Bipolar Mania Symptoms

Pressure of Speech

What is pressure of speech?

Pressure of speech is an unusual increase in the rate or speed of conversation. The person with pressure of speech talks much faster than what is considered normal or ordinary.

Pressure of speech may be severe enough that the person may not be understood.

What is it like to have pressure of speech?

The person experiences an urgent need to raise a point, discuss an idea, or to talk.

The person may feel frustrated or irritated by other people's request to talk slower, repeat sentences or to calm down.

How can I recognize this symptom?

It is frequently difficult to interrupt an individual who experiences pressure of speech. When it is a symptom of mania, the person may appear to be anxious, enthusiastic, and speak with urgency.

When the person also has flight of ideas and racing thoughts, their conversation reflects an abundance of ideas, which may not all be related to the subject of the conversation.

The person also may rhyme words or use words that sound similar. The person may play with words and use puns.34

How does pressure of speech impact life?

The person with pressure of speech may find what he or she talks about to be of great importance. The person may talk even when not appropriate.32

For example, a student may interrupt the teacher in class to share ideas. The teacher finds it difficult to guide the conversation so that it benefits the rest of the class. She struggles to take control and to continue teaching.

At work, a person suffering from pressure of speech may talk incessantly in meetings or with co-workers. The experienced need for urgency results in disrupted meeting schedules, and decreased productivity in the workplace.

The person who has pressure of speech and other bipolar symptoms at work may experience reprimand or job loss.39

My Story

My son was talking very fast yesterday. I had no idea what he was trying to say. He seemed passionate and driven. He was late for school, but every time I tried to remind him he just ignored me and kept talking. This has been easier to endure lately, especially after learning this is a symptom of bipolar disorder.

~ Jeroen, Amsterdam, NH