Friday, August 04, 1995

The effect of stress on stuttering

In response to a note by Marty Jezer on the effect of stress on his stuttering.
He feels that stuttering has neurobiological origin, but that psychological factors, in the form of stress, contribute to "setting off" stuttering.

What you say makes complete sense to me. It is in fact the key to my
own "recovery". I spent years becoming aware of the subtle stress
in my body that was generally associated with "increased probability"
of stuttering. I took blocks not as "things" to be individually
examined, but as "alarm bells" of generally increased stress that
I had to bring under control. General stress awareness can be achieved
also in other endeavours such as classical singing and dance. I did
these too and they helped. I had long exchange with John Harrison
on these ideas here, a few months ago.

The point to be emphasized again is that stutterers are not any
more prone to stress than anybody else, but simply that it affects
our speech apparatus, whereas fluent speakers are not affected the same
way. Extra stress vigilance is our form of "insuline". The consolation
may be that we'll get more fluency and a "stress free" life at the same
time (we may even end up living longer... which would be a fair way to
make up for all those disfluent years!!)

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