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dragonsanddemons
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19 Nov 2017, 1:23 am

After poking around online, I've realized that I quite possibly have selective mutism. When I'm experiencing any strong emotion, am too nervous, stressed, or overloaded, it becomes increasingly difficult, and even impossible, for me to speak, no matter how hard I try. This, of course, is a huge problem in my everyday life and in trying to find a job I can perform. Does anyone else have any experience with this sort of thing? Any tips for trying to manage it?


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Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage. For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
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19 Nov 2017, 12:11 pm

I have that too, but it doesn’t usually happen too often in my case. It is hard when people think I am being rude because I am not talking to them, when in reality I just can’t speak. It usually happens after sensory overload for me. Have you tried any alternative methods of communication?


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elbowgrease
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19 Nov 2017, 12:46 pm

Sometimes it's a situational thing, for me. Stress makes it difficult to function.

Sometimes, with some people, I feel like my mind goes blank. I might really like that person, and really want to say something, and even have a bunch of things planned that I wanted to talk about, and just go blank when I actually have a chance to talk with them. And I'm not sure why that happens with some people and not with others.
Other times, I have a tendency to just run right over people with long monologues. And it's really difficult to keep that tame, and give the other person room to talk. And there's rarely an overlap, if I always go blank with this person, it's really rare to go off on a monologue with them. And if it's a person with whom I tend to get talkative, I rarely go blank with them.
And I really can't pinpoint what it is that brings those things out in me, why I can't stop talking with some people and I can't start with others.
Although I think that some of the best interaction that I've had has been with people who tend to make me mute. I don't run them over, so I may not be able to initiate anything, or even be able to respond sometimes, but with some effort I can answer questions, respond to prompts, give them room to speak and provide me with something to say, something to ask.
Sometimes I just can't get past short answers though. One sentence, maybe only one word. Even if I really, really want to talk to them. Sometimes it gets easier over time. If I see someone regularly for months, I may do a bit better (although I may not, either). I think that a lot of people just don't want to put in that much time, though. And sometimes my lack of response seems to be taken as agreement, when I may really not agree.
It even happens with writing. Sometimes I'll write letters, I may not deliver them, but I'll write down stuff I want to say it want to ask. And if it's to a person that makes me talkative I might write twenty pages. And if it's to a person that makes me mute I might not get one page.
I've had a bit of luck just explaining that I'm affected like that. Offering an apology for either running them over or being unable to respond. Letting them know that I really don't want it to be like that, and I'm working on not being that way, but it's difficult. They seem to appreciate it, and try to work with me a little bit. At least not take it personally then.

I removed a sentence from this statement. I felt like it might have come off as offensive. maybe it really wasn't. Maybe no one noticed.
If anyone did, and was offended. I apologise. I didn't mean to say what I said exactly the way that I said it.
And if this comment seems irrelevant, just disregard it.
Thanks.



Last edited by elbowgrease on 19 Nov 2017, 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lost_dragon
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19 Nov 2017, 3:07 pm

I used to have selective mutism, however I don't believe that I can give you any advice on how to handle it.

My issues with mutism were caused by a few things, mainly my mixture of a stammer and a stutter, which made things difficult in terms of communication. No one, except for my sister, could understand a word of what I was saying.

As time went on, I began to speak less and less, to the point where I didn't say anything at school anymore. Nor did I write anything, my confidence in communicating with others was non existent, and I also partly lacked a desire to do so.

That's when I was sent to speech therapy, and I no longer have a stutter, or a stammer. After the therapy, I was confident enough to talk at school.

However, I still had issues with selective hearing, and didn't always understand when I was meant to reply to someone, because I wasn't used to doing so. With time I learnt fairly quickly though.

There are a few reasons as to why someone may develop selective mutism, and for me those reasons were mainly because I didn't feel like talking with my speech issues. Once my speech issues were fixed, I was fine.

