Stuttering & PTSD

In their article STUTTERING AS A VARIANT OF POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: WHAT WE CAN LEARN, authors Woodruff Starkweather and Janet Givens explore the possibility that stuttering is a specific form of PTSD. They say:

In our work on experiential therapy for stutterers, we have been impressed by many commonalities between the experience of stuttering and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In this paper we look at these commonalities – pattern of development, hyperarousal, organizing one's life around the disorder, and dissociation – and also their implications for the treatment of stuttering.

They refer to the 1996 book by Van der Kolk, McFarlane, and Weisaeth: Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on the Mind, Body, and Society, and say that they believe this holistic approach is also important in working with stutterers.

They note that in cases of stuttering, the pattern of development is often the same as that found in people with PTSD.

And they speculate that this parallel development of stuttering and PTSD suggests that methods for treating PTSD should be investigated to see if they can be adapted for treatment of stuttering.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) may also be associated with stuttered speech syndrome (stuttering). The authors say that "Social Anxiety Disorder runs in families, occurs in early childhood, and is situationally specific. This is not the case with PTSD or Panic Disorder."

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