Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘anxiety and stuttering

Today I read a really interesting article about using virtual reality to help people who stutter confront some of their social anxieties.

It seems a 24 year medical product designer in the UK is developing software that can expose people to some of their anxiety triggers and help them to improve how they react. The young designer stutters himself.

The software was tested with a stuttering self help support group and participants showed a decrease in anxiety levels after repeated sessions with the software. Some also showed improvement concerning their speech.

The goal of the virtual reality software is to allow people to practice exposure therapy from the comfort of their own home.

You can read the article here.

What do you think? Would you be open to using something like this to work on stuttering related anxiety? It certainly sounds promising!

PamEpisode 168 features Hannah Smith who hails from Langley, British Columbia, Canada. Hannah is a home based Certified Nutritional Practitioner. She is able to work with anyone in the alternative health care field. Learn more about Hannah here at Fraser Valley Nutrition.

Listen in as we discuss how a balanced, healthy and active lifestyle has positively impacted Hannah’s speech. We discuss stuttering and anxiety, being open about and advertising stuttering and how to deal with the stress of stuttering.

We also discuss Hannah’s involvement in the stuttering community. She recalls meeting someone else who stutters for the first time when she was 16 and how that made her feel less sad and alone. And we talk about therapy and how it’s not for everyone and is definitely not “one size fits all.” Hannah also mentions how her stuttering almost serves as an alarm, telling her when she is unhappy or uncomfortable.

The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

You can’t connect with other people if you’re constantly stuck in your own head. This goes if you’re anxious, depressed, self absorbed or if you stutter.

We fail to make meaningful connections with those around us when we become consumed with worry or fear about how people will react to us. We get so caught up in what we are thinking that we fail to learn what the other person is thinking. These can be self defeating behaviors.

I think it’s true that people who stutter can also be anxious or depressed. I’ve written about this several times before. While anxiety and depression are not the cause of stuttering, both can certainly exasperate the stuttering experience.

And I also think it’s true that people who stutter can be very self absorbed. There are times when we think about stuttering constantly, and not positively! I’ve heard people say they’ve gone to bed thinking about stuttering and wake up thinking about stuttering. For me, when I was extremely covert, it was like a prison. I felt suffocated by the constant thoughts and worries about how I sounded when I dared to speak.

My good friend J and I recently talked about anxiety and stuttering. He hates how he feels when he thinks about stuttering and feels that he thinks about it too much. He worries that he’s not connecting with others because he gets so preoccupied with stuttering.

One of the things we’ve talked about a lot is to find other things to do that gets you out of your head. Having something to do that connects you with other people is vital to getting “unstuck.” Some examples are Toastmasters, Improv or local meet ups where you can find activities that you have in common with other people.

Thinking about stuttering all of the time is going to keep you in your head. You’ll miss out on engaging with other people and you’ll run the risk of people thinking that you’re unfriendly, unapproachable or shy, when none of those may be the case.

Getting out of your own head is easier said than done. But talking about your worries and fears with someone else is always a good idea, as well as finding things to do that take you out of your comfort zone and give you a chance to genuinely connect with others.

Try it. Try one new thing. Set it as a goal for 2017.

PamEpisode 140 features Debbie Riordan, who hails from Dresser, Wisconsin. Debbie is a therapy aid at a nursing home. She really wants to get into writing, and is thinking of pursuing a college major called “Professional Communication and Emerging Media.”

Debbie shares many observations and insights about having lived with stuttering. She says, “I haven’t lived my life the way I could have.”  We talk about covert stuttering and the price one pays to live in hiding.

Debbie also candidly talks about social anxiety and wonders if it is because of her stuttering.

Listen in as we also discuss fears, namely being afraid of rejection. Debbie shares that she is “in her head a lot and needs to get out of there.” Debbie also mentions how she realizes she hasn’t measured her speech based on her stuttering but on her silence. This is powerful as it relates to covert stuttering.

The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter. Please feel free to leave feedback.


Podcasts, Posts, Videos

Glad you're stopping by!

  • 465,235 visits

Monthly Archives!

Copyright Notice

© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.