and ability to understand people is more immediate. If someone says something I understand it and I have the relevant knowledge and words to respond, mostly without issue. However, I tend to talk a lot faster and am frequently asked to repeat myself for various reasons, usually because "I sound too hyper" or sound "like I'm on drugs". I feel like I am more "there" as a person if you know what I mean. All of a sudden I become this smart, funny, compassionate and really silly (in a good way) guy.

    Of course, this can't last forever and this is brings me to the third part. When this hyperness (made up word sorry) wears down I find myself in the middle of the first and second states I described above. I still have the racing thoughts and speech, yet I don't understand things as well and I find myself searching for words. I still think I'm incredibly funny and I want to talk all the time. This means I come across as confused and idiotic (not my words). It's like a super power, except it's a shitty power. I get the bad aspects from being slow AND from being hyper, which help to form Shit Bob - the slow, obtuse, boring, arrogant, obnoxious and untimely version of myself.

    I dunno, it's not fun. Sorry for bad spelling wrote from mobile lol.
  6. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    My thinking processes slow down when I'm depressed. It's harder to sort out information and make decisions - including what to say when I'm talking sometimes. And of course, that kind of thing reinforces itself and that just makes it all the harder. The good thing is that I have learned it is not a permanent thing. In fact, if I notice I'm having a hard time thinking, I now know maybe I need to look after myself a bit better and more gently. It all passes eventually. :)
  7. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    My issue is not that I have these troubles with speech during episodes because I totally understand that it happens, but 5 months on from my last episode and my speech problems still remain. My thinking is normal, it's neither slow nor fast nor distorted. My speech simply hasn't recovered at all in this time and I don't know what I can do to recover it. It's very frustrating.
  8. undercoverlover

    undercoverlover both dead and alive until somebody opens the box

    I have this issue too! I mostly attribute it to my psychosis (since that's a symptom), but it does happen when im manic too. I've always called it word salad lol
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