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Trouble Speaking

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jtperks, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. jtperks

    jtperks Peer Supporter

    I guess I’m looking for a little encouragement, because I feel about as low as I can get right about now. For the past two months, I’ve had trouble speaking – I go to speak a sentence, and a sensation of some sort pops up on my tongue, and makes it so I can’t speak fluidly any longer. I also sometimes have a feeling like my tongue is swollen (it isn’t) on the bottom, making it hard to speak. I’m not slurring my words, so I don’t think I have ALS or anything like that – although I feared that for awhile.

    I’ve been to my GP (dismissed it), I’ve been to a neurologist (dismissed it without testing), the ER (dismissed it – pawned me off on the ear/nose/throat doctor) – and the ENT couldn’t find anything but at least he rammed a camera up my nose and down my throat, so that was fun. I’ve had MRI, CTs, everything came back clean.

    Doctors literally look at me like I’m a lunatic. I feel like I’m the only person in the world that has ever had this problem, and I’m so envious of people who are just standing there having a conversation.

    I’m trying to ignore it, but I have to speak for God’s sakes– how am I supposed to ignore that? It’s simply ruining my life.

    This all started back in October when I had some weak wrists, that mostly got better, and then I started having weak feet/twitching that I still have sometimes but that I can ignore – and now this, which has me deeply concerned, and I’ll admit – I don’t open my mouth to speak without thinking about it, which can’t be good. Most everybody doesn’t think about speech, it’s an automatic movement.

    I saw one psychologist, but he wasn’t helpful. I’m so frustrated, if this is TMS (I feel like it is), I just can’t figure out what my mind is trying to tell me.

    I mean, do I go out and buy that drum set that my mom could never afford for me, but that I’ve always wanted, lol? These are the things that I’m look at. My marriage is great, I don’t absolutely love my job, but I like it.

    Should I go find somebody else (psychotherapist) and get to the bottom of this? I’ve read all the Sarno TMS books, SteveO’s awesome book……..I feel I have enough education now…….and yet here I am, right back at the start with no plan.


  2. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    Hi Joel:

    I have been having vocal problems since December and I understand voice problems can be frustrating. I didn't talk much through out February. I am doing a lot better now. I decided to treat the whole thing as TMS, going through the daily reminders often. There was a point of surrender, when I said screw it, I am just not going to talk. I am going to go about my day, like normal, pretending things are normal, I may not talk much, but that isn't a big deal. When I started talking I just did a bit at a time, always telling myself that it's TMS, and increasing my time bit by bit. By the way, I was seeing a psychologist when all of this happened. Seeing a psychologist won't prevent problems, in fact, more problems can surface. Yea, so I am dealing with the whole speaking up issue, realizing TMS is tricky and can come in any form. I have decided to do some things I want to do in life. I had a sore back for a couple of years so now it's time for me to get back into life. It's not exactly using my voice, but it makes me feel really good to make my own choices.

    I think nerves can create a funny feeling involving the coordination of breathing and talking. It's the nervous system that needs calming down, the inner self that needs soothing. Mediation is good for that part.

    There are a lot of singers who have lost their voices for long periods of time. I was reading up on some of them this winter. Shania Twain didn't perform for 10 years when she got dysphonia (lost her confidence when her husband, manager, left her for her best friend). I also thought Art Garfunkel's story of loosing his voice was interesting. They didn't know what to call his problem, so they made up a name. What I found interesting About Garfunkel was that he started practicing singing to small crowds in small venues to build his confidence (sounds like a good TMS strategy to me). Professional singers are on a different scale of voice use than me, but I find it encouraging that it can all come back.
    jtperks likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Joel,

    I think Forest on this Forum also lost his voice, when he began to use a voice recognition software to make up for his painful wrists ('from typing'). I think that is part of his TMS story. You might private message him to ask, or look at his videos or posts? The more you can find success stories around the symptoms you have, the better, like with Peggy's response.

    As far as where to go next, you can start the free SEP

    and the Recovery Program

    at the Wiki. I am not sure what practices you have embarked on, but both of these programs help you explore your feelings more. It seems the more we feel, the less there is the need for symptoms, especially if we are putting this feeling together with the theoretical structure of Dr. Sarno's work.

    I think that you need not find the particular thing that sets this off, so much as inquire. You've turned your thinking about this to the psychological, so this is a huge first step. That and knowing Dr. Sarno's work, and believing it applies to you. You may simply need focused time journaling and exploring. Whenever I journaled about TMS, I tied the events, my personality and my feelings right to how the inner child might be feeling about the situation. In the now. "Right now my inner child is enraged that we are not having more fun." "Right now my inner child feels hurt because he feels not seen." Get concrete, and attune more and more to your depths, as best you can. We are inherently defended from 'feeling' because it makes us feel safer. That is what you may be working with over time.

    Good luck and welcome.

    Andy B.
    jtperks likes this.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've had bouts of a soft speaking voice and believe it came from my nerves.
    If I was worried or upset about anything, I could hardly talk or be heard.
    When I relaxed and attributed it to TMS, I began talking normally.

    I'm 84 now and in good physical health but often stressed by financial difficulties or
    my mortality, but fit most helpful to do deep breathing and laughing.
    Nothing is fatal except death there's really no sense worrying about things we can't control.
    Woody Allan says he isn't afraid of dying, he just doesn't want to be there when it happens.

    I think of the maybe thousand or more people in Nepal killed by the earthquake there and
    think, I don't have it so bad.

    Does anyone know and use a voice recognition system that works?
    I would hate to retype a book manuscript and wonder if I can talk it into a gadget that
    would convert it into Microsoft Word.

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