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Workings of SM?

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Workings of SM?

Postby prosojigoku » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:57 pm

Hi there guys. I'm actually having trouble understanding what selective mutism is. So far I've read posts about not desiring to talk, but it's not just not wanting to talk because you're feeling nervous or whatever, right? I'm sure there are things that make social anxiety disorder and selective mutism separate issues... I've been unable to do presentations, for instance, but that wasn't selective mutism, right? I knew I would get extremely anxious and it would... hurt? really badly.

I've been nervous seeing certain people before though, and that was a different experience. I'd try to talk but somehow couldn't. I was just 'stuck', couldn't get myself to make a sound. I would go.. ok.. about to talk... nothing. I'd just get all tensed up and nothing would come out of my mouth.

I would like to know what the process is like when your selective mutism is up and running, in detail. Is it similar to what I described above? Etc.
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Re: Workings of SM?

Postby Exiled. » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:05 pm

I've been told by professionals that SM is more of a childhood disorder that most people grow out of. It is an anxiety disorder. I think it's more accurate to say that people with it only talk in situations that they're comfortable in rather than say that they don't talk in situations that they're uncomfortable in. (Maybe splitting hairs...)

I'm personally effectively mute in most situations, which is why it came up in a professional setting. For me it really isn't about anxiety though... Actually the anxiety came later, after I realized what was happening wasn't normal.
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Re: Workings of SM?

Postby paula2 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:12 pm

When I had it as a child, I remember feeling "stuck" and paralyzed. I remember wanting to raise my hand or play with other kids, but I just couldn't. I believe that I read in a SM book that the amygdala in the brain gets overloaded with information/stress and triggers or "flight or fight" response, but the child gets "stuck."

When I was younger, when I did speak, I spoke quietly and high pitched in social situations that I did not do well in.

I have social anxiety as well, two separate conditions that go hand in hand. "Comorbid" disorders is what that would be called. I used to be fearful and plain awful at public speaking, but with practice I got better. In high school I begged my counselor to let me drop the public speaking class I signed up for. In college, I had to take public speaking and I got an A. The me back in high school wouldn't believe the me in college could do that.

When people talk, I try to think of small talk but most of the time I just can't. I usually lose my train of thought. I also forget how to pronounce things as well. I have it in my brain but it gets shortened when I speak or nothing at all. It's kind of like getting "tongue tied."

I was also a compulsive blusher. I'm SO glad I got over that. Anything and nothing could make me turn red. That was a major reason why I used to hate public speaking.
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Re: Workings of SM?

Postby womble » Mon May 04, 2015 7:43 pm

What triggered SM for me as a kid was that I said a word and it came out "wrong". I was ashamed / embarrassed by the sound my voice made so I decided not to talk. Then it just turned into a kind of habit. Never wanted to use voice again in that scenario (school), or any similar environment.
Suppose it was a self protection kind of thing, but a bit over the top.
Getting stuck? Slightly different maybe. I got stuck when I was so amazed to be offered a chocolate I was speechless. Another time a boy offered me a fire cracker in the park and I was too shy to take it, and just froze. Again I was young when these things happened.
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