Pressure of speech

Pressure of speech

Other speech disturbance
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 R47.8
ICD-9-CM 784.5

Pressure of speech is a tendency to speak rapidly and frenziedly, as if motivated by an urgency not apparent to the listener. The speech produced, sometimes called pressured speech, is difficult to interrupt.

It may be too fast, or too tangential for the listener to understand. It is an example of cluttered speech. It can be unrelenting, loud and without pauses.[1]


  • Psychological causes 1
  • Stimulants 2
  • Related conditions 3
  • Stutter formation 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Psychological causes

Pressure of speech is a hallmark of mania and is often seen during manic periods in patients with bipolar disorder. The pace of the speech indicates an underlying thought disorder known as “flight of ideas” wherein the flowing of ideas and information through one's mind is so fast that it is difficult to follow their train of thought.[2]

People with schizophrenia, as well as anyone experiencing extreme anxiety, may also exhibit pressure of speech. Pressure of speech usually refers to the improperly verbalized speech which is a feature of hypomanic and manic illness.[3]

Pressure of speech has commonly been observed in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


Psychostimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, etc. may cause speech resembling pressured speech in individuals with pre-existing psychopathology and produce hypomanic or manic symptoms in general, owing both to the substance's own qualities and the underlying nature of an individual's psyche. In many psychotic disorders, illicit drug use amplifies certain expressions of symptoms, and stimulant-induced pressured speech is among them.

Related conditions

  • Cluttering is a speech disorder that is related to pressure of speech in that the speech of a clutterer sounds improperly verbalized. However, cluttering is a distinct language disorder, whereas pressure of speech is a symptom of mania, anxiety, or schizophrenia. Even though cluttering sounds almost identical to pressure of speech, it differs in that pressure of speech is rooted in anxiety, where cluttering is not.
  • Circumstantial speech is a communication disorder in which the focus of a conversation drifts, but often comes back to the point.[4] In circumstantiality, unnecessary details and irrelevant remarks cause a delay in getting to the point.[5]

Stutter formation

Pressured speech may also lead to the development of a stutter. The person's need or pressure to speak causes them to involuntarily stutter. Therefore, the person's need to express themselves is greater than their ability to vocalise their thoughts.[6]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Pressure of Speech - General Practice Notebook
  4. ^ Problem-Based Psychiatry by Ben Green 2009 ISBN 1-84619-042-8 page 15
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

  • Pressure of Speech - Bipolar Disorder Symptoms