When social anxiety turns into selective mutism

When social anxiety turns into selective mutism

Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder that the American Psychological Association (APA) estimates affects approximately one in 1,000 children. Though the condition is typically diagnosed in childhood, most often between the ages of three and eight years old, selective mutism can follow an individual into adulthood if gone untreated. The symptoms of selective mutism vary depending on the individual and include the complete inability to speak, speaking to only select individuals or whispering. When the individual is comfortable within a setting, either at home or within certain communities, he or she is able to speak and interact. The condition is highly treatable, especially when diagnosed in youth.

Children and adults struggling with selective mutism do not choose to be silent. The Selective Mutism Anxiety Research and Treatment (SMart) Center reports that more than 90 percent of individuals with selective mutism also struggle with social anxiety. These individuals face debilitating anxiety in certain social situations, though they might be fully functional, speaking with others. For this reason, it is wrongly perceived by many that these people have control over their mutism. The selective mutism nonprofit iSpeak suggests that “situational mutism” would be a more accurate term. Selective mutism is also different from traumatic mutism, which is mutism triggered by a traumatic event. As SMart Center reports, “Studies have shown no evidence that the cause of selective mutism is related to abuse, neglect or trauma.”

According to SMart Center, 20 to 30 percent of children diagnosed with selective mutism have speech issues. Lisps, stuttering and speech delays often contribute to social anxiety, which then manifests into selective mutism. Children who are not familiar with the primary language that is being spoken in their community also often refuse to speak or engage in activities in social settings; however, language barriers are not to be diagnosed as selective mutism. The disorder has physical symptoms in addition to mutism, including stomachaches, vomiting, joint pains and headaches.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is used to treat selective mutism, often in conjunction with prescription medications to manage symptoms of anxiety. Family involvement in the recovery process can be integral to an individual’s treatment, especially if he or she is a minor. If your or a loved one is struggling with selective mutism or social anxiety, help is available. Call the California Mental Health Helpline to speak with a professional and learn more about California treatment centers today.

20 replies
  1. Darrin Brumbach
    Darrin Brumbach says:

    This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  2. click here to investigate
    click here to investigate says:

    I just want to tell you that I am just new to blogging and seriously liked your web blog. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely come with superb articles. Kudos for sharing your web site.

  3. Best Porno escorts
    Best Porno escorts says:

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually recognise what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally consult with my site =). We can have a link alternate contract between us!

  4. Office movers
    Office movers says:

    I’ve recently started a web site, the information you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. “One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.” by Walter Bagehot.

  5. Amazon furniture assembly
    Amazon furniture assembly says:

    Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for newbie blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.