Fear of speaking: Chronic anxiety and stammering

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 2006, 12 (1), pp. 63 - 68
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Stammering results in involuntary disruption of a person's capacity to speak. It begins at an early age and can persist for life for at least 20% of those stammering at 2 years old. Although the aetiological role of anxiety in stammering has not been determined, evidence is emerging that suggests people who stammer are more chronically and socially anxious than those who do not. This is not surprising, given that the symptoms of stammering can be socially embarrassing and personally frustrating, and have the potential to impede vocational and social growth. Implications for DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for stammering and current treatments of stammering are discussed. We hope that this article will encourage a better understanding of the consequences of living with a speech or fluency disorder as well as motivate the development of treatment protocols that directly target the social fears associated with stammering.
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