An individual’s speech assumes various forms such as rate, rhythm and fluency all of which may be affected by mental illness while the content of speech reveals their thoughts. A structured assessment of speech includes an assessment of expressive language which offers the clinicians a chance of diagnosing various medical conditions such as aphonia or dysarthria. A classic example is that of schizophrenia patients who use neologisms during speech, which are only understood by the patient (Maddux & Winstead, 2005).
Mood is often described in terms of elevated or depressed mood. Other categorizations of mood include states of anxiety and panic of the patient. Clinicians describe mood subjectively. they assess patients’ mood and how it affects them objectively. Clinicians use the patient’s own words to describe their mood and often use terms such as dysphoric, euthymic, angry or apathetic and neutral (Maddux & Winstead, 2005). Affect, on the other hand, is the labeling the emotion conveyed by the patients nonverbal behavior and by using the parameters of appropriateness, intensity, mobility and reactivity (Maddux & Winstead, 2005)
Endocrine disorders affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis or thyroid are likely causes to produce changes in mood. Diseases that fit these criteria include hyperthyroidism, Addison disease, Cushing syndrome and other related diseases.
A broad range of physiologic and structural CNS conditions can result in mood changes and behavior. It is important to note that major depressive disorders can produce measurable cognitive deficits or a worsening of pre-existing dementia. Maddux and Winstead observed that this decline in cognitive functioning, during testing it appears to result from impaired concentration or motivation, is referred to as pseudo-dementia (2005). Such conditions remit after treating the depressive episode.