Logorrhea, also known as polyphrasia, is a side effect of neurological and mental illnesses. However, the obsessive need to communicate constantly also occurs as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine or other drugs. In addition, the term designates a non-pathological, conspicuous behavior.
What is logorrhea?
According to Growtheology, logorrhea is an increased urge to talk. Colloquially, the term is translated as speech addiction, speech diarrhea or pathological loquacity. Manic, paranoid and schizophrenic disorders often exhibit this type of uncontrolled flow of speech.
But logorrhea is also one of the symptoms of the onset of dementia or drug addiction. It is also known as a possible consequence of organic damage to the brain in the frontal area or what is known as Wernicke’s aphasia, for example after a stroke, in which the patients are no longer able to recognize the meaning of the words.
The most common cause of logorrhea is bipolar affective disorder – also known as manic-depressive illness. The patients suffer from enormous mood swings, periods of depression alternating with long periods of mania. According to experts, bipolar affective disorder is triggered by genetic and neurobiological factors.
However, the causes of the disease have not yet been fully elucidated. In the manic phases, which are characterized by disproportionately high spirits or excessive irritability, by exaggerated self-confidence and aimless zest for action, an unrestrained and distanceless urge to talk, logorrhea, can occur.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Endless, uninhibited monologues with loss of self-control, often peppered with foul language and insults, are the typical symptoms of manic logorrhea. Frequent repetitions and constant changes of subject characterize the fast and escalating flow of speech without periods and commas.
In most cases, the monologue is performed at an inappropriate volume and with great emphasis. Others can no longer speak and feel overwhelmed. Normal communication with the victim is not possible during the seizure.
Medicine distinguishes different degrees of severity of logorrhea. In extreme cases, what is said remains completely incomprehensible. The thoughts expressed then no longer show any connection at all. The flood of ideas in the head leads to confused thinking. The experts call this “flight of ideas”.
Diagnosis & disease progression
In the case of pronounced logorrhea, a neurologist and psychiatrist should always be consulted. However, the treatment of mania turns out to be extremely difficult. Since the patients in many cases experience a real increase in their drive and their self-esteem, they see no need to undergo therapy themselves.
Instruction and treatment against their will may become necessary. Those affected are usually treated for the rest of their lives with medication to stabilize their mood and with psychotherapy. In the acute manic phase, highly potent neuroleptics or antipsychotics such as olanzapine are recommended.
Lithium treatment is considered to be helpful as long-term prevention, especially in the case of recurring manic episodes. After the manic episode resolves, therapy should be used to help people process the psychological and social consequences of the episode and to change behaviors associated with the manic depression.
Logorrhea causes severe psychological and social problems. As a rule, the quality of life of the patient is significantly restricted with this disease and there are significant restrictions and complaints in the patient’s everyday life. Those affected lose all self-control and can no longer orient themselves and concentrate.
There are insults and insults. Especially people who are unfamiliar with this disease can perceive it as an attack, which can lead to injury or a fight. The social contacts of those affected also suffer greatly from the disease, since those affected talk a great deal.
It is not uncommon for talking to take place at a high and, above all, inappropriate volume, so that other people can feel bothered. Likewise, the patients cannot absorb any information content. This disease is treated by a psychologist. In serious cases, treatment can usually also take place in a closed clinic.
Therapy and medication are used. However, it is not uncommon for antipsychotics to have side effects, so that those affected usually appear tired and exhausted. It is generally not possible to generally predict whether this will lead to a positive course of the disease. The success of the treatment also depends heavily on the will of the patient.
When should you go to the doctor?
If people show behavioral problems, the clarification and support of a doctor is required. If an occurrence occurs that is perceived as above the norm in direct comparison to other people, a doctor should be informed of the observations. Since the person affected often lacks insight into the illness in the case of logorrhea, a visit to the doctor is often initiated by the close relatives. Close consultation with a doctor is necessary so that the right steps can be taken to start treatment. In addition, the relationship of trust with the patient should be built up so that medical care is accepted and can take place.
The loss of self-control is an important indication of an existing illness. People who have to talk and communicate incessantly need medical and therapeutic help. Speaking at a high volume, using profanity, and acting aggressively when interrupted are considered to be of concern. A visit to the doctor is advisable if the sick person cannot be persuaded to remain silent either independently or at the request of the people present. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors or a manic demeanor need to be investigated and treated. If you lose the feeling of tiredness, talk without a period or comma, and behave in a hectic manner, you need to see a doctor.
