Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The mystification - and demystification - of stuttering

Many people like mysteries, and like to mystify things. A mystery is interesting and stimulating - and can be frightening. Mysteries puzzle the mind, like ghosts, gods, devils and other 'unseen' things. They are food for thought.

Stuttering was such a mystery for many years, indeed for such a long time that many have become accustomed to thinking of it as unsolvable, or otherwise as an extremely complicated neurological defect. It has become part of our mindset that "stuttering is complicated".

Have you ever thought that, well, perhaps the answer is not really so difficult at all? Is it possible to imagine that? To switch back from the preconceived idea of stuttering as "complicated" to "stuttering is not THAT complicated"?

I propose that stuttering is not very complicated. If you have a basic idea of:

1) How stress works, as explained for the past decades by the Canadian biologist Hans Selye, the world-renowned authority on tension; and

2) How conditioned reflexes and learned behaviour work; and

3) How the vocal folds function,

then it all falls in place, and stuttering loses its mystery - and some of its power over you. Then stuttering starts to make sense. And if you have this understanding, you can start thinking about it in objective terms. You can start isolating it from the terrible personalised emotions associated with it. That, again, is another step toward better control of your speech. If you know what happens to you when you stutter, and WHY you stutter, it becomes so much easier to deal with it.

In my free online book, Coping with Stuttering, I have provided simple explanations of how stress, learned behaviour and your stress-sensitive vocal folds have combined to interfere with your speech. Read my book by clicking HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I agree with you that Stuttering is not so complex as we perceive it. I myself experienced it in my life that when I hadn't know much about stuttering and it's causes I felt it as a mystery, I think it's also because of that Conspiracy of Silence in my society. People don't talk about it! But, Thank God! I feel that I now became master in Stuttering and I almost know each and everything about Stuttering. Now, I feel that it's simple than I thought.