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Thought Content. You should ascertain most of the information relevant to thought content during the interview. Follow appropriate leads as they occur rather than using stereotyped lists of specific questions. For example, "You mentioned a few minutes ago that a neighbor was responsible for your entire illness. Can you tell me more about that?" Or, in another situation, "What do you think about at times like these?"

You may need to make more specific inquiries. If so, couch them in tactful and accepting terms. "When people are upset like this, they sometimes can't keep certain thoughts out of their minds," or ". . . things seem unreal. Have you experienced anything like this?"

In these ways find out about any of the patterns shown in the following table.

Abnormalities of Thought Content

Compulsions

Repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels

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