Unlike many other physical disorders, which tend to affect a localized part of the body, mental illness tends to impact the entire being of a person. The way an individual moves, interacts with others, functions and even their physical appearance can all be affected by the slightest of alterations within the brain and nervous system.
A person struggling with the effects of a mental illness may show certain quirks in their behavior, or partial impairment of their physical movements. The most significant impacts, though, can come in communication.
For individuals considering careers in speech pathology, it is important to understand how altered brain chemistry or physical damage in certain parts of the brain can partially or fully impair speech. This will impact the types of treatment that are prescribed by medical professionals.
For people suffering from mental illness, it is crucial to seek professional, medical and therapeutic help if you experience a loss or alteration of speech. It is also important to understand some of the ways mental illness can impact communication skills.
- Slurred or incoherent speech: This can often occur at the onset of illness. As the untreated condition worsens, slurring increases and may reach the point where communicating is impossible.
- Different social skills: It is very common for people suffering from mental disease to develop inappropriate or abnormal social skills. These can manifest themselves through loud or inappropriate speech; remarks that are disjointed from the rest of the conversation; and an inability to understand the normal social cues from the people around them.
These are just a few indications of possible mental disease. Disorders of the brain can be tricky to diagnose and treat, making it very important to stick with the treatment plan your doctor prescribes.