Disorganised thinking and speech
Hallucinations and delusions can make your thoughts and emotions feel confused and disorganised.
But disorganised thinking (sometimes called 'formal thought disorder') can also be a type of psychosis.
Racing thoughts is where thoughts go through your head very fast. If you have racing thoughts you usually have flight of ideas too.
Flight of ideas is where your thoughts move very quickly from idea to idea, making links that other people don't.
Racing ideas flooded my mind. It seemed as though my mind was disintegrating, my inner life – my unconscious mind – started flooding my consciousness without a break.
If you have disorganised thinking you might:
- speak very quickly and stumble over your words. Other people may find it difficult to understand what you're saying
- link words together because of the way they sound rather than what they mean. This can mean your speech sounds jumbled and doesn't make sense to other people. This is sometimes called word salad
- change the topic of conversation very quickly as your thoughts move from one thing to another
- find it difficult to keep your attention on one thing
You may also have racing thoughts and flight of ideas if you experience mania or hypomania. If you only have them during a depressive, manic or mixed episode then you may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. See our pages on bipolar disorder for more information.
Watch Alice, Brian, Jamie, Martin and Louise talk about their experiences of psychosis as part of being diagnosed with schizophrenia.