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Why medicines will not cure Stammering?

There has been abundant research done on the cause and cure for stammering, a.k.a stuttering. The majority of the causes are psychological in nature, pointing to the stress level, shocks or anxiety related problems which are not medically obvious. Stammering is more of a behavioral problem, over a period of time imbibed as a habit than an anatomical or metabolic one. It seems like a personality trait for the individual. An individual with stammering may show:

  1. Disruption in speech flow (More than in a normal individual)

  2. Fast rate of speech*

  3. Distractions to the listener away from speech*

  4. Anxiety

  5. Low self-esteem

  6. Low confidence

  7. Fear

  8. Others

*coping strategies

So why medicines do not help cure stammering?

Medicines mostly work on obvious body functions in metabolism. It may help in building body but a skill like cycling needs practice. Signs and symptoms of stammering are not obvious to any test. Medicines can not be given to have positive attitude, not to get motivation on working. Hence, in stammering we may see imbalance in confidence, attitude towards oneself and others and anxiety levels, medicines may only work as a placebo till you realize that the problem exist in your mind or thinking.

If not medicines, then what?

Lets assume for an instance, that a Indian National born and brought up in Indian subcontinent with no significant exposure to western living gets into a job abroad somewhere in the west. The individual may face enormous difficulties coping up with the change in living environment. He/she may either start learning quickly and blending with the locals or look for coping strategies like avoiding situations with the locals. While learning takes some time, but once achieved, it positively influences the individuals quality of life. Avoiding the situation may serve the individual for a short term and ultimately increases anxiety.

Likewise, the best cure for stammering is in your practice of speaking fluently. Learning to speak fluently by using techniques taught by a Speech Language Pathologist always help to boost one’s skills, know one’s strengths and accept the weaknesses. Combination of behavioral strategies needs to be practiced till SPEAKING FLUENTLY becomes a habit. Stopping searching for over night cure for stammering and meet a Speech Language Pathologist.

Prasanna Hegde

Speech Language Pathologist

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1 comentario

Miembro desconocido
08 jun 2021

Very well written sir! I would tell patients who would ask me to prescribe medicine for stuttering that speech therapy is the medicine! Although not a conventional type of medicine in the form of pills or syrups, but the only medicine that will make a difference! The course of therapy is like the course of medicine with added home training ofcourse 😊

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