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Formal thought disorder is a symptom of schizophrenia manifested by disorganized speech. Formal thought disorder contributes to the social isolation inherent in schizophrenia in that communication with other people is hindered when it is present. Herein, the nature of formal thought disorder as a symptom of schizophrenia is followed by a description of the types and a hypothesis of how formal thought disorder occurs.

Formal thought disorder presents in various forms, divided into positive types (including loosening of associations and idiosyncratic use of language) and negative types (including poverty of speech and thought blocking). Formal thought disorder (specifically the positive types) is the speech aspect of the general category of symptoms of schizophrenia labeled disorganization. Other aspects include disorganized behavior (bizarre and catatonic) and inappropriate ...

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