Although, even today I have moments of nervousness, such as speaking to unapproachable looking cashiers, attractive strangers, and occasionally other classmates. One time I used a vending machine, just to avoid talking to a cashier in a shop nearby. :D



dragonsanddemons
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19 Nov 2017, 7:21 pm

StampySquiddyFan wrote:
I have that too, but it doesn’t usually happen too often in my case. It is hard when people think I am being rude because I am not talking to them, when in reality I just can’t speak. It usually happens after sensory overload for me. Have you tried any alternative methods of communication?


I have a text-to-speech app on my phone that would probably make things a whole lot easier for me, but my parents strongly discourage me from using it because they don't understand that oftentimes I can't speak, they think I just don't want to (despite trying to explain it to them multiple times).


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Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage. For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
-H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"


dragonsanddemons
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19 Nov 2017, 7:32 pm

elbowgrease wrote:
Sometimes it's a situational thing, for me. Stress makes it difficult to function.

Sometimes, with some people, I feel like my mind goes blank. I might really like that person, and really want to say something, and even have a bunch of things planned that I wanted to talk about, and just go blank when I actually have a chance to talk with them. And I'm not sure why that happens with some people and not with others.
Other times, I have a tendency to just run right over people with long monologues. And it's really difficult to keep that tame, and give the other person room to talk. And there's rarely an overlap, if I always go blank with this person, it's really rare to go off on a monologue with them. And if it's a person with whom I tend to get talkative, I rarely go blank with them.
And I really can't pinpoint what it is that brings those things out in me, why I can't stop talking with some people and I can't start with others.
Although I think that some of the best interaction that I've had has been with people who tend to make me mute. I don't run them over, so I may not be able to initiate anything, or even be able to respond sometimes, but with some effort I can answer questions, respond to prompts, give them room to speak and provide me with something to say, something to ask.
Sometimes I just can't get past short answers though. One sentence, maybe only one word. Even if I really, really want to talk to them. Sometimes it gets easier over time. If I see someone regularly for months, I may do a bit better (although I may not, either). I think that a lot of people just don't want to put in that much time, though. And sometimes my lack of response seems to be taken as agreement, when I may really not agree.
It even happens with writing. Sometimes I'll write letters, I may not deliver them, but I'll write down stuff I want to say it want to ask. And if it's to a person that makes me talkative I might write twenty pages. And if it's to a person that makes me mute I might not get one page.
I've had a bit of luck just explaining that I'm affected like that. Offering an apology for either running them over or being unable to respond. Letting them know that I really don't want it to be like that, and I'm working on not being that way, but it's difficult. They seem to appreciate it, and try to work with me a little bit. At least not take it personally then.

I removed a sentence from this statement. I felt like it might have come off as offensive. maybe it really wasn't. Maybe no one noticed.
If anyone did, and was offended. I apologise. I didn't mean to say what I said exactly the way that I said it.
And if this comment seems irrelevant, just disregard it.
Thanks.


For me it's a bit different. Sometimes I can't think of the words even though I really want to speak, but more often, I have the words but can't get my vocal cords to respond. I also will sometimes have a great urge to monologue or talk a lot, I think usually when I'm a bit nervous but not nervous enough to make it harder for me to speak. And other times I too am reduced to one-word answers even though I'd like to talk more. For me, it tends to get better the more I'm around a person, because it reduces my anxiety, which I think is often the primary cause of it in my case. I too have trouble because people don't want to take the time to work with me until I'm capable of speaking normally to them - that's probably the main reason I don't have any in-person friends. I do have a bit of an explanation of my speaking troubles pre-programmed into the text-to-speech app I have on my phone, but I usually forget about that, and my parents don't like me to use the app.


_________________
Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage. For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
-H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"


StampySquiddyFan
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19 Nov 2017, 7:38 pm

dragonsanddemons wrote:
StampySquiddyFan wrote:
I have that too, but it doesn’t usually happen too often in my case. It is hard when people think I am being rude because I am not talking to them, when in reality I just can’t speak. It usually happens after sensory overload for me. Have you tried any alternative methods of communication?


