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poverty of thought
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poverty of thought

I am new to this forum and am really in need of help with what 'poverty of thought' is? I was told yesterday by my sons psychiatrist that he has this. He is currently on geodin -60mg.  She told me it is very hard to treat.  He is 15 years old and in a class for beh. disordered students in a regular high school. She suggested a special school in our area?  She gave me a little information but I am finding it hard to find more out about this? Many people have never heard of it?  Will it get worse? What can I do to help him?  Thanks!
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585414_tn?1288944902
Its best for students to remain integrated with supports and services through special education to help them. I have schizoaffective disorder (and have made a full recovery, read through my posts) and did well in standard classes in junior high school and high school. Some students do need some special education. Some can be mainstreamed. Rarely do they do well in a segregated setting. As for "poverty of thought" that is one aspect of schizophrenia where a person cannot express their ideas. That is part of the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. There are many other options as regards antipsychotics, the 3 newest being Abilify, Fanapt and Saphris. If your son is not doing well on one medication ask the psychiatrist about available options.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank-you for your information.  There doesn't seem to be very many places to go to get information..many people I have asked have never heard of "poverty of thought"..
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Avatar_m_tn
Would poverty of thought also cause you to have great difficulty to transfer your thoughts into speech or have a thought or idea and don't know the words to describe it at all?  Sometimes what I'm describing there will cause me to say something that makes no sense or I'll tell someone my thought or idea and it's not really near what was in my head or I'll just take the alternate approach and choose not to say anything because I know i can't convey the thought or idea at all.  I even said to my therapist last time I saw her everything I was telling her wasn't described well because it doesn't really translate from thought to speech I guess when you have a mental illness.  I don't know it just feels like my conscious thoughts and speech are totally disconnected.  Like for example I tried telling my psychiatrist yesterday something and then I thought about what I said to him after I was going home and it sounded like I had told him my emotions were normal now instead of feeling disgust and hate and anger and all that nasty stuff 24/7 when I really meant they're still limited because I don't feel happy and such when someone should or regularly.
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585414_tn?1288944902
Yes. That would be an example. However, when you describe mood fluctuations that complicates things as within schizoaffective there is an overlap between mania/depression and psychosis.
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Avatar_m_tn
Not sure but it happens regardless of my mood and such.  It's just like the bridge was never made between my thoughts and speech or at least it maybe was broken and burnt down when my mental illness appeared and yanno I remember stuff from as early as six months old but it's vague so I don't remember what it was like for my mind before this all appeared when I was 3 or 4 and plus the mind is majorly developing anyway still at those ages.  My therapist was even like LOL WUT when I kept coming up with what she said were good metaphors for my life and illness but then told her there was no conscious thought at all going on behind the scenes during the making of those and they just worked good by chance because sometimes I'll try to do that and I'll just stop and be like damn I don't even know where I was going with this lol.  I figured it might be a good idea to ask you this anyway and discuss it so the original poster has some good or at least decent examples to have a better idea of what happens with their son in some way or another.  I love it when DOCTOROFMIND for example does a video on psychiatric and neurological topics and actually gives a demonstration of what the disorder in the topic is like because it's so much easier to understand seeing it than hearing it described.

I think it's weird however, I believe your advice but my psychiatrist didn't say I have a mood disorder and just the schizo when I asked him what he thought I have even after telling him all the stuff I've told you about my emotions being messed up in just about every possible way but he still asks me how my mood is when doing a followup like it's significant enough to be monitored.  I'm just tired of my emotions being blunted and limited and alien to me and having to rely entirely on thought to get myself to come to action when it involves anything besides me being pissed off or depressed.  I even kind of actually described the mental illness to them like schizoaffective from the things I know and they know how everyone but my uncle on my father's side has bipolar disorder and he has schizoaffective disorder himself but nope.  It was even brought up in the conversation in the initial screening if I knew what that disorder was.  I don't know it confuses me because I know your knowledge is correct but this still happened this way, do you have to have had at least one episode of mania or hypomania for them to consider that diagnosis or something?
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585414_tn?1288944902
Well since schizoaffective is schizophrenia with a concurrent mood disorder there has to be some form of mood disorder. It can either be bipolar or depression. There are more exact criteria than that. I do have a copy of the DSM-4 from an abnormal psychiatry class I took many years ago in college. I do use it for self awareness purposes but never to self diagnose but it did help me put things in perspective as regards specific symptoms which I have discussed further with my psychiatrist.
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh well who knows maybe months down the road he'll change it to that or something.  Doesn't really matter to me anyway which it is I'm just confused on why they're so stubborn to say it's schizoaffective disorder with all the aforementioned.  Guess I could always ask why, I just now thought of that.  T'is gonna be cool when and if they figure out the clinical link and combine bipolar disorder and those illnesses into one as a scale.  It can make my head hurt though trying to figure it out when I'm bored because of how complex and tricky it is.
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1160404_tn?1262937802
"Poverty of Thought" is a descriptive term for one of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.  
Positive symptoms = hallucinations, delusions, loosening of associations, etc
Negative symptoms = poverty of thought and other catatonic behaviors

