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Anxiety causing spitting while talking

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Anxiety causing spitting while talking

Postby nick007x » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:41 am

I'm 32 years old and work in an office job that requires me to constantly talk with people face-to-face in meetings.

Over the past 12-24 months, I've developed a speech impediment whereby I spit while talking. Almost without fail, everyone I speak to starts wiping their face while I talk. Its incredibly embarrassing and I feel horrible. It makes me think twice before speaking up in a meeting and its really affecting my job and professional relationships.

It happens whenever I speak to someone who is closer than 2-3 meters from me. If they are 3+ metres away I feel more confident and I speak more normally.

This also happens with my close friends. The only people who I don't spit on while talking are my absolute closest family members (wife, daughter, mum, brother). Everyone else cops it.

I've done the typical google searches and people say to slow down your speech etc. However, I've tried everything from speaking slowly and speaking quickly, loudly and softly. Nothing works.

This has started happening at a point in my life where I actually know what I'm talking about at work. I've got a good 12 years experience in the industry. However, this impediment is really holding me back.

It seems to be a vicious cycle of spitting while I talk, so I talk softer and appear less confident. Feeling less confident makes me struggle to speak properly.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice?
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Re: Anxiety causing spitting while talking

Postby noc777 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:11 am

Hello I have a very very similar problem. My job requires me to speak face to face with alot of people. It is a high orifile job and about 2 years ago started noticing this oriblem though now in the last 3 months it has gotten way worse. Now I do it allbthe time even if speaking slow.


I have noticed when im relaxed my tongue is not dry an db I dont do it at home.

Has anything worked? Do you have the same job? Any treatment, or therapy done?

Please PLEASE answer! This is ruining my life
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Re: Anxiety causing spitting while talking

Postby Misspix » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:30 am

Hi there,

I get this as well! Pretty much exactly the same symptoms that you have both described. Have you found anything that will help??

Thanks
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Re: Anxiety causing spitting while talking

Postby twistednerve » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:08 pm

If anxieyt is the cause, treat the anxiety. if it's not the anxiety, you might need to check with a doctor of the mouth or speech therapist (I don't know the term for this professional in english, sorry). He corrects the movements you do when you speak, like a physical therapist would with your posture, so to speak.
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Re: Anxiety causing spitting while talking

Postby Moorsie32 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:11 pm

You could not have described my symptoms more exactly, no offence but it was comforting to hear someone with the exact same problem and same stakes at hand. I am 34 years old and my issue with spitting while talking has begun taking over my life and certainly over my professional work. Like you I have worked my way up in my job and now manage a large staff of professional employees. We talk with our clients one on one every day in close quarters and every time I hold eye contact with either a client or employee for more than a few words the face wiping begins. It seems to be the eye contact that brings on the spitting the most. This has essentially paralyzed my professional growth and has been more than devastating considering the years of hard work I have put in. It started one year ago and I have no idea why, it is slowly getting worse and worse. I have read every voice projection/improvement book I can find, have talked at papers and mirrors from close range to work on softening hard syllabus that may be spitting, and have cut out all sorts of things from my diet in hope of improvement. Sorry to say I can't offer any solutions but can only offer empathy, this situation may very well force me out of my job in the near future. Like the folks before said ANY ideas would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise I just thank you for sharing your story so I know I am not the only one!
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Re: Anxiety causing spitting while talking

Postby mayaorlando » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:24 pm

I know that this is years later, but you have described my current (and three year long) issue PERFECTLY. As soon as I am aware that I will need to talk someone who is closer than a few meters (receptionist, bank teller, friend at a bar, stranger at a bar, being a passenger in a car), I will have the thought "oh no - I'm going to have to talk to them and the physiological response is going to start". And without fail, within seconds, my shoulders will cease up and my mouth will start producing saliva. I try to slump my shoulders, stretch, breathe deeply... I usually have to excuse myself, and try and force body to calm down, but it doesn't work for long.

I spoke to a psychologist but it didn't help - I was prescribed mindfulness, however I'm unable to identify how to 'acknowledge the thought while not acting on it', considering as it's physiological response. How do you treat the anxiety when it's the physiological response that brings the anxiety on? It's a feedback loop.

The only time it doesn't occur is when I'm drunk or emotionally distracted (such as being super mad or upset) - but even that doesn't hold it at bay too long, because as soon as I realise that it hasn't happened, it happens.

I wondered if you'd found a solution?
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Re: Anxiety causing spitting while talking

Postby mayaorlando » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:55 am

Hello everyone,

My fight or flight happened so many times a day because of this, that I was constantly getting colds and have a general weakened immune system. I went to the doctor, and she prescribed me some medication to help bring my anxiety levels down. The first one didn’t work, but the second one is helping.

She then referred me to a cognitive behavioural therapist, and it’s been incredible. She has helped me understand that a past relationship I didn’t want to be in anymore. caused me physical pain during intimacy. This pain kicked off my body to reject him (via stomach cramps, and as it may happen, increased saliva. So close proximity = painful = saliva. Very slowly over the past years, if I ever felt threatened, self conscious, not good enough etc, it would trigger this feeling of danger, and my body’s learned response was to spit (as well as go into fight flight). While I’m in no danger of people being too close, the result is the same.

So, the plan. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps me break that learned response. When I first “get too close” to someone, I immediately distract myself mentally in whatever capacity I can (count backwards from 100, count all the money in my wallet etc) to start re-wiring my brain, and teaching it that too close = normal.

I hope everyone has already found their own solutions, but if not, give this a go. Find a therapist who is holistic and looks at all angles of anxiety rather than just this one symptom. Good luck everyone.
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