stuttering & slurring when speaking - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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stuttering & slurring when speaking

Ok let me start out by saying I don't really speak to anyone unless I have to. But over the past year or so, I've noticed myself stuttering, slurring, and mispronouncing words when I do speak to people. I'm getting myself worried that I have a brain tumor or some kind of cognitive disorder -- but it could also be that my SA has just gotten worse. Does anyone else have this problem? It's soooo embarassing, I think people must think I am mentally challenged when I speak to them. help help help, please!
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 01:32 PM
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I slur words sometimes. I never really attributed it to anxiety. Never really thought about it until now. Seems likely to be connected.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ellektra View Post
Ok let me start out by saying I don't really speak to anyone unless I have to. But over the past year or so, I've noticed myself stuttering, slurring, and mispronouncing words when I do speak to people. I'm getting myself worried that I have a brain tumor or some kind of cognitive disorder -- but it could also be that my SA has just gotten worse. Does anyone else have this problem? It's soooo embarassing, I think people must think I am mentally challenged when I speak to them. help help help, please!
This is exactley what i am going through. I was fine a few years ago but now i can't even talk to people on xbox live without sounding like a retard.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 02:59 PM
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I do this too, sometimes even around my fiance! Which can be quite embarrassing :\
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 03:12 PM
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My thought patterns are sometimes way ahead of the words I'm speaking, so I'll subconsciously merge words together to speed the process up. When my mind is racing (anxiety related situations), I tend to mispronounce my words.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 04:00 PM
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This is one of my biggest problems. When I'm in a situation where I need to speak, basically everything speeds up, my thoughts, my heart, and I tend to try to speak quickly and I try to come up with something witty. It feels like I'm standing in front of a lot of people and a giant spotlight is on me and I need to be funny or interesting immediately. Speaking before you've thought of something to say is usually not a good thing and leads me to mumble and slur my words. That, combined with not being able to stay still, causes me a huge amount of anxiety and is the major reason I stay in my room where only my family will come in.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ellektra View Post
Ok let me start out by saying I don't really speak to anyone unless I have to. But over the past year or so, I've noticed myself stuttering, slurring, and mispronouncing words when I do speak to people. I'm getting myself worried that I have a brain tumor or some kind of cognitive disorder -- but it could also be that my SA has just gotten worse. Does anyone else have this problem? It's soooo embarassing, I think people must think I am mentally challenged when I speak to them. help help help, please!
Do you think your cognition could be interfering with your speech pattern? For me, I don't exactly stutter, but I do tend to pause, say 'um' a lot, and choose the wrong words for things. That's because I get anxious and want to think too hard about what I'm saying, so it interferes with my speaking. Are you aware of yourself overthinking or second guessing what you're saying while you speak?
You also mention this has come up over the past year. As a teenager, I hated talking to people, and my voice sounded gravelly and congested. That was after puberty, and I think it may have been just because I was out of practice speaking: my vocal cords just weren't up to the task of properly annunciating and forming the words properly. Maybe the speaking part of your brain is just being underused.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 04:37 PM
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Even when I'm not anxious, it's very hard for me to pronounce words. I wonder if it has something to do with my high school and college years when I was practically mute?
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by templar19 View Post
Do you think your cognition could be interfering with your speech pattern? For me, I don't exactly stutter, but I do tend to pause, say 'um' a lot, and choose the wrong words for things. That's because I get anxious and want to think too hard about what I'm saying, so it interferes with my speaking. Are you aware of yourself overthinking or second guessing what you're saying while you speak?
You also mention this has come up over the past year. As a teenager, I hated talking to people, and my voice sounded gravelly and congested. That was after puberty, and I think it may have been just because I was out of practice speaking: my vocal cords just weren't up to the task of properly annunciating and forming the words properly. Maybe the speaking part of your brain is just being underused.
Maybe it's just the weed but everything you said made a lot of sense to me. lol I'm gunna have to re-read it later when I'm...not how I am now?
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 05:30 PM
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Sometimes when I'm with my friend I'll trip on my words a little just because I get so excited.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 07:55 PM
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My inability to communicate effectively has to be the main thing that makes me feel inferior, especially when I am around people who are articulate and always have something interesting to say. I slur my words, pick the wrong words, lose my train of thought, babble incoherently, use the wrong intonation, the wrong facial expressions... you name it. Rarely, but extremely embarassing when it happens, I'll have a small fit of stuttering. The thing that really makes me feel like **** is the degrading look of confusion I read on people's faces when I'm having such an episode. You know, that "What the hell did you just say?" look. One thing I can tell you is that if you interact with other people, no matter how badly, as long as you keep trying your ability to speak will improve dramatically. I can remember a time when my communication skills were globally flawed: I couldn't carry on an interesting conversation with my own mother. But I kept trying anyway (to be totally honest, I didn't try very hard and I gave up a lot, but I always regrouped). Now my commincation flaws are only troublesome when situations call for nuanced speaking.