Treatment & Therapy
The World Health Organization (WHO) counts bipolar disorder among the ten diseases that lead to permanent disabilities worldwide. However, only 10 to 15 percent of patients receive medical treatment. In the large remainder, the disease remains undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late. The first symptoms of bipolar disorder usually appear between the ages of 20 and 30.
In rare cases, the first episodes of the disease can also occur in young people. The first episode is usually a depressive phase, which means that the bipolar disorder usually remains undetected until the first occurrence of a manic phase. Most patients initially experience about four episodes in ten years, with the intervening periods being completely asymptomatic in most cases.
As the disease progresses, the number of episodes increases and the times in between are no longer symptom-free. The frequency of episodes usually decreases with age. However, a relatively large proportion of patients with bipolar disorder do not reach old age. The risk of suicide is dangerously high. “Every fourth person affected tries to commit suicide at least once during the course of the disease,” says a letter from the German Society for Bipolar Disorders (DGBS).
Outlook & Forecast
The logorrhea is an accompanying circumstance of an existing situation. The speech addiction is not an independent disease, which is why there is no separate prognosis. Rather, the entire state of health is taken into account for the prospect of recovery. Logorrhea is a symptom that is present due to a temporary mental condition or mental disorder.
If the person concerned is in an intoxicated state, a symptom-free state usually sets in after a few hours. As soon as the toxins are removed from the organism, a continuous improvement in health begins. The same development can be observed in people who have consumed drugs or are in a highly euphoric state as a result of various experiences. Here, too, there is usually spontaneous healing within a few hours. If the person concerned suffers from schizophrenia or a paranoid disorder, the prognosis is considerably worse. Both diseases are permanent disorders that require action.
Various symptoms can be minimized with long-term therapy, but according to current medical knowledge, recovery does not occur. If there is a disease of memory activity, no cure is to be expected in normal cases either. In the case of dementia, a continuous reduction in the functional activity of the memory is to be expected. A cure is currently not possible.
In a pathological sense, morbid loquacity refers to a serious mental or organic disorder. In addition to this medical and psychological significance, logorrhea is also a phenomenon of our time. As such, the term has long since found its way into media and social criticism.
The fact that everything is constantly being commented on in different media is appropriately described by the term logorrhea. We text each other all the time, on Twitter, Facebook, in online newspapers, in blogs and on TV talk shows.
»Logorrheic behavior in the media has already influenced the communication patterns of many people in recent years in such a way that it can be described as a widespread phenomenon. Auditory boundaries are being crossed more and more often, which creates developmental disorders in children, it disturbs men, but also women, who lose themselves and others in this flow of talk,” says Astrid v. Friesen, educational scientist, journalist and author, the phenomenon.
With logorrhea there can be various complications or symptoms, so this disease must be examined and treated by a doctor in any case. Early diagnosis usually has a positive effect on the further course of the disease and can prevent further deterioration of the symptoms. Most of those affected show strong verbal abuse and insults due to logorrhea. In order to handle the psychological pressure better, long-term support from a psychologist is recommended. With the help of behavior therapy, those affected learn to better assess the reactions of their social environment and to be able to react more appropriately.
Sometimes medications are used as well. However, it is not uncommon for antipsychotics to have side effects, so that those affected usually appear tired and exhausted. Dealing openly with the disease has proven to be the best strategy for preventing further symptoms at an early stage. It is generally not possible to generally predict whether this will lead to a positive course of the disease. The success of the treatment also depends heavily on the will of the patient.
The further course of the disease depends very much on the exact cause, so that a general prognosis cannot usually be given. In most cases, however, the life expectancy of those affected is not reduced by the disease.
You can do that yourself
Due to the lack of opportunity to reflect on logorrhea, sick people can do little to help themselves in everyday life and thus also find it difficult to improve their health themselves. They depend on the support of relatives as well as doctors or nurses.
Lifestyle should be reviewed and optimized. Existing symptoms are aggravated by heavy consumption of caffeine or alcohol. In everyday life, drinks such as cola, coffee or energy drinks can be avoided in order to alleviate the symptoms. Alcohol intake should be avoided completely. A review of regularly taken medication and its ingredients can also provide information about an increasingly conspicuous behavior. The medication prescribed for the treatment of logorrhea should be followed according to the doctor’s instructions. Independent decisions that provide for an intervention in the treatment plan are to be avoided.
It is important to have a good relationship of trust with the treating doctor and therapist. Goals should be worked out together in a treatment or therapy that can be actively worked on. The focus is on improving well-being and there should be a willingness to change. As soon as the patient with logorrhea loses control of their own behavior, relatives should be willing to initiate forced admission due to their duty of care and to protect the person concerned.