I have a text-to-speech app on my phone that would probably make things a whole lot easier for me, but my parents strongly discourage me from using it because they don't understand that oftentimes I can't speak, they think I just don't want to (despite trying to explain it to them multiple times).


That’s pretty ridiculous. Have you tried showing them any articles or posts on going nonverbal when you have autism? I know what it is like to have stubborn people who don’t believe what you tell them because they don’t experience it themselves :roll: !


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Hi! I'm Stampy (not the actual YouTuber, just a fan!) and I have been diagnosed professionally with ASD and OCD and likely have TS. If you have any questions or just want to talk, please feel free to PM me!

Current Interests: Stampy Cat, AGT, and Medicine


dragonsanddemons
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19 Nov 2017, 7:46 pm

StampySquiddyFan wrote:
dragonsanddemons wrote:
StampySquiddyFan wrote:
I have that too, but it doesn’t usually happen too often in my case. It is hard when people think I am being rude because I am not talking to them, when in reality I just can’t speak. It usually happens after sensory overload for me. Have you tried any alternative methods of communication?


I have a text-to-speech app on my phone that would probably make things a whole lot easier for me, but my parents strongly discourage me from using it because they don't understand that oftentimes I can't speak, they think I just don't want to (despite trying to explain it to them multiple times).


That’s pretty ridiculous. Have you tried showing them any articles or posts on going nonverbal when you have autism? I know what it is like to have stubborn people who don’t believe what you tell them because they don’t experience it themselves :roll: !


No, I should probably look to see if I can find any good articles or something - thank you for the suggestion. My parents are convinced I'm much more high-functioning than I actually am because they don't understand just how hard things are for me.


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Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage. For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
-H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"


StampySquiddyFan
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19 Nov 2017, 7:52 pm

dragonsanddemons wrote:
StampySquiddyFan wrote:
dragonsanddemons wrote:
StampySquiddyFan wrote:
I have that too, but it doesn’t usually happen too often in my case. It is hard when people think I am being rude because I am not talking to them, when in reality I just can’t speak. It usually happens after sensory overload for me. Have you tried any alternative methods of communication?


I have a text-to-speech app on my phone that would probably make things a whole lot easier for me, but my parents strongly discourage me from using it because they don't understand that oftentimes I can't speak, they think I just don't want to (despite trying to explain it to them multiple times).


That’s pretty ridiculous. Have you tried showing them any articles or posts on going nonverbal when you have autism? I know what it is like to have stubborn people who don’t believe what you tell them because they don’t experience it themselves :roll: !


No, I should probably look to see if I can find any good articles or something - thank you for the suggestion. My parents are convinced I'm much more high-functioning than I actually am because they don't understand just how hard things are for me.


It is hard, because even people that don’t deny that you have autism will dismiss some of the symptoms sometimes. Like when my mom is like, “But tough doesn’t really hurt, right? It just feels uncomfortable?” No, it really does hurt, but it is hard to see that from a neurotypical perspective. People say autistic people lack empathy, but it really goes both ways, just due to the way we process things. I am sorry you are struggling with this! I hope they will be able to be convinced by an article or something. I will try and find one for you. Hugs :) ! I’m really sorry you have to deal with this!


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Hi! I'm Stampy (not the actual YouTuber, just a fan!) and I have been diagnosed professionally with ASD and OCD and likely have TS. If you have any questions or just want to talk, please feel free to PM me!

Current Interests: Stampy Cat, AGT, and Medicine


dragonsanddemons
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19 Nov 2017, 7:56 pm

StampySquiddyFan wrote:

dragonsanddemons wrote:
No, I should probably look to see if I can find any good articles or something - thank you for the suggestion. My parents are convinced I'm much more high-functioning than I actually am because they don't understand just how hard things are for me.


