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Flight of Ideas

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Updated May 16, 2014

Flight of Ideas
Kent Mathews Collection/Stone/Getty Images
Definition:
Flight of ideas is one of the symptoms of bipolar mania as well as schizophrenia and ADHD. Some web definitions include:
  • a nearly continuous flow of rapid speech that jumps from topic to topic, usually based on discernible associations, distractions, or plays on words, but in severe cases so rapid as to be disorganized and incoherent. It is most commonly seen in manic episodes but may also occur in other mental disorders such as in manic phases of schizophrenia. Merck Source

  • A nearly continuous flow or accelerated speech with abrupt changes from topic to topic, usually based on understandable associations, distracting stimuli, or plays on words. University of Michigan Medical Center.

  • A continuous change of subject and thought content with little apparent connection among the topics and little external stimulation for the change. This may be one manifestation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children With Challenges

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