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NostalgicChills's avatar

Stuttering/slurring speech= Social anxiety?

Asked by NostalgicChills (2759 points ) December 3rd, 2012

This has happened for a couple years now, but only at this point it is REALLY making me insecure. When I talk to anyone other than my family or closest two friends, I sound like a babbling idiot. I can’t make eye contact for long, I start to stutter and my words even slur, resulting in a chain of continuous words with no syllables. It frustrates me to the point of crying at night and I can’t deal with it anymore. Even when I get up to present in front of the class, my head (yes, my head) starts to tremble vigorously. I can’t even walk in the school parking lot without being completely awkward and continuously moving my hands and diverting my eyes from other people. But the weird thing is, my confidence has highs and lows. Most days I’m like the description above- but on rare occasions I suddenly have this bout of self-confidence in which I feel indestructible and actually hold my head up high (but that only lasts for a couple hours). My Fluther friends, won’t you help me? Is this Social Anxiety most likely? What can be done to treat it?

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

You are describing mood swings. See a therapist, let him or her give you a diagnosis and some coping mechanisms. The label is less important than the coping mechanisms.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That does sound extreme. I’ll second @gailcalled therapy idea.

wundayatta's avatar

I think you should see a psychiatrist and get a diagnosis. Then see a therapist.

tranquilsea's avatar

I developed a wickedly awful hop in my step at school after years of bullying. I avoided walking down the hall at busy times because I knew I’d start that slight hop. The thing was that I didn’t hop at all anywhere else. The hop was brought on by extreme stress.

Being a teenager is hard. You often feel like you’re under a microscope and perhaps you are. One of your biggest jobs is figuring out who you are and then being comfortable with that.

Try imagining how a great conversation would go. Practise it. Go out and strike up conversations with random people (in safe places) and practise some more. When you’re in a situation where you know you’d usually trip up take a few deep breaths (circumspectfully) and start a small conversation. Be gentle with yourself if you mess up and keep telling yourself that it’s not the end of the world. Something that I tell myself when I start to feel self conscious is that not many people are actually thinking about me as most people spend most of their time thinking about themselves. The more you can relax whilst talking the less you’ll slur or stutter.

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Unbroken's avatar

If you can’t see a therapist, which is a good recommendation, I would try some of these ideas.
Confidence boosting music, not depressing music, finding stuff your good at and enjoy, practicing into a mirror.
Also a bit of immersion therapy. Immersion therapy is for example when a person is too scared to go to the grocery store.
First you paste pictures of stores every where. You might practice what you will pick up, envision the process, mentally walk down aisles. Then you get ready for the store, whatever you might want to wear put your stuff in you pocket make a list, the next step would be if you drove to practice the mental exercise in your car while ready for the store. Eventually getting to the point where you drive to the store and sit outside completeing the mental process. So on and so forth.
So you may practice on people out school, when you feel ready, and graduate onwards.

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janbb's avatar

It does sound like social anxiety but I agree with everyone’s suggestion that you try to see a therapist or, failing that, a trusted adviser. Does that sound feasible to you? Can you talk to your parents about the idea of you getting some help?

jerv's avatar

I do that myself sometimes, but in my case, it’s Aspergers.

Some things should not be self-diagnosed, as you might be wrong like I was.

Celtic_One's avatar

Yes stuttering can be a sign of social anxiety, and increasing out of control stuttering was what ultimately got me into treatment for social anxiety, which in time I was completely able to overcome. But it can also be other things too such as Aspergers as mentioned above, so my advice would be to see a doctor or psychologist about it to see what it is as until an expert figures out what it is and starts to do something about it chances are it will not improve on its own and possibly get worse as time goes on.

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Tamtam85's avatar

Omg… I’m so like this also! It’s starting to get worse as I age though. And I need to fix this if I want to work in an office one day. I’m 27 though and working at a grocery store. And in the hood of all places. So it’s hard when people talk about my short height and I lose all confidence. Unless I have my Mountain Dew and makeup… I usually get a little better through out the day. Chewing gum helps me also. :-)

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