Hi . Im selectively mute too. Its mainly when im among people who i perceive as of authority. I never consider my fear of calling and texting as part of selective mutism but I do consider it part of my anxiety.In retrospect, I'm certain I had this disorder as a child. For the first month of preschool, I would not speak at all at school. As a child, I was labelled as shy and was reluctant to speak to people. I don't think I had social anxiety as a child, but I think I had some form of anxiety. I used to worry a lot about the dumbest things. I think social anxiety set in somewhere between grades 6-8. I am self-diagnosed.
The thing that puzzles the heck out of me is the overlap of these two disorders. Is my fear of phoning or texting someone 100% social anxiety or is it 100% selective mutism? Or is it most likely 50-50? How am I supposed to work on treating these disorders if I don't know which is which?
I have no job and no health insurance. I am trying to treat these on my own by socializing on the internet. Trying to do this is what led me to the conclusion that I have selective mutism. Even on the internet where no one knows me, I cannot even engage in a live text chat (like in a chatroom).
It may also be worth noting that I think I'm autistic as well.
How you are supposed to treat these disorders if you dont know which is which?
1. In my opinion you don't really need to know which is which. It might be helpful to know when you need to explain to a therapist but apart from this you dont really need to know. Unless it puts you at ease to know your problems have a name.
2. To help yourself you need to start by knowing yourself better. Your triggers, what cause you to behave in a certain way . You need to become more observant of what you think and do.
3 . If you love psychology, some good psychology books might give you some clues about your learned behaviors and even help you out of them. ( im saying because I dont love psychology books but im trying hard to read some of them so I can better understand my behavior) . You definitely will get some valuable imformation out of them.
4. It might take years to get out of this . Just as it took years to adopt the unhelpful attitudes it might take years to get rid of them.
5. We still have a functioning voice box even though we choose not to use them at times. So there is no reason we cant get out of this.
6. Important questions we should reflect on are why we choose not to talk when among certain people? Is it fear? Is it Ego? Do we see ourself as less or more than the people we are with?