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In the mental health field, schizophasia, commonly referred to as word salad, is confused, and often repetitious, language that is symptomatic of various mental illnesses.
It is usually associated with a manic presentation and other symptoms of serious mental illnesses, such as psychoses, including schizophrenia. It is characterized by an apparently confused usage of words with no apparent meaning or relationship attached to them. In this context, it is considered to be a symptom of a formal thought disorder. In some cases schizophasia can be a sign of asymptomatic schizophrenia; e.g. the question "Why do people believe in God?" could elicit a response consisting of a series of words commonly associated with religion or prayer but strung together with no regard to language rules. For example: "Because He makes a twirl in life, my box is broken help me blue elephant. Isn't lettuce brave? I like electrons, hello."
Some other general examples include:
- "Tissues without a triangular head lice be it with controller is the noodle man of ice pops and radio yes thanks."
- "So even with I but he river flow amber rod with it."
- "You know bear mama said just keep boxing bitches."
- "Where is narwhal pretty rhombus with monocle kitty"
- "Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"
Schizophasia should be contrasted with another symptom of cognitive disruption and cognitive slippage involving certain idiosyncratic arrangements of words. With this symptom, the language may or may not be grammatically correct depending on the severity of the disease and the particular mechanisms which have been impacted by the disease. Thus, the phrase "Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas" and the phrase "Acute does runs shaky lovely very" can be authentic schizophasias (one grammatically correct, the other not) if they are produced as a result of mental disease or defect. In contrast, intentionally producing nonsense, as in the contrived palindrome "Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas" is not considered schizophasia. Schizophasia refers to a defect in processing and organizing language, as opposed to the ability to create a nonsense word which happens to conform to a very specific set of rules.
- (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition.
Symptoms and signs: Speech and voice / Symptoms involving head and neck (R47–R49, 784)
|Other speech disturbances||
Speech disorder · Apraxia of speech · Auditory verbal agnosia · Dysarthria · Schizophasia · Aprosodia/Dysprosody
Specific language impairment · Thought disorder · Pressure of speech · Derailment · Clanging · Circumstantiality
Developmental dyslexia/Alexia · Agnosia (Astereognosis, Prosopagnosia, Visual agnosia) ·Gerstmann syndrome ·
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