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  • Hi everyone, October is selective mutism awareness month!

  • And I thought I could make a small video to educate, and because I have the disorder myself,

  • I can also talk about it from a more personal perspective.

  • Simply put, it is an anxiety disorder where a person does not speak in certain situations

  • and does speak in others.

  • For example, a child that does not speak at school at all,

  • but does talk around friends and family.

  • It is a very rare disorder. I think I read that less than 1% of the population have it.

  • It's also mostly seen in children, as the disorder develops at a very young age

  • but it may also last into teenage years and adulthood, if it's not treated properly in childhood.

  • Well, some of us are just very shy by nature to begin with,

  • and maybe we have inherited anxiety issues from our parents.

  • And this may just turn into full-blown selective mutism later.

  • It does not need childhood trauma or anything to trigger it.

  • That's not where it comes from.

  • I would like to add that you can in fact go mute after trauma,

  • but that's not what this disorder is.

  • I've had a lot of people thinking that I just choose not to speak -

  • No!

  • It's not something we can control.

  • It's not a conscious decision not to speak.

  • For me personally, it's like I'm physically not able to open my mouth when I go mute.

  • So, no. It's not a choice.

  • People also like to think that I just enjoy the power I have over my friends and family

  • when they have to talk for me in social situations because I can't.

  • I actually had different therapists saying this to my face, and -

  • no! Oh my god.

  • For me, it's certainly not the case.

  • You can't imagine how much I would like to talk for myself

  • and how guilty and bad I feel when I have others talking for me.

  • So, no. It's not about having power, it's not about being in control.

  • Well, people have tried to help me in the past by

  • offering alternatives to speaking.

  • Sometimes writing works for me, most of the time it doesn't

  • Some use sign language, which is not an option for me at all...

  • Everyone is different when it comes to that.

  • Some of us even freeze completely when we go mute, so

  • alternatives are not even an option in that situation.

  • Something else that seems like a popular method to help is

  • to just leave me no other choice and just force me to talk in a social situation.

  • And I do understand where that's coming from -

  • Within a therapy setting, it can be helpful to be confronted with a situation that scares you

  • but doing it just like that is probably the opposite of helpful.

  • It might go well, but it might also

  • result in them feeling terrible for days, maybe even for weeks after this

  • and not being able to talk again in a similar situation for the longest time.

  • So, just forcing them to talk is probably a bad idea.

  • So, what can you do instead?

  • Well, first of all, ask the person affected by it!

  • Like I said, we are all different, and what doesn't help me might be just the right thing for them!

  • So, yeah. Ask them, because they probably already know what helps them and what doesn't help.

  • Other than that, generally keep informing yourself, educating yourself on the disorder

  • Also listen to people's personal experiences (as you are doing now!)

  • So you can just understand it better, you can respect it

  • Basically, respect that it's a real disorder that your child or your friend can't help

  • and it's not just them being a brat.

  • Just try not to make them feel guilty for having selective mutism.

  • Well, thanks for listening and

  • I will try to find some links I can put in the description box

  • if you want to read more about selective mutism.

  • And if you have any other questions you'd like to ask me,

  • feel free to drop them in the comments

  • and I'll be happy to answer as much as I can.

  • So. Goodbye!

Hi everyone, October is selective mutism awareness month!

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選擇性緘默症|資訊+個人經驗。 (SELECTIVE MUTISM | info + personal experiences)

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    Liao 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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