What is disorganized thinking?
Matthew Temple

Thought disorder, according to Wikipedia, “refers to disorganized thinking as evidenced by disorganized speech.” They list about 25 types of disorganized speech. To my own observation, I display the following: circumstantiality, flight of ideas (typical in bipolar mania), neologisms, pressure of speech, semantic paraphasia (this one worries me the most), and word approximations.

I’ve done semantic paraphasia for as long as I can remember. Not often, but from time to time, and it always embarrasses me when I do it because it so clearly indicates an error in thinking.

Circumstantiality, arguably, is one of the basic principles of drama. Wikipedia’s page on circumstantiality describes people “talk[ing] the long way around” to their point. In my recent post on pacing a novel, I give two separate sources describing plot as “taking the long way home.”