About 50 years ago, nearly half of all schizophrenic patients displayed catatonic symptoms (staring into nothing for hours or days - no speaking or discernable thoughts/relating, etc...).  However, the medications used to treat schizophrenia nowadays is MUCH better and does a very good job of targeting negative symptoms.  Therefore, it is fairly rare to see a schizophrenic patient in a state of catatonia anymore.    That being said, your son has developed the disorder young and at times that is an indicator to its potential severity...  He may display negative symptoms that are not responding to medication for whatever reason.  
But if it were MY son, I would take him to another doctor and/or try a new medication.  Maybe the meds he is on don't work, or worse, are sedating him so much that it looks like a negative symptom, but it's actually a side effect.
Good luck to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am on geodon too for my schizoaffective disorder. I noticed that I am not very chatty and I used to talk a lot. It bothers me sometimes that in a conversation with my husband I will say like one word answers to his questions and not really bring anything up myself to ask. Could this be poverty of thought? Or is it something else?
I kind of like geodon because I don't gain weight on it but I really don't like be quiet all the time and not an interesting socializer.
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585414_tn?1288944902
Antipsychotics can cause cognitive blunting which can at times impair relating to people but generally the newer (atypical) antipsychotics don't cause that as much. However, having difficulty relating to people is part of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia which is a class of symptoms that atypical antipsychotics generally work on. The Geodon should actually be helping on this but speak to your psychiatrist for specifics on how to follow up.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes I also already didn't talk a lot but Geodon made me talk even less as well.  It also blunted my personality in that I didn't act like I usually do either.  When I stopped taking it however I returned to normal but it was indeed frustrating, people would talk to me and I would just only say "yeah" or "OK" and couldn't think of anything to say.
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Avatar_f_tn
you know what i think sometimes or alot of the time.
we all express ourselves differently and we are all unique individuals with special gifts.
we tend to compare ourselves to others and we shouldn't do this because that's when the problems start to begin with labeling ourselves with this or that disorder.
it's much easier to express oneself when we are completely relaxed and comfortable with the person or persons we're talking with; don't you think???
when anxiety sets in for whatever reasons or shyness perhaps which is likeable by the way i think we can't "think" as clearly as we would like to which is normal.
so, when under any kind of pressure depending on the person, he or she might have a little trouble expressing themself.  it's okay because we all do it at different times.
anxiety can actually stop one dead in their tracks from expressing what they wish to you know.  believe me, it's true...and then they call this social anxiety disorder; hahaha....heck no, it's just who we are and sometimes we need to accept ourselves don't we now.  i'm preaching i know; sorry...get emotional and anxious at the same time and see what words might come out of your mouth right?  we've all had this happen plenty of times.
we can make changes if we want to though, but stop being so hard on yourselves...: )
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Avatar_m_tn
What you say is true but there's also an abnormal amount of it like with anything that can then be qualified as a symptom.  My "poverty of thought" can happen all the time even when not anxious.  Usually they only record it in psychiatric records if it's enough to be considered out of hand or whatever.  Everyone will experience hallucinations without mental illness at least once in their life but the frequency and conditions and such determines whether it is being caused by mental illness.
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Avatar_m_tn
for example.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi guys/girls,

listen, i am sorry for my last post because you all were just expressing yourselves as you should do.  
please continue to express what you think and feel; its very important.
oh, i do include myself in my last post also as being too hard on ourselves at times.
you're all so very self-aware and this is important.
thank you for sharing.
rabin
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh no, don't be sorry for that, I didn't mean to sound angry or anything if I did, I'm sorry.  I didn't take you as being hostile or anything like that.  I was just saying there are instances of something being abnormal in the amount it happens with anything.  It is true that all symptoms of schizophrenia however happen for people without it at one time or another but like I said with hallucinations, it all depends on why and how frequently they occur.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Corlen,
No, you didn't sound angry at all.
What it boils down to I guess is that we all should be comfortable in our own skin and in our own minds.
Each one of us needs to figure out what's right for us as individuals.
This can be an ongoing life long process in many ways also, but then I guess that makes life interesting hey???  : )


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