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poverty of speech n., <pohv-ur-tee uv speech> {psychology}

Poverty of speech is a possible negative symptom of schizophrenia. The person may give no answer to questions, only short answers, or (in our psych textbook) the answer may not answer the question and instead follow some unrelated tangent.

To add something from a patient's viewpoint here - a threatening, aloof, or contemptuous (however well hidden) psychiatrist may also meet with monosyllabic or uncommunicative responses from an alienated and oppressed so-called diagnosed person and the result may be a completely erroneous judgement. Oh no! Surely such a lofty and well qualified professional could rarely be wrong? Well, maybe we should pay homage to our own minds' complexity by accepting the fallibility of some of these psychiatric terms which claim to summarize aspects of minds and people so very succinctly. Exceptions and rules. Would you want to have a clear, friendly and well reasoned conversation with someone who had brought about your incarceration and injection with mind numbing drugs? There may be such a phenomenon as poverty of speech, (surely rather a subjective thing - depending on the listener)... Is there perhaps a converse "poverty of empathy" among some psychiatrists too?

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