Thought blocking is a disorder of thought that is usually a sign of mental illness. It is characterized by regular interruptions in the stream of thought. This is more than simply losing one's place, it is a complete halt to the process of thought. Outward signs are abrupt, repeated interruptions in the flow of conversation or actions. Subjective experience is that of a total, uncontrollable emptying of the mind. It seems as if one's thoughts are being curtailed by some outside force.

Associated with other disorders of thought such as pressure of thought and poverty of thought, thought blocking is a strong signal for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. For this reason, it must be diagnosed carefully by systematic, astute observation.

Glossary On-Line: Psychiatry -
Thought Disorder -