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Pressured Speech: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment


Pressured speech is when a person speaks faster than the normal rate of speech. It is commonly observed as a sign of mania and hypomania and is associated with bipolar disorder.


It is different from talking fast. It is often observed when the person is experiencing an episode of mania, thereby causing difficulty in controlling their thoughts and they end up feeling the urge to express all their thoughts, hence they jump from one topic to another. It is often difficult for others to understand them. It is difficult for others to find a natural break in their speech.


Symptoms of pressured speech


During an episode of mania, a person presenting with pressured speech may-

  1. Have difficulty controlling the pace of their speech.

  2. Speak abnormally louder than normal speech.

  3. Have difficulty in letting others speak.

  4. Start speaking at inappropriate places like school, workplace, or in social settings.

  5. Have numerous ideas all at once.

  6. Have an urgency to express their thoughts.

  7. Talk about totally unrelated topics as they try expressing their thoughts.

  8. Include rhymes or jokes in their speech.

  9. Face difficulty in engaging in two-way conversations.

  10. Impulsive and inappropriate comments.


When talking to someone with pressured speech, you may face difficulty in stopping them from talking and getting a chance to say something. An episode of pressured speech generally lasts for around an hour or so.


Symptoms of Hypomaniac or Manic Episode
Image credit- verywellhealth


Why does it happen?


As mentioned above, pressured speech is observed when a person has an episode of mania or hypomania, often associated with Bipolar disorder.


During an episode of mania, a person has difficulty controlling how they think or act. A person has a burst of energy and mood swings. Hence, the person ends up having a constant stream of thoughts that they have difficulty controlling and they feel like they cannot keep up with. Their speech usually reflects the speech of their thoughts. The person speaks with a firehose of words. The symptoms of mania often last for more than a week.


Hypomania is quite similar to mania, but as the name suggests, the symptoms are milder. The person can still continue with their basic lifestyle, like going to work or school. An episode of hypomania usually lasts for about 4 days.


However, the underlying cause of bipolar disorder is not clear yet. It has been linked with genetics. Therefore, the chances of someone experiencing pressured speech increases if someone in the close family suffers from bipolar disorder.


Other causes


Pressured speech is mostly associated with bipolar mood disorder. However, it can also be associated with-

  1. Schizophrenia

  2. Psychosis

  3. Major depression

  4. An anxiety disorder.

  5. Consumption of illegal drugs cocaine, amphetamines, etc.



Treatment of pressured speech.


As we are aware pressured speech is observed during an episode of mania in bipolar disorder, therefore the treatment is focused on treating bipolar disorder.


There are two main treatment options for bipolar disorder. The treatment often comprises a combination of both options.


Medications-

The psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in dealing with mental conditions. Your doctor will prescribe several medications, and taking those meds regularly is very important to keep the bipolar disorder in check.


Common medications used to treat bipolar disorder are-

  1. Antipsychotics

  2. Antidepressants

  3. Mood enhancers

  4. Anti-anxiety medications


Based on the severity of the symptoms these medications are prescribed alone or in combination.


Therapy-

A person with pressured speech should visit a speech therapist/speech-language pathologist as several researchers have concluded that speech therapy may help the person better understand their thoughts and manage them. A speech therapist can help you speak clearly and fluently if you struggle with pressured speech.


Contact us, to get started on improving your communication skills.



Sounderic provides online speech therapy sessions for children with various communication disorders. We would love to help you. Get in touch with us on WhatsApp at +919644466635 or schedule a consultation with us at https://www.sounderic.com/service-page/speech-language-consultation-for-kids?referral=service_list_widget



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