What is a Thinking Disorder?

Thinking disorders have two primary components. They include individuals who have disordered thinking and individuals who have delusional thinking. A common distinction between the two is that the first deals with the form of thinking while the second deals with the substance of thinking. Thinking disorders that deal with form are less common than those that deal with substance. People who struggle with the form often set about dealing with it themselves and only rarely seek treatment unless it is combined with another illness. People who struggle with thinking disorders that relate to the substance, however, are far more likely to be struggling with other illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, delirium, psychosis, manic depressive, etc.

The symptoms in both forms of thinking disorders often include confusion and disorientation. A difficulty in speaking is sometimes seen in both though it is more often seen in thinking disorders in form. Both forms of thinking disorders involve some level of derailment where the idea and the communication separate and no longer make sense. Blocking is also common in both. In this, the individual chooses not to address something that is in conflict. Currently, there is significant debate as to whether autism spectrum disorder should be classified as a thinking disorder. Because of certain breakthroughs in the analysis of autism and its corresponding symptoms, it is not generally classified as a thinking disorder despite the fact that language disturbances and disordered thinking are often present.

Methods Typically Used in Therapy for Thinking Disorders

Thinking Disorder
What is a Thinking Disorder?

The form of treatment depends on the form of the thinking disorder. In situations where it is a disordered form of thinking, cognitive and behavioral therapy and exercises are the most common treatment. Medication is generally avoided as it may alter the thinking patterns. However, it may be prescribed in situations where the individual struggles with anxiety or depression.

In situations involving delusional thinking, however, medication and observational treatment are common. Often times, medication is the only way to keep illnesses such as schizophrenia completely under control.

Psychotherapy is implemented to a certain extent. However, the purpose is not so much to understand the underlying causes as to address the side effects that develop through thinking disorders such as depression, lowered self esteem, and inhibited decision making.

Reasons for Hiring a Therapist

An inability to think correctly or clearly can make life difficult and social interaction almost impossible. In some cases, such as with an individual who suffers from delusional thinking, the results can even be dangerous to other people. Often times, thinking disorders are discovered in conjunction with other illnesses. Usually these illnesses are the reasons behind the individual seeking assistance in the first place as other issues can be easier to see. However, most of the time, the individual suffering from the thinking disorder is not the one who first notices it. Friends and family members often have to intervene.

What to Look for in a Therapist

Abnormal behavioral therapists, cognitive behavioral therapists, maladaptive disorder therapists, and similar focuses are likely the best choice for individuals struggling with thinking disorders. To determine the best one for the situation, it is often better to rely on reviews and references from individuals you trust rather than your own gut instincts if you struggle with a thinking disorder.

A common symptom that many individuals with thinking disorders must face is a general uneasiness and a fear of change. Due to the nature of a thinking disorder, therapy is likely to feel as if things are getting worse before they get better, therefore it is important to attend several sessions before you judge the effectiveness of therapy or a particular therapist. Search TherapyTribe to get started with your search for the right therapist for you.