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This is yet another post asking "is this SM?"

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This is yet another post asking "is this SM?"

Postby Trymeifyoucan » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:25 am

So I recently heard about Selective Mutism. I read about it on some website (link from Facebook or something) and I was skeptical. Usually I'm pretty open minded about any type of mental illness someone may have, but somehow I thought it was exaggerated. I don't remember the wording of the post, but it was one of those "mental illness awareness" posts and it sounded like it wasn't really a huge thing but more of a exaggerated symptom of something larger.

Anyway, today something super weird happened. So I was having a conversation with my friend. It was a normal conversation about a completely non-triggering topic. I wasn't upset in any way at all.

But suddenly it became more difficult to talk. The best way I can describe it is this: you know how some people seem to have no "filter" and they just say whatever comes to their mind? Well it was sort of like my "filter" suddenly got way more selective about what it let me say. Every time I would think of something to say, I would subconsciously convince myself not to say it. I would "realize" that what I was about to say wasn't actually important or relevant or I would have second thoughts about wording or timing.

I just started to quiet down gradually, saying less and less until I wasn't speaking at all. It was super weird to me since I've never had this type of issue before. If I want to talk, I'll talk. Sometimes I have trouble keeping quiet when I'm not supposed to be talking.

I tried to say stuff but every time it was like my brain put a block on my mouth so I can't use it. I also suffer from Oppositional Defiance Disorder occasionally and it reminded me of something along those lines, only I was defying my own mind. Like my brain was telling itself to speak but then it would disobey its own orders just for the sake of disobeying. (Usually my ODD is more centered around not wanting others to control me and my actions, so opposing my own mind is pretty counter productive)

I found that I can still use body language and hand signals to communicate. I'm still breathing, and I can move my mouth, but not whisper. Basically only nonverbal communication.

I turned to Google to help me figure out why I couldn't get myself to talk. That's when I stumbled on this site. So here I am, wondering if this could be a form of SM.

I plan to talk to my therapist about this issue at my next appointment. No, I'm definitely not asking anyone to diagnose me. I am just wondering if this seems like it could be a form of SM. I will still talk to my therapist regardless, but some insight would be great beforehand.

Thank you!
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Re: This is yet another post asking "is this SM?"

Postby Holodeck » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:54 pm

Trymeifyoucan wrote: I don't remember the wording of the post, but it was one of those "mental illness awareness" posts and it sounded like it wasn't really a huge thing but more of a exaggerated symptom of something larger.


I feel like the people who write these mean well but tend to go over the top to try to make people realize how serious the condition is. This, of course, tends to lead to people not taking it seriously.

Trymeifyoucan wrote:Anyway, today something super weird happened. So I was having a conversation with my friend. It was a normal conversation about a completely non-triggering topic. I wasn't upset in any way at all.

Well it was sort of like my "filter" suddenly got way more selective about what it let me say. Every time I would think of something to say, I would subconsciously convince myself not to say it. I would "realize" that what I was about to say wasn't actually important or relevant or I would have second thoughts about wording or timing.


This is what I have done before. Mine evolved from one type of SM to another. Either way, if you felt as if you should have been able to respond it's more than likely a form of SM. It may not have been a triggering topic but something else could have caused it. I've had it happen when I was having a perfectly normal conversation then after seeing something that reminded me of something unpleasant I'd have a hard time with words.

Trymeifyoucan wrote:I just started to quiet down gradually, saying less and less until I wasn't speaking at all. It was super weird to me since I've never had this type of issue before. If I want to talk, I'll talk. Sometimes I have trouble keeping quiet when I'm not supposed to be talking.


Were there more stressors in your life when you started to go about getting quieter? Even if you left stress it still counts. Did you ever feel shut down?

Trymeifyoucan wrote:I tried to say stuff but every time it was like my brain put a block on my mouth so I can't use it.


Perfect description.

Trymeifyoucan wrote:I also suffer from Oppositional Defiance Disorder occasionally and it reminded me of something along those lines, only I was defying my own mind.


Were you diagnosed with this? Mind you no one here can diagnose but it doesn't seem like that at all but completely like SM.

Trymeifyoucan wrote:I found that I can still use body language and hand signals to communicate. I'm still breathing, and I can move my mouth, but not whisper. Basically only nonverbal communication.


I can make sounds from time to time. I've done this since I got it as a kid. It's evolved to where certain noises mean different things. I can usually get my point across with that plus body language.

For example, I don't thank people well. Instead of saying thank you I tend to do things like do a quick gasp and grin to convey my thanks. As with the rest of the versions, I do it briefly and in a rather exaggerated manner.

Trymeifyoucan wrote:I will still talk to my therapist regardless, but some insight would be great beforehand.


It sounds like you have a good plan. I would link what causes it to happen. Chances are stress is involved. Even if you feel you shouldn't be stressed it could be something about the situation reminded you of something you found stressful as a kid. You may have encountered that a lot as a kid and are regressing to an extent with how you dealt with it back then.
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