I'm looking for counsel about someone who has what I learn is called loggorhea, compulsive talking. I am beginning to believe my friend may actually be suffering from PTSD as she often refers to her work during the outbreak of the HIV pandemic in the 90s as being traumatic - that word appearing in upper case in her messages. Any such suggestion would be strongly refuted by her. It has now become impossible to communicate, our last phone call ended with a plea for her to stop and she hung up. The following email is headed TRAUMA. Previous phone calls have lasted up to eleven hours. I think it is a serious problem. She thinks I fail utterly to understand what she is saying and continues to repeat. There appears to be no way of stopping her without offending. Nothing I summarise for her is correct and must be dismatled piece by piece once again - an obsessive pattern now. The beginning of a call can be normal speech patterns for maybe ten minutes, then her pitch raises, tempo quickens and there are no responses to anything I say, the pitch is almost monotone.
She is probably 'on the spectrum' and she admits that. She is a very unusual soul and her work involved a great deal of death and living with what was then unknown consequences of being around people with HIV/AIDS. I'd like to be able to help her but she doesn't know she has a problem - she believes it's my problem failing to understand. I don't know how I can tell her or indeed, how to get a word in that she will actually hear. I can only hope that other friends give her good counsel right now. Does anyone have anything similar in their lives?
Talking at you without understanding that the conversation is one sided is pretty common in individuals with ASD. My father will give long monologues on a chosen subject and it is incredibly difficult to listen to at times. You are very kind to be so patient - you are truly a good friend indeed. My father’s ASD means that the conversation is always all about him, his needs and his interests - i just become a sounding board. If I have any problems or interests I want to share, he will switch the conversation back to him. Sadly, I watched my 9 year old try and tell his grandad about winning a medal at football - he was so proud of himself - and my dad cut across him like it was nothing, so he could continue to talk about something that interested him. My son’s face dropped and he looked really upset and hurt - it was then that I realised that this is how I’d felt all my life. As much as I try to be patient, I feel shortchanged in the relationship. I use the excuse that I need to be somewhere when it gets a bit much. He has no self awareness and would react defensively if I pointed his one sided monologues out to him. In fact, I think he would get quite angry. I don’t think there is an answer to this - what you need to decide is whether you can carry on being emotionally drained in this way. I limit contact with my dad now. I make sure he is ok, but I now prioritise my own mental health and well-being. I hope you find the resolution you are looking for. X