Logorrhea (when people won’t STFU). Why? What to do (besides earplugs)?

I know, I know, pots and kettles (given that it’s a very rare day I don’t post something on this blog – blogorrhea?)

But oh my, my trip back from the Great Wen was almost spoiled. If I’d not been in first class, with the comfort of wifi and snacks, coping with the stream of drivel coming out of the mouth of the person who got on at Milton Keynes (“In the long run we’re all talked to death”), would have been tricky.

Fortunately the logorrhea-er latched on to the hapless person in front of me. Had some food that they (and yes, I am going to play the pronoun game) insisted on sharing with their victim. Create a sense of obligation? Nothing so calculated?

So, going on my own recollection of me at 16 (and older!!!) of not SHUTTING THE FUCK UP when I had nothing to say, I reckon it’s about loneliness and lack of affirmation in your own life.

We humans are pack animals. We groom and are groomed via our gossip and our phatic communication and so on. And when we don’t get it…

Is logorrhea also an act of aggression? Like being boring?

After running my own well dry, let’s see what the font of all reliable info, wikipedia, has to say;

In psychology, logorrhea or logorrhoea (from Greek λογορροια (logorrhoia); from λόγος (logos), meaning “word”, and ῥοία (rhoia), meaning “flow”) is a communication disorder, sometimes classified as a mental illness, resulting in incoherent talkativeness. Logorrhea is present in a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders[1] including aphasia,[2] localized cortical lesions in the thalamus,[3][4] mania,[citation needed] or most typically in catatonic schizophrenia.[citation needed]

Examples of logorrhea might include talking or mumbling monotonously, either to others, or more likely to oneself. This may include the repetition of particular words or phrases, often incoherently. The causes of logorrhea remain poorly understood, but appear to be localized to frontal lobe structures known to be associated with language. As is the case, for example, in emotional lability in a wide variety of neurological conditions, other symptoms take priority in clinical management and research efforts. Other symptoms include excessive talking, words that avoid any logic or reason, words that may offend other people and random words which hearers may ascribe unintended meaning to.

Logorrhea should not be confused with pressure of speech, which is characterized by the “flighty” alternation from topic to topic by tenuous links such as rhyming or punning.[5] Logorrhea is a symptom of an underlying illness, and should be treated by a medical professional. Several possible causes of logorrhea respond well to medication.

Er, I’ve been malapropping, then.  Or using precise-ish medical words as an insult….


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6 Responses to Logorrhea (when people won’t STFU). Why? What to do (besides earplugs)?

  1. I’ve been searching for a diagnostic term for not shutting the eff up, but without the “incoherent” connotation. Because we’ve all had that experience of someone who keeps talking, fairly coherently, but still with no regard for utter lack of feedback or even negative feedback, no matter how bluntly you say –

    “well that’s nice, but I really need you to wrap up so I can focus on homework. Did you know I can’t listen to you and do homework at the same time? Because unlike whatever you do all day when I’m not here to talk at, homework requires actual mental focus. Undivided attention, if you will. I mean, if you want to keep talking, by all means. I can drop out of this course… but I’ll need you to write me a check for next semester’s tuition now so I can retake this course. Where’s your checkbook? Go ahead and find it, I’ll wait. Here, use my pen. No, I insist. You were saying something terribly more important and valuable than my higher education, weren’t you? The sooner you write me a check, the sooner you can get back to regaling me with your terribly important monologue…”

    • dwighttowers says:

      !!!! I would have been on the receiving end of such (perfectly justified!) monologues. I used to be UTTERLY oblivious ALWAYS to those social cues. Now I am only MOSTLY oblivious OFTEN. Which is an improvement, I suppose…

      Reminds me of that Far Side cartoon where two people have to feign death to get their overstayed-their-welcome dinner guests to leave…

  2. Hugh Hunt says:

    Wow, do you psycho analyse and throw insults when physically disabled people cause you inconvenience; they being the only ones allowed to park close to the supermarket?

    Logorrhea is a symptom of disabilities such as schizophrenia and mania, that are rooted in genetics, or physical brain damage. Your assumption that Logorrhea is symptomatic of being self absorbed is wonderfully ironic, considering that it comes from someone you blogs about their day to day experiences.

  3. I know this is a few years ago, so I don’t know if you will even see this, but I don’t think it’s always an “act of aggression” as you asked in your post. For some of us, it is, rather, a debilitating and often embarrassing problem we are left with as a result of a head injury, in my case, a car accident in which I was knocked unconscious. I don’t remember the impact or anything, but what I do know is, there are many people like myself who have suffered a traumatic brain injury that has left us like this.

    I have known for years that something was wrong, I just didn’t know what. But after years of people talking over me as if I am not even there, finding excuses to get away from me, and wondering why I couldn’t even make it through a job interview, I finally did some research on my own and found this page, by an attorney who works with people who have suffered this same fate. One thing for sure is, in all the examples he gives, just as in my own case, whatever kind of head injury that was involved, none of us asked for this. I will never be the same person I was before the accident that almost took my life and left me like this.


    What I do know is, now that I know what this is, I am doing all I can to control it, and keep myself from getting in these embarrassing situations. While every case is different, and I can certainly see your point of view, there are simple, polite ways to excuse yourself from these long-winded conversations you may find yourself stuck in (My youngest daughter, who just earned her B.A. in Psychology and is now working toward her master’s, has learned creative, yet not rude ways for example, and I am ok with that). Also, perhaps if you take a little more time to research this, you might see that for all of these other folks that have ended up with this, like myself, as I said, none of us asked for it, and it can’t be helped.

    Most of these folks had good, productive careers before their accidents/injuries happened. It can, however, help us all if more people would educate themselves on the head injuries, etc that result in this, and have a little more compassion and understanding. After all, not all of us are doing it as an “act of aggression” to bore you to death. In the car I was a passenger in, my seat belt did not work, resulting in my head injury being worse than it would have been. On the bright side, I am alive, to write my book, and help others. That is one of the things I am doing, mainly, sticking to my writing, as I seem to still be able to organize what I want to say in writing, and don’t seem to have as much of a problem with writing, other than occasionally leaving out a word, or a letter in a word, or sometimes, mix up similar sounding words.

    I leave you with this: I am not trying to be rude or anything, just sharing my story so you might look at the other side of the equation here, and realize, it could happen to you, or anyone just as it did me. I lost out on a nursing career as a result of the accident because of my injuries, and I will never get back what I lost, nor will I ever be the person I was before the accident, nor would I want to be. Most likely, you would be much more compassionate if it happened to someone you love. I hope you never have to go through anything like what happened to me that left me with this, and that perhaps, at any rate, I have answered your question.

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