Pressured Speech refers to when someone speaks at a faster pace than is usual. For many people dealing with pressured speech, they may feel like they can’t stop. Pressure speech is different from simply talking quickly as a result of excitement or just naturally speaking in that way. Someone who is affected with pressured speech may jump from one idea to the next, making it difficult for others to follow the conversation and your train of thought. In many cases, pressured speech is a sign of mania or hypomania (when your energy or mood is really high) and is frequently linked to bipolar disorder.
Pressured speech can affect one’s ability to communicate effectively with others. In turn this can affect one’s ability to succeed in academic, professional and social situations. While it is important to address any underlying conditions or mental health problems that may be causing pressured speech, time with an experienced speech and language pathologist can go a long way towards helping someone to speak in a more slow and clear fashion. If you or someone you love is struggling to communicate as a result of pressured speech, help is available. Get started by scheduling your free introductory call today!
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Pressured Speech?
There are several symptoms that can be a sign of pressured speech. Some of them are:
- rapid speech that is challenging to understand
- speech that’s at a higher volume than appropriate
- inability to stop speaking to allow others the opportunity to share or interject their thoughts
- speech that occurs at inappropriate times in work, home, or school environments
- an urgency to speak their mind
- unclear or seemingly random thought process when speaking
- speaking about numerous ideas or subjects at once that don’t connect
- frequently including rhymes or jokes when speaking
- difficulty articulating and expressing thoughts because they’re moving too fast in the brain
What Causes Pressured Speech?
One of the most common causes of pressured speech is the presence of bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder. Many people who are affected by these disorders experience episodes of mania or hypomania. These episodes can change how one thinks and acts. When one is in the midst of an episode, they may experience a spike in their energy level, and drastic changes to their moods and emotions. They may experience a mind that is racing or a constant stream of thoughts that they feel enthusiastic or urgent about sharing. These episodes can typically last from 4-10 days in a row.
In some cases, pressured speech is the result of thought issues often referred to as flight of ideas. When one experiences a flight of ideas, the ideas and thoughts are running through their mind at too quick a pace for the person to coherently identify and express them. The use of stimulant drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines can also result in pressured speech.
Pressured speech can also be caused by a variety of illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and mania. It is also common for people who experience extreme anxiety to also exhibit pressured speech.
It is important to note that pressured speech is not in itself a disorder or illness, it is a symptom of other illnesses or mental health conditions. Cluttering is a related condition that may cause people to exhibit speech patterns similar to pressured speech, but is the result of a language disorder and exhibits distinct patterns of speech. A speech therapist can help improve the clarity and fluidity of speech for someone who is struggling to communicate due to pressured speech. Get started on your way to improved communication skills by scheduling your free introductory call today!
Other Causes of Pressured Speech
Bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder aren’t the only causes of pressured speech. Some of the other causes are:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Psychosis and Postnatal Psychosis
- Major Depression
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Anxiety Disorder
- Using illegal drugs
Is Pressured Speech a Symptom of Anxiety?
Some people who experience extreme anxiety may struggle with pressured speech. Pressured speech can be the result of a significant anxiety disorder but cannot be caused by everyday stress or worry. For many people who live with an anxiety disorder, racing thoughts and difficulty communicating can be quite common.
Can You Have Pressured Speech Without Bipolar Disorder?
While bipolar disorder is the most common cause of pressured speech, pressured speech can be a symptom of other illnesses, mental health problems and drug use.
How is Pressured Speech Treated?
When trying to remediate communication problems related to pressured speech, it is important to first address the underlying cause and treatment will vary depending on those causes. In some cases, the abnormal speech pattern is the result of a temporary bout of anxiety or extreme stress and may go away on its own.
When pressured speech emerges alongside other symptoms, healthcare providers may conduct evaluations and tests to determine the cause. They may also conduct several tests to ensure a brain injury is not the cause. When pressured speech is caused by a mental illness, in some cases psychiatrists and doctors may prescribe a number of psychoactive drugs to improve symptoms. Talk therapy can also be helpful for people who are struggling with anxiety-inducing mental illnesses that cause pressured speech. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, also known as talk therapy, can help one to gain a better understanding of their thoughts and manage them effectively. For many people, working with a speech-language pathologist can also help significantly.
How Can Speech Therapy Help with Pressured Speech?
Once the underlying cause of pressured speech is being addressed, time with a speech and language pathologist can be an incredibly valuable resource when it comes to improving the clarity and quality of speech. Speech therapy would depend on an evaluation and a chance for the speech therapist to know you better, and identify your goals and what techniques might work best for you. Some techniques that a speech therapist might use when working with someone with pressured speech include concentrating on each word in order help to naturally pace your speech, or the use of pacing devices that you touch as you speak each word. With practice and the right support, people can change and improve their speech styles. Get started on the road to clearer and more easily understood speech by scheduling your free introductory call today!