Brain Injury Logorrhea : Part Twelve of Angela’s Story
Another prevailing symptom of those with a frontal brain injury is the inability to know when to stop talking (which is known as brain injury logorrhea). While there have been many explanations for this trait, poor judgment, self monitoring, self control, insight, Angela has a unique explanation, that adds significantly to the description of this disorder. In order to control the input of conversation into her brain:
I start talking. Because then I can control what comes out of my mouth most of the time, to be at least be positive. I won’t remember what I said, I never remember what I said, but I have lived a good life, I am still living a great life, enough that I know good things about the world, whatever the conversation is, by shifting the attention from whatever is taking place at the table that is extremely overwhelming for me, I can take control by talking myself.
Logorrhea is the technical term for excessive talking, which literally means “too many words” and can be remember by thinking of it as diarrhea of the mouth. Angela knows she has brain injury logorrhea but can’t control it. Knowing and not being able to do anything about it, has a synergistic impact on her most cognitively demanding challenge: stress.
Angela expresses her frustrations with brain injury logorrhea:
“I have anxiety that I talked too long, or that I told them too much information, or they didn’t really want to hear what I had to say, all of these things that I start thinking about myself, may or may not be true. I told them they could tell me to shut up, or just walk away and they don’t.”