Selective Moutism And Social Anxiety

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Humans hold conversations constantly, throughout every day, month, and year of their life. Of course, the vast majority feel some degree of anxiety when it comes to public speaking, but for others, even the tiniest of small talk can be cause for fear. This can be attributed to numerous conditions, such as glossophobia, social anxiety, and selective mutism. Simply put, glossophobia is the fear of public speaking, rather than the fear of speaking in general, which is generally referred to as social phobia, and reveals itself in social anxiety. Selective mutism is linked to anxiety, as over 90% of people with selective mutism also have social phobia, but is defined as a typically childhood disorder characterized by an “inability to speak and communicate…show more content…
When one feels suffocated in social situations and has no way to communicate, they may resort to silence. Pressuring one to speak will only make things worse for both parties. Another vital fact is that selective mutism is not caused by trauma or abuse- that would be linked to traumatic mutism rather than selective. About a quarter of young adults report that they were mistreated during childhood, and this number is not significantly higher out of thoses with selective mutism. When adults with selective mutism were asked what they thought the cause was, “the top answer was shyness followed by no known reason and third was ‘a fear of what others think about me’” (Sutton). This research actually links closely to social anxiety, since those suffering from social anxiety often feel like they are constantly being judged (Richards). Also, ASHA, or the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, stated in one article that a person with selective mutism could be experiencing an anxiety disorder, inner self/self-esteem issues, or a speech, language, or hearing problem. The same article brought attention to the fact that selective mutism is a rare disorder affecting “fewer than 1% of individuals seen in mental health settings.” This could explain the general lack of research on this disorder, especially in adults. The saddening truth is that many simply don’t know that this issue…show more content…
Like previously mentioned, they cover a variety of styles and topics. Performances are designed to provoke and create drama. As a matter of fact, this way of communication can be directly connected to both Temple Grandin and Miranda, a 17 year old living with selective mutism. Temple Grandin, an autistic woman with a deep love for animals, is shown giving eye-opening speeches in two scenes of her movie, one after graduating, and one at a convention. Her words rang true with many and she still gives speeches today about her passions, much like a slam poet. On the other hand, Miranda has been living with selective mutism almost her whole life. After joining a performing arts school, though, she felt more confident and happy. The teen wrote, “I felt like part of a family and the people around me loved the same things as me. Performing taught me how to become a different person, an alter ego if you want, which helped me in the real world…. I became a different person and discovered who I really was, not just the shy one who never speaks.” In Miranda’s case, performing gave her an outlet and allowed her a reprieve from the constant anxiety she used to feel when socializing. Mab Jones’ story was told earlier, and it too attests to the idea that the performing arts, poetry, and spoken word in general are a valuable outlet for countless
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