Treatment of stuttering in adults
Stuttering affects more than 8% of all children under the age of 12, and about 5% of adults. Not surprisingly, stuttering is of interest among the population. And who, if not a psychiatrist, a doctor who treats this pathology, should talk about stuttering in adults, about the features of its treatment and prognosis.
What is stuttering
First, let’s figure out what it is and what provokes the development of stuttering. It is now very popular to believe that stuttering is a genetically determined disorder. There is a lot of evidence for this, many scientists confirm this theory in the course of their research in this area. Other reasons (stress, poor socialization , etc.) can become a triggering factor only if there is a predisposition.
We all experience stress, various nervous shocks, we endure many diseases, but at the same time we may not suffer from stuttering. Such a violation develops on “fertile soil” due to genetic disorders.
Stuttering is a typical neurological disorder that has a psychogenic nature. Accordingly, the treatment of stuttering, both in adults and in children, should be aimed not only at correcting the work of the nervous system, but also at higher nervous functions – at the psyche.
In the treatment of stuttering, it is customary to distinguish three areas: suggestion, relaxation and distraction. Describing these areas separately does not make sense – they are all effective only in conjunction with each other. It is more expedient to divide the methods of treating stuttering in adults into drug and non-drug: such a division better reflects the essence and goals of the treatment process.
Non-drug treatment for stuttering
The first thing a doctor who wants to cure a patient with stuttering must do is convince him that he must speak. You need to speak as much as possible, without being embarrassed by a speech defect (this will only make it worse). Stuttering is not one of those diseases that need to be hidden from society – there is nothing to worry about.
You need to understand one simple pattern: the more you talk, the better your speech becomes. Stopping the conversation, on the contrary, exacerbates the disorder. A good option is to find a job that is related to communication. Yes, at first it will be very difficult, but the result (believe me!) is worth it. Remember that stuttering is a behavioral disorder that you can fix even on your own. Don’t be afraid to speak!
You may be offered behavioral therapy or hypnosis treatment for stuttering. If you can’t manage on your own, then this should help you. However, it should be said that the effectiveness of psychotherapy for stuttering is very doubtful: the results of such treatment are not comparable with the results of ” self- therapy “.
For the most part, your chances of getting rid of stuttering quickly are up to you. The doctor will tell you what to do, getting to know your problem closely (methods and approaches are individual for each person), will monitor your progress, but the most important part of the treatment, anyway, falls on you.
Medical (supportive) treatment
The use of drugs greatly facilitates the process of treatment: drugs act mainly on the causative factors of the disease. Drug therapy for stuttering is prescribed very carefully, only if necessary. If possible, they try to avoid it.
Medications do not affect stuttering: their goal is those pathological processes that underlie its original basis. Here are the groups of drugs that can be used in the treatment of stuttering in adults:
– antispasmodics (very rarely, only with certain forms of stuttering); – tranquilizers; – mood stabilizers (drugs that normalize mood).
Sedatives and tranquilizers deserve special attention. The former are used in almost all cases: in any case, stuttering will be associated with stress. Stuttering occurs on the background of stress, and leads to stress – it’s a classic vicious circle. Anti-anxiety drugs, to a certain extent, can break this cycle, thereby facilitating the healing process.
Depending on how concerned you are about your problem, you can use herbal or synthetic drugs to treat adult stuttering. The latter have a more powerful effect, however, they have much more side effects.
Tranquilizers (originally anti-anxiety drugs) also have a sedative effect. In parallel with this, they help to focus on a positive result of treatment. Patients are often initially sure of the failure of their attempts – this is a categorically wrong attitude. If you cannot get rid of it on your own, you should tell your doctor about it (of course, if he does not notice it himself).
It is worth repeating once again that only the patient himself can cure stuttering. All the efforts of the doctor, medicines and other aids are nothing more than mandatory support. Listen to the doctor’s advice, strictly follow the prescriptions and combine all the elements of treatment – this is the only way you will achieve the desired result.