Glossomania (speech disorder): causes, symptoms and treatment

The ability to communicate through oral language, or commonly referred to as speech, is the physical medium by which most human beings communicate.

This speech is the proper execution of language and one of the ways in which its participants perceive the intentions and content of the other.

But sometimes this ability is truncated due to neurological problems, or certain psychopathological disorders among others. In these cases, there are alterations in verbal communication such as glossomania, in which the person is able to develop a verbal discourse but without any communicative value.

    What does glossomania consist of?

    If the word glossomania is dissected according to its etymological roots, we observe that it is made up of two Greek roots: gloss, the current translation would be language and the suffix mania which is interpreted as having an obsession, an obsessive impulse or a habit and a pathological taste. passionate.

      From these roots, one can already guess that its meaning was related to an impaired or distorted production of oral language.

      In the field of psychology and psychiatry, glossomania refers to the development of language in such a way that linguistic units, such as lexemes, phonemes, morphemes, and sentences, are subconsciously selected by the subject and combined based on phonological or semantic coincidences. , and not in a coherent order of meaning.

      These types of elaborations are typical of certain psychopathological conditions., Trance states or neurological problems caused by different causes such as tumors or poisoning.

      Glossomania vs glossolalia

      Although both agree to be alterations in language production related to psychiatric disorders, unlike glossomania, glossolalia consists of the fluid vocalization of intelligible language, made up of words that the patient invents and sequences. rhythmic and repetitive more typical of children’s speech; create a discourse in which almost everything is neologism.

      Oddly enough, in some religious beliefs this alteration is known as the “gift of tongues”.; considering the speeches as a divine language unknown to the speaker, and which places the person who performs it as chosen by this or these deities.

      Speech in mental illness

      A peculiar characteristic of some mental illnesses is that people are not able to conduct a conversation or do any type of speech with seemingly logical connections between words and phrases; being very difficult for the patient to communicate, and for the listener to understand the ideas, facts and wills that he is trying to communicate.

      Inconsistent speeches are generally not seen as problems of language, but rather of another dimension.. The first impression that these alterations give is that of being a communication problem, that is to say pragmatic; initially observe a difficulty in interacting with others and with the environment.

      In order for a person to be able to communicate orally or do any kind of speech, it is necessary that all cognitive skills are well established, as this occurs and is understood at a level of language processing that requires it.

      Likewise, the prerequisites of attention, memory, knowledge of the context and of the interlocutors are absolutely necessary for a successful oral correspondence. In the event that all of these conditions are not met, the language becomes something poor and limited, or an uncontrolled and incoherent source of words. This last alteration is the one that gives rise to glossomania.

      However, glossomania itself is not a psychiatric disorder, but rather a symptom of disorders such as neurosis and schizophrenia; being the result of an alteration in the organization of thought. That is, a falsification of the selection, arrangement and expression of what the person wants to communicate.

      From glossomania to schizophrenia

      Glosomanic schizophrenia is an extremely surprising and very rare disease, rather typical of patients of high cultural level.

      1. Schizophrenic glossomania

      In this type of schizophrenia, expression can become abundant and fluid, requiring the attention and participation of the viewer to become understandable.

      If attention is paid to the patient’s speech, changes are noted at the word level, but in addition, there are also alterations at the level of the sentences. In these people, the following can be observed.

      incomprehensible neologisms

      These are neologisms that the person creates and that they generally do not understand easily. They are often newly pronounced words and their phonetic and semantic content varies. In addition, they can include opposing word formations, such as “is black and white” instead of “is gray”.

      This language created by the patient can even become whole sentences. Although few patients manage to perform such a skill, which some experts call “hyperphase”.

      Some experts theorize that these intellectually gifted people, faced with difficulties in comprehension and in front of the speeches of others incomprehensible from their point of view, focus only on their own speech, creating the aforementioned glossolales.

      Deviations in lexical compositions

      Within these deviations, the patient develops two-word compositions that do not normally form a compound. Like “I need an ink pen.”

      Deviations in morphemic compositions

      In this case, the semantic potential of the sentences is relatively understandable. For example: “I paginated all day” instead of “I read all day”.

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