It is usually associated with a manic presentation and other symptoms of serious mental illnesses, such as psychosis, including schizophrenia. It is characterized by an apparently confused usage of words with no apparent meaning or relationship attached to them. In this context, it is considered to be a symptom of a formal thought disorder. In some cases schizophasia can be a sign of asymptomatic schizophrenia; e.g. the question "Why do people believe in God?" could elicit a response consisting of a series of words commonly associated with religion or prayer but strung together with no regard to language rules.
Schizophasia should be contrasted with another symptom of cognitive disruption and cognitive slippage involving certain idiosyncratic arrangements of words. With this symptom, the language may or may not be grammatically correct depending on the severity of the disease and the particular mechanisms which have been impacted by the disease.
The American diagnostic codes, from the DSM-IV, do not specifically code for this disorder although they include it as a symptom under the diagnosis of schizophrenia.