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What Is Pressured Speech?


Updated May 16, 2014

Question: What Is Pressured Speech?
Answer: Pressured speech is a hallmark symptom of mania or hypomania in bipolar disorder. The presence of pressured speech in combination with several other symptoms can confirm a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

In his glossary, Dr. Jacob L. Driesen defines pressured speech as "rapid, virtually nonstop, often loud and emphatic, seemingly driven, and usually hard to interrupt. It typically occurs in mania [and hypomania] and in some drug-induced states and in severe anxiety states." In her book Bipolar Disorders, Mitzi Waltz uses the phrase "motormouth" to describe pressured speech.

Pressured speech occurs in bipolar children as well as adults.

Examples of Pressured Speech

  • "Pressured Speech" is just a fancy psychiatrist's term for a manicky person's tendency to talk really really fast. I've been told that I just have so many thoughts going through my head so fast and I am trying to fit them all into the words that I am saying at the same time that it doesn't work and that is why my speech comes out at a speed that is unintelligible to most people.

    --Joy on our Main Forum

  • Inside view: the ideas and associations are arriving thick and fast and if you're expressing them by talking to someone, the speech tends to be faster than usual, the idea content more dense, the apparent digressions more abundant and noticeable.

    --OmegaPerson on our Main Forum

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  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. What is the Definition of Pressured Speech?

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