Fear of speaking: chronic anxiety and stammering

Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatry
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 2006, 12 pp. 63 - 68
Issue Date:
2006-01
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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 donot. 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 fluency disorder as well as motivate the development of treatment protocols that directly target the social fears associated with stammering.
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