Stuttering / Stammering - Coping and Relaxation

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Stammering, or stuttering, is a speech disorder in which the fluency of speech is disrupted by unintended, involuntary repetitions, silent pauses, prolongation of sounds, syllables and words. The person struggles to speak fluently which puts the speaker at psychological unease. The speaker may fear pronouncing certain sounds or words, and in such cases identifies them and avoids speaking them.

The psychological fear extends to the functions of the processes involved in speech like incoordination among respiratory system, vocal cords and the articulatory mechanisms like tongue, palate and lower jaw. The resultant speech is tense and jerky, accompanied with hesitations and stumbling of words.

Stammering / Stuttering – Coping and Relaxation

The extent of stammering varies from mild, moderate to severe and the speaker may use some coping methods to hide the severity of stammering. Usually, the onset of stuttering occurs in early childhood and rarely during adolescence or adulthood.

Stammering: When and Why

As it is said, “Stammering is in the mind, not in the mouth”, and most of the stammering therapy is targeted towards behavior modification and learning new and so-called normal ways of speaking. But first the speaker needs to relax.

It is well known that stammering occurs more in situations which cause stress in the speaker. Some such situations include:

• Answering sudden questions
• Answering oral exams
• Before exams, during interview, because of fear and tension
• During argument or fight
• If parents are strict
• When over-excited, irritated or agitated
• New or unknown environment
• Disturbances in the family
• If the person is accused of something
• Speaking in public
• Speaking to person with authority

Stammering: When and Why - Speaking to Person with Authority

Stammering occurs less in certain situations:

• When relaxed, happy or having achieved something
• When speaking to children
• When the speaker is assured that listener is attentive to the speaker
• With people the speaker is comfortable with
• While singing

Emotions and Feelings of the Stutterer

Apparently, stammering seems to be a speech disorder, but stammering occurs more in stressful situations, making it a psychological problem. The stressful situation disrupts the fluency and the speaker gets more distressed. In an attempt to stop stammering, even before the stutter actually occurs, there is an increase in the tension built, making the stutter much more obvious. If the speaker accepts this fact, the correction and relaxation becomes much easier.

Emotions and Feelings of the Stutterer: Speech Disorder

There are mixed feelings experienced by the stutterer. The person thinks that it is a disgrace to be a stutterer. Further, stutterers are frustrated about not being able to express themselves, present their ideas or even defend themselves. In a gathering, this problem seems to bring in a lot of embarrassment and humiliation. Feelings of helplessness, shame, depression and self-hatred, all happen at the same time. This leads to an inferiority complex and the person withdraws from the public presence.

As observed by the famous speech pathologist Van Riper, “The more one stutters, the more he fears certain words and situations. The more he fears the more he stutters. The more he stutters the harder he struggles. The more he struggles, the more penalties he receives, and the greater becomes his fear.”

Emotions and Feelings of the Stutterer: Public Fear

In an effort to reduce this tension, people even take to drinking alcoholic beverages or tranquilizers. However, one needs to understand that the effects are temporary and the side effects can make it worse.

It is time to take charge of emotions by making positive changes in attitudes and feelings, about self and reactions of others. Relaxation can help benefit speech and also general health and well-being. The more relaxed the person is, the less will be the stuttering.

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Does it mainly related to any psychological disorder?
Podhigai_Arasan Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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