It is hard, because even people that don’t deny that you have autism will dismiss some of the symptoms sometimes. Like when my mom is like, “But tough doesn’t really hurt, right? It just feels uncomfortable?” No, it really does hurt, but it is hard to see that from a neurotypical perspective. People say autistic people lack empathy, but it really goes both ways, just due to the way we process things. I am sorry you are struggling with this! I hope they will be able to be convinced by an article or something. I will try and find one for you. Hugs :) ! I’m really sorry you have to deal with this!


That's exactly the sort of thing I get, too - and you're right, autistic people and non-autistic people do both have trouble understanding how each other are feeling because it's so different from what we're used to, on both sides. Big dragon hugs back to you :)


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Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage. For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
-H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"


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19 Nov 2017, 8:00 pm

Here is a poll I found on another forum: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.autism ... 8/%3famp=1

Here is a blog I found on the topic: http://autistictic.com/2015/06/05/nonverbal-autism/

Here is another personal account:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.autism ... 5/%3famp=1

Here is a Reddit link: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit ... _come_out/

I hope these help :) ! I can look for more, if you want.


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Current Interests: Stampy Cat, AGT, and Medicine


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19 Nov 2017, 8:25 pm

StampySquiddyFan wrote:
Here is a poll I found on another forum: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.autism ... 8/%3famp=1

Here is a blog I found on the topic: http://autistictic.com/2015/06/05/nonverbal-autism/

Here is another personal account:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.autism ... 5/%3famp=1

Here is a Reddit link: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit ... _come_out/

I hope these help :) ! I can look for more, if you want.


Thank you, I'll look at those. I also found one that I think is good for describing selective mutism, especially the last paragraph.

http://www.ispeak.org.uk/

Quote:
Children and adults with SM do not choose to be silent in the situations in which they cannot speak. They genuinely cannot speak because attempting speech rouses too much anxiety. Almost all children and adults with Selective Mutism would love to be able to speak in every situation they cannot. They are not making their difficulties up, being difficult, rude, antisocial, or anything else.


That's what I want my parents to understand.


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Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage. For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
-H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"


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19 Nov 2017, 8:26 pm

I have a great deal of trouble with this phenomenon called selective mutism. I believe it to be a very strong trait of ASD because it exhibits an inability to handle an excess of emotion sort of like how a fluid of some kind gets jammed and can't make it out of a container because it's trying to come out too fast.

I've become emotionally overwhelmed on many occasions and it causes me to clam right up specifically when trying to talk intimately with a girl. Sometimes I can't speak at all. All that emotion about the harshness of my life creates this massive balloon inside my head that I can't seem to get out coherently.


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19 Nov 2017, 8:29 pm

^^^I like that one dragonsanddemons. It does really explain it well, and I wish more people knew that selective mutism isn’t a choice. Good luck with your parents. I hope it goes well for you! :D


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19 Nov 2017, 8:45 pm

I read that article recently as well, and liked it. Was trying to explain to this lady I met why it's so hard fore to talk to her, and part of why I'm visibly uncomfortable around her sometimes.
The only thing I can say about keeping calm when I'm stressed and overloaded, and it's not terribly useful. I go through the same process to keep myself from getting angry and fighting. De-escalating myself. Sometimes being pressed in a conversation or an argument that I'm having a hard time handling really brings out the same thing in me. A massive adrenaline wave and something like blood lust. Because I just can't
.. explain myself, or talk even. And I'm not into fighting. I don't do it. Haven't been in a physical altercation in at least 14 years. But the reaction is the same.
It hasn't helped me actually be able to speak but it has kept me from getting out of hand.
I haven't had the explanation of an asd before, though. I didn't know, so I couldn't explain, or convince anyone how difficult things are for me sometimes. Just being able to say that has helped a little bit so far. Although I haven't had to deal with an argument or a confrontation yet.