"Why do I feel so numb?
Is it something to do with where I come from?
Should this be fight or flight?
I don't know why I'm constantly reeling
Helpless hysteria
A false sense of urgency
Trapped in my phobia
Possessed by anxiety
Run
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Overwhelmed by this complex delirium"
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 07:56 PM
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I posted something like this earlier this week. I am actuallt seeing a speech therapist tomorrow so hopefully she can help me out. I truly think my lack of speaking ability is due to my lack of using it. The use it or lose it slogan.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ellektra View Post
Ok let me start out by saying I don't really speak to anyone unless I have to. But over the past year or so, I've noticed myself stuttering, slurring, and mispronouncing words when I do speak to people. I'm getting myself worried that I have a brain tumor or some kind of cognitive disorder -- but it could also be that my SA has just gotten worse. Does anyone else have this problem? It's soooo embarrassing, I think people must think I am mentally challenged when I speak to them. help help help, please!
Yeah that stuttering problem has been an issue for me everytime I've had a convo with people, and it seemed to worsen in the past few months, maybe cuz I was in a new situation(entered first quarter at a college in a new state, living w/roommate 1st time in life).....

The stuttering really got bad when I was in actual convos w/people, like one day, my roommate asked what I did that day, and I kept on stumbling, stuttering over my words, and I thought my main issue behind the stuttering was that my thoughts come at a faster rate than possible to could form words, and so the result was me stuttering trying to "keep up" with my thoughts(its not as weird as it sounds) but now that you mentioned that brain tumor thing you got me scared that that might be the issue!

The way I kind of nipped the stuttering issue is that I consciously forced myself to speak slower. Like when I would convo with people, I didn't let myself speak at the rate that I usually do because that would cause me to stutter, so even though as the thoughts/sentences formed in my mind, I could have spoken at a slightly higher rate, I didn't allow myself to do that-

Instead, I spoke a bit slower, not abnormally slowly, but I spoke slowly enough that it was like I was thinking before I was saying each word, when in actuality I was just kind of trying to slow down so stuttering became kind of a non issue-

So thats what I recommmend 4 u-concisosly slow your self down, even though u may naturally talk quicker
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 10:29 PM
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Probably one of the many side effects of anxiety.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 10:52 PM
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I stutter sometimes when I'm nervous and it's horrible! I feel like an idiot and that the person loses interest in what I have to say. Very frustrating.
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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 11:31 PM
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The way I kind of nipped the stuttering issue is that I consciously forced myself to speak slower. Like when I would convo with people, I didn't let myself speak at the rate that I usually do because that would cause me to stutter, so even though as the thoughts/sentences formed in my mind, I could have spoken at a slightly higher rate, I didn't allow myself to do that-

Instead, I spoke a bit slower, not abnormally slowly, but I spoke slowly enough that it was like I was thinking before I was saying each word, when in actuality I was just kind of trying to slow down so stuttering became kind of a non issue-

So thats what I recommmend 4 u-concisosly slow your self down, even though u may naturally talk quicker
Good advice! I'm going to try this next time I speak in a group. Thanks!
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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 02:28 AM
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Good advice! I'm going to try this next time I speak in a group. Thanks!
Yeah, my grandfather had a stutter. This is how he overcame it and became a college professor.
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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 02:56 AM
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I'm a mumbler. If I'm walking with a friend, and I say something, he says, "What?" So I say it again, and he says, "What?" Really, it's just some insignificant stuff I'm saying, but now I'm yelling, "That tree is far away!"


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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 02:56 AM
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Being dyspraxic I am always slurring my words...indeed it also gives me problems understanding what other people say, so a conversation is often of the:

"What?"
"What?"

variety...which doesn't help with SA...which probably doesn't help with the slurring of words - etc. I often completely screw up my sentences with words in the wrong order and such like if my anxiety is particularly bad.
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reponses, I am a little less concerned about it after reading them. But it still worries me... The only person I can talk to without pulverizing my words is my mother, I guess it's because she's the only person I'm not nervous talking to. It's just weird though, because I've always been decently articulate (I'm 24, so I'm passed the pt of my vocal chords developing and everything) and this is something I've just noticed over the past few months, maybe a year. When I posted this the other day, I was beating myself up over a comment I "attempted" to make to an accquiantance -- I tried to tell them 'it would help to get some coffee', but instead told them "it would help to get CoffDeeeeeeeeD". It is making me even more self-consious than I already am. And it's just concerning me that its happening so often lately.

Bheslop, I would love to hear how your session went with the speech therapist! I might look into it myself.
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