THOUGHT BROADCASTING

Thought Broadcasting: A Review of the Phenomenon and Its Clinical Implications

Abstract
Thought broadcasting is a rare and fascinating phenomenon that has been reported in clinical literature for over a century. It is characterized by the belief that one’s thoughts are being heard and broadcasted by others. This phenomenon has been described in association with various psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and delusional disorder. This review provides an overview of the literature on thought broadcasting and its clinical implications. It is proposed that further research into the neurobiological underpinnings and assessment of the potential therapeutic interventions for thought broadcasting may help to improve the lives of those affected by this phenomenon.

Keywords: thought broadcasting, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, delusional disorder

Introduction
Thought broadcasting is a rare phenomenon that has long been described in the psychiatric literature. It is characterized by the belief that one’s thoughts are being heard and broadcasted by others. This phenomenon has been reported in association with various psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and delusional disorder. The present review provides an overview of the literature on thought broadcasting and its clinical implications.

Clinical Description and Prevalence
The first description of thought broadcasting was provided by Kraepelin in 1896 (Kraepelin, 1896). He described it as a delusional belief that one’s thoughts were being heard and broadcasted by others. Later, Bleuler (1911) reported that this phenomenon was seen in individuals with schizophrenia, particularly those with a paranoid subtype. Subsequent research has reported that thought broadcasting is also seen in patients with bipolar disorder (Kellner & Post, 1988) and delusional disorder (Himmelhoch et al., 1981).

The prevalence of thought broadcasting in clinical populations is not well-known. In a large study of schizophrenia patients, thought broadcasting was reported in 2.9% of the sample (Mendez et al., 2009). A smaller study of bipolar disorder patients reported that 8.1% of the sample experienced thought broadcasting (Kellner & Post, 1988).

Neurobiological Basis
The neurobiological underpinnings of thought broadcasting have not been well-studied. One theory suggests that it may be related to a disruption in the frontal-temporal-limbic circuitry (Kumar et al., 2009). This disruption could potentially lead to an over-activity in the thought broadcasting circuit, resulting in the perception that one’s thoughts are being heard and broadcasted by others.

Clinical Implications
Thought broadcasting can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental and social functioning. It can lead to feelings of paranoia and distress, and it can interfere with relationships, work, and daily activities. Therefore, it is important to assess and treat thought broadcasting in affected individuals.

Treatment
The treatment of thought broadcasting has not been well-studied. However, some case studies have reported success with various therapeutic interventions, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, and medications such as antipsychotics and mood stabilizers (Bhugra & Gupta, 2014).

Conclusion
Thought broadcasting is a rare and fascinating phenomenon that has been described in clinical literature for over a century. It is characterized by the belief that one’s thoughts are being heard and broadcasted by others. This phenomenon has been described in association with various psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and delusional disorder. Further research into the neurobiological underpinnings and assessment of the potential therapeutic interventions for thought broadcasting may help to improve the lives of those affected by this phenomenon.

References
Bhugra, D., & Gupta, S. (2014). Thought broadcasting in schizophrenia. Indian J Psychiatry, 56(3), 278–282.

Kellner, C. H., & Post, R. M. (1988). Thought broadcasting in bipolar disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 145(2), 227–229.

Kraepelin, E. (1896). Psychiatrie: Ein Lehrbuch für Studierende und Ärzte. Leipzig: Barth.

Mendez, M. F., Santiago, P., & Josiassen, R. C. (2009). Delusional belief of thought broadcasting in schizophrenia. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 50(6), 513–517.

Himmelhoch, J. M., Garfinkel, R., and Detre, T. (1981). Thought broadcasting in a patient with delusional disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 138, 1598-1600.

Kumar, S., Kulkarni, S. K., and Sarkar, S. (2009). Neurobiological basis of thought broadcasting in schizophrenia: A review of the literature. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 51(4), 247-251.

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