Have you ever met someone who has a hard time speaking fluently? The disability to speak smoothly and confidently is called “Stutter”. Stuttering is a disability of speaking and communicating. Some of the 2 to 4 year-old children may face this situation when they try to learn complex sentences to communicate with others. Some of the adults also have this disability for many reasons. Stuttering can seriously affect patients’ daily lives; it can affect patients’ mental health, physical health, and social abilities.
To begin with, stuttering can really affect our mental health in multiple ways. When people stutter, they feel a lot of stress and anxiety. Therefore, they fear to talk in front of the other people, and they are afraid to express their own opinions or thoughts. They assume that other people around them think they are weird or foolish because they cannot speak normally or fluently. The stutterers have negative thoughts on everything and on themselves. They’re hard to have confidence in themselves and easily lose their hope.
Furthermore, lots of people stutter because they have strong anxiety about speaking with others, especially when some situations need speaking. According to the author of the Journal of Fluency Disorders “In studies of adults, the relationship between emotion and stuttering has focused almost exclusively on anxiety. Findings of increased stuttering frequency when speaking under feared conditions such as a job interview” (2017). To sum up, stuttering truly can cause lots of inconvenience in the patients’ lives. The stutterers need to go through many challenges of speaking and emotional changes.
Next, the stutterers not only need to face mental challenges but also they need to conquer physical problems. Mental problems literally can influence our physical health. The stutterers have to bear lots of stress, and they are extremely nervous in most of their life. Therefore, their mental situation is very tense all the time. Their physical health is usually influenced by their minds. When they feel anxious or worried, they may have the cold sweat. Their eyes blink rapidly. Their vocal cords become very tight, and their hearts beat very fast. Furthermore, some doctors and experts point out that “the stutterers also will have tremors of the lips or jaw, facial tics, head jerks, and clenching fists when they’re trying to pronounce words” (MAYO Clinic, 2017). As these stress responses increase, their stutter becomes more serious. Their physical health faces a big risk.
Moreover, when people are under heavy stress, their bodies will release a hormone named “Cortisol”. This hormone will let the bodies be prepared to face the coming challenges. Endocrinologists address that “Cortisol will increase people’s heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, respiration, and muscle tension in response” (Hormone Health- Network, 2018). Therefore, Cortisol is often called “stress hormone”. Although Cortisol can help people be prepared to face the trials in a physical way, the excessive amounts of the Cortisol can cause some serious health problems. Endocrinologists also believe that
Sometimes tumors on the pituitary or adrenal glands can contribute to a condition known as Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by high levels of cortisol in the blood. Cushing syndrome causes a flushed face, high blood pressure, and changes in the skin. Osteoporosis and mood swings are also a factor considered with Cushing disease. (Hormone Health- Network, 2018)
Stress to the stutterers is a serious problem indeed because it can lead them to some incredible results. In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has also considered that stuttering is a disability in 2013. Kailee Goold, an employment layer in Columbus, Ohio commented that “In most cases, stuttering will be a disability. A disability is an impairment that significantly impacts a major life activity. The ADA includes “speaking” and “communication” as major life activities. So, if the stutter significantly affects one’s ability to communicate, it will be a disability” (Employment Discrimination Report, 2014). In conclusion, the emotional problems can truly lead the stutterers to the severe physical concerns.
Last but not least, the stutterers have the serious social phobia. They fear to interact with other people. Every time when they try to interact with other people, they remember the last failure in social activities. Once they memorize the bad or awkward experiences, they start to stutter and have more serious fear of talking with others. They may have difficulty in making friends and having success in their employment. According to the researcher David M. Clark, the stutterers may give themselves extremely high standards of social performance; they may ask themselves, “I must not show any signs of weakness”, “I must always sound intelligent and fluent”, “I should only speak when other people pause”, “I should always have something interesting to say” (A Cognitive Perspective on Social Phobia, 2001). Lots of them might be the perfectionists in all aspects. additionally, the stutterers may think that they are different from others, they are odd or strange, they are boring, and they may think of themselves as invaluable. Everyone is going to hate or ignore them. They have too many negative thoughts in their minds because of their stutter.
Furthermore, the stutterers may face bullying and teasing situations in school or in the work environments. Some people think that the stutterers are stupid or useless because they don’t really understand stutter and make wrong judgments casually. The stutterers need to accept others’ insight every day. In sum, the stutterers don’t like to attend any social activities or meeting, and they try to avoid any situation that requires speaking. They lock themselves in their dark atriums. All in all, the stutterers can experience something very difficult, such as mental health problems, physical health concerns, and the disability of interacting with other people. The stutterers really need other people's understanding and help. There are some methods that can help someone who is suffering in the stutter, including read a book or newspapers out loud, lay down tension, and practice speaking in front of a mirror every day. If you are a stutterer, or someone you know is suffering with the stutter, you can apply those ways or tell someone who may need to know this information so they can get free from stuttering. Ivan Das, a brave stuttering man said, “Stuttering can’t stop you from speaking your heart out, only your inappropriate mindset” (The Stuttering Foundation, 2018). If people can be the friend with stuttering, and they accept and embrace it. They can truly get free from stuttering. The most important thing is having a positive attitude. Everything has a good aspect. We all don’t need to face the challenges alone.
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