Dysphemia (stuttering): Why Does This Speech Disorder Arise And How Can We Stop Stuttering?

Experiencing stuttering or dysphemia? Can stuttering be cured? Discover the causes and main symptoms of this speech disorder and its most effective treatment.

What is dysphemia?

At some point, many people may have experienced nervousness. dysphemia or stuttering But when this is very recurring, perhaps there is a problem behind it.

The stammering, also known as dysphemia, is a speech disorder that causes people to repeat or prolong words, syllables or phrases. A stutterer may also pause during speech or not make a sound when faced with certain words. But, can stuttering be cured? Why does stuttering exist in adults?

What is dysphemia? Definition

The dysphemia, also called stuttering, is a speech disorder that affects the communication process and is characterized by involuntary interruptions in the fluency of the affected person’s speech. It is a disorder of multifactorial etiology, but no factor seems sufficient to explain the acquisition and maintenance of this disorder.

Normally the stuttering in children It is common because they are learning to speak. However, when stuttering in children is not overcome or reaches adulthood, it is a problem that we must face.

Can stuttering be cured?

It is very common to find cases of dysphemia or stuttering in children In fact, it usually appears between the ages of 2 and 6 and in many cases this speech disorder ends up disappearing on its own. But these symptoms can persist into adulthood, and in fact there are people who can continue to be affected by stuttering throughout their lives.

Luckily, both stuttering in adults as well as in children or adolescents Symptoms can be treated either over the years (in most cases of stuttering in children) or with some speech strategies to improve fluency.

Signs that indicate this speech disorder

Both in the cases of stuttering in adults Like stuttering in children, the main symptom of dysphemia is precisely repeating words or parts of them. In addition, dysphemias are also usually characterized by prolonging certain speech sounds. People who suffer from this speech disfluency often become very tense when they start to speak. Among the most common symptoms of stuttering in children or adults, psychologists highlight the following.

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Observable traits

  • One person’s stutter is different from another’s.
  • There are periods of stuttering more and stuttering less.
  • Inappropriate pauses in speech.
  • Tense repetitions and extensions, blocking.
  • Most notable errors at the beginning of a word and in conversation.
  • Gestures and involuntary movements.
  • Breathing speech, rapid expulsions of air.
  • Contractions of face and neck muscles.

Internal reactions

  • Distrust in their ability as speakers.
  • Fear of speaking in specific situations.
  • Concern about the pronunciation of some words or phonemes.
  • Feeling of discomfort, shame, guilt and inability.
  • Avoidance and anticipation.
  • Poor skills in social relationships.

If you identify with many of these symptoms, it is very likely that you suffer from dysphemia or stuttering In these cases, it is important that you consult with a mental health professional.

Symptoms of stuttering

Why do you stutter? Stuttering and its causes

The stammering It has multiple origins, that is, its etiology is multifactorial. But none of them seems sufficient to justify this disorder by itself.

  • Inheritance: 30% – 40% of people with dysphemia come from families of stutterers.
  • Sex: This speech disorder usually affects men more than women.
  • Linguistic disorders: It seems that the majority of dysphemic boys and girls have had difficulties with language, whether they are alterations in syntactic structuring, difficulties in recalling or articulating phonemes.
  • Psychological factors: Different types of stuttering can also arise when a person is under a great deal of stress or social distress. In fact, people with social anxiety disorder can sometimes experience stuttering when they are in very stressful social situations.
  • Lateralization disorders: It seems that there is a relationship between stuttering and left-handed people, but especially those who are left-handed.
  • Disorders in temporal-spatial structuring: A dysfunction in the acquisition of dominance and motor skills, or an alteration in temporal organization, could be considered a cause of stuttering.
  • Neurological disorders
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Stuttering in children

In preschool age, the alterations seen are mild, alternating periods of fluency with periods of disfluencies At this stage they hardly notice the errors. At school age the variations are smaller, the perception of their disfluencies is greater, so tension increases, attempts at solutions and anxiety about people and situations appear.

Stuttering in adults

In many cases stuttering in adults It usually occurs because the dysphemia has not been treated during childhood. Furthermore, another cause is having had frustrations that prevented the stuttering from being corrected, such as experiencing bad experiences (intimidation, bullying) that cause trauma in the stutterer.

Another reason why you can continue stuttering or dysphemia in adults It is precisely because of experiencing social anxiety. Research does not yet know the reason for this relationship, but these two effects tend to overlap in many cases.

Types of dysphemia

There are numerous classifications of this disorder following various criteria, such as evolution, types of errors, duration of the disorder or etiology. Below are details of the types of dysphemia that we find according to the type of errors that appear:

  • Clonic dysphemia: Repetitions with absence of tension.
  • Tonic dysphemia: Presence of blocks that produce interruptions in speech.
  • Mixed dysphemia: Tonic-clonic, clonic-tonic.

Differential diagnosis

  • Physiological dysphemia: They are normal disfluencies in language development, and should not be confused with “pathological” dysphemia.
  • Language delay: Difficulties appear in formulating language thinking, which is why discontinuous speech is seen.
  • Neurological disorders: Alterations in verbal fluency appear after an identifiable neurological pathology.
  • Tachyphemia: Joint disorder resulting from some injury to the nervous system that results in alterations in the tone or movement of the speaking muscles.

How dysphemia evolves

Onset and evolution of dysphemia

1. Home

  • Most cases occur between 2 and 5 years.
  • After 4 years the risk of stuttering is reduced by 50%, at 6 by 75% and at 12 almost completely.
  • Cases that appear in adults are usually sudden and associated with psychological trauma or brain injury.
  • The onset may be gradual or sudden. The type of onset seems not to be related to the subsequent evolution of the disorder.
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2. Evolution

  • “Primary” stuttering: stuttering exhibited by children in the first moments after onset, which is characterized by the presence of repetitions and blocks apparently free of effort.
  • “Transitional” stuttering: The disfluencies become faster and longer, and feelings of frustration begin to appear in speaking situations, but communicative intentionality has not yet been lost.
  • “Secondary” stuttering: Established stuttering, in which struggle and effort to speak as well as avoidance of words, people or situations predominate.

Stuttering and its treatment

There is not one cure for stuttering, but there are some treatments that can help improve your symptoms. Normally when stuttering is observed, treatment focuses on helping children or adults develop skills such as effective communication or speech fluency. In order to improve the symptoms of different types of dysphemia, psychologists usually use both cognitive-behavioral therapy, where the types of thoughts that can worsen this speech disorder are identified, and speech therapy, focused on learning strategies to minimize the stuttering.

How to stop stuttering?

How to stop stuttering?

There are some resources that can help you cope with stuttering before others. In this way, psychologists recommend the following coping strategies.

  • Avoid critical thinking towards dysphemia: Thinking that the symptoms of the different symptoms must be corrected at all costs. types of stuttering It is negative for the person themselves. In fact, this type of internal criticism can make stuttering worse.
  • Practice self-compassion and acceptance: Although it can sometimes be frustrating to experiment stuttering, you should try to be self-compassionate with these types of sensations or experiences. Thus, it is important to practice acceptance in these cases.
  • Use relaxation strategies: Nervousness will only make stuttering or dysphemia get worse. Therefore, it is important to focus on being calm and comfortable even though the situation does not help you in doing so.
  • Minimize distractions: When talking to a person it is important that you minimize all those distractions that may affect you. Paying close attention can help you calm many of the symptoms of this speech disorder

To experience stuttering It can be very frustrating for the person who suffers from it. Despite this, there are many strategies that can help us minimize dysphemia. Therefore, it is important that we consult with a professional psychologist.