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Selective Mutism / Not Speaking Due to Stress

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Marlene, Nov 25, 2007.

Do you ever go temporarily mute due to too much stress?

  1. Yes, I do

  2. No, I don't

  1. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    After another episode of having an evening being non-verbal due to stress (and another forum member mentioning it in my diary), I'm wondering how many others out there deal with this. So I'm posting this poll.

    For me, it's a combination of withdrawing into myself and that speaking just becomes so difficult that it's just easier to stop speaking all together. Usually for a few hours or so. It feels like I'm trying to drag the words out of myself or something. Another thing is that when I do make myself speak when I feel like this, it sounds (in my head) like I'm almost yelling. My family has told me that I'm barely audible.

    Anyone else?

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  3. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Absolutely Lisa.... I certainly do if the stress is seemingly too much. My preferred option is often to go have a lay down, maybe a sleep for an hour or two, then I am typically fine. Depending on the level of stress, sometimes I may not be capable to speak of an issue for days until I can lower my stress levels to deal with the problem, knowing it will create a requisite amount of stress just dealing with it.

    If this is a recurring issue though, I would suggest you need to further push yourself and find a more appropriate boundary, ie. avoiding discussion and going silent is not always the best option for ourselves, or others. Some times we must talk about the problem to actually get better, to relieve the stress. I could actually say the the majority of times it is better to talk as it relieves the stress thus no requirement to be mute or silent for extended periods.

    It does take an individual effort, it does take time, it does take constant learning and doing to maintain. Just part of learning how to manage PTSD. People at the best of times avoid emotional discussion, we must hit it head on and force ourselves more often than not to discuss so we can lower our stress levels. On the odd occasion though there are always circumstances where it is best to recluse for a rest, then hit the conversation in a discussion.
  4. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

    I voted yes, although its by choice and I will speak if necessary or if someone asks me something directly that's non-threatening i.e. have you seen my car keys?
    For me it's an avoidance/shutdown/protection of myself & others thing.
  5. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

    Yes, me too Lisa. I get a bad stutter too when having trouble talking about my trauma. It feels like the wheels of my brain are slowing down and then grinding to a halt.
    GreenBowl likes this.
  6. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Me, too. I stammer and stutter quite a bit when dealing with traumas. I honestly wasn't thinking about that when I wrote this poll...but it puts a little more information together for me.

    I usually end up not speaking when the stresses of the day or the last few days build up. What's funny about it is that I don't see it coming. I feel fine one minute and then *poof* it's just one thing too many and causes overload and I shut down for a while. Fortunately it's not very often.

  7. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

    Thank you for starting this poll Lisa. As you know Evie also has this. Originally we thought it was connected to her autism, it was only recently that we realized others with PTSD also have this problem. Thank you all for sharing, it is very enlightening.
  8. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Kathy, IMHO you need to create more polls yourself to possibly answer some of your own questions, and likely even answer or connect the dots for many other carers and/or physicians who gather statistical data from this forum. What you seem to at times be concerned or think about, so do others. I think your thinking is smack on the mark.

    IMHO, I would ask that more carers in general ask questions through polls in order to determine a greater understanding whether their sufferers issue is individual or more a PTSD aspect.
  9. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

    Yes that is a very good idea Anthony. Not being a sufferer I am often hesitant to start polls in here however I believe I shall do so more often. I do often wonder about certain behaviours. It would be lovely if other carers participated as well.
  10. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    I answered yes yesterday but didn't explain. I never started speaking until I was four. Even though I only spoke to certain people for a time (I don't know how long though, wasn't told that.) I could speak, I just chose not to. Since then, I go through stages of speaking. I have a "short-circuit" that hits and whats in my brain will not go to my mouth. My muteness is a choice only part of the time. If I'm stressed or feeling unsafe I will chose not to speak or just speak in short bursts. However, if this "short-circuit" hits, I have no choice in not speaking. If I try to, my words will come out slurred, backwards, and sometimes as complete gibberish to the point I won't know if I just spoke English or not. It's very frustrating. I do not use notes. I do not use hand signals. I just don't talk because I can't. I usually leave where ever I'm at about then.

    You'd be amazed how long you can go without speaking and no one notices! ;)

  11. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    I answered yes too. Sometimes I've had it where I can't talk for weeks at a time. I just had another "episode" of not talking recently which lasted for 4 days. I'm working on it but it's very hard, it seems if I push myself even a slight bit the problem only gets worse.
  12. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Yeah, I know. I would go days when I was a teenager not speaking just to see if anyone in my family would notice. No one did.

    The good thing about my family now is that if I don't talk for a short period of time, someone notices and asks me if I'm ok. It's nice to be noticed and have people be concerned about me.

  13. nor

    nor Well-Known Member

    Oh yes Lisa! I definitely shut down.

    I usually just lay on the couch and fall asleep. And if I can't fall asleep right away (to avoid talking or interaction), I will take 1/2 of a sleeping pill-regardless of the time. Anything to escape.

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