Colorado Recovery Forum

Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
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Problems with thinking

People with mental illness often have a hard time thinking straight. The National Institute of Mental Health calls this thought disorder. Some people say thoughts may come and go fast. This may cause someone not to be able to focus on one thing for very long. They may have a short attention span. The person with mental illness may not be able to sort out detailed information and understand what is important and what is not important to a situation.

Connecting thoughts and ideas can be hard

For a person who may be hearing voices, making sense, connecting thoughts and thinking sensibly is not always easy. Thoughts are often jumbled, fragmented and unclear. This can make it very difficult for them to talk and may cause them to want to be alone. People who do not understand what a person with mental illness is saying may not want to talk with them and tend to leave that person alone. Because of this, a person with schizophrenia might think no one likes them or wants to be around them. This can make someone with mental illness  feel very lonely.