circumstantial speech

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circumstantial speech2016-12-27T19:07:01+00:00

circumstantial speech


A disorder of communication in which speech is indirect, rife with irrelevant details and delayed in reaching its goal.

Circumstantial speech is a feature of certain mental disorders–schizophrenia, but also obsessive-compulsive disorder where the loss of normal “filtering mechanisms” results in a nonselectivity of thoughts and speech, such that an excessive amount of detail (circumstances, from whence the name), is provided, regardless of how tangential or irrelevant the information provided is. 

Circumstantiality is less severe than tangentiality–in which conversations may not return to the initial topic, and far less severe than logorrhoea.

Synonym Circumstantiality 

References Talbot et al, Textbook Psychiatry, 1988

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