Doctor insights on:
Can Adults Have Selective Mutism Or Only Children
Can happen any age: Selective mutism--inability or unwillingness to talk except in certain settings or situations--commonly starts in children but can continue into adulthood. It is rare for it to start in adulthood, but one could imagine it after trauma or some other loss. However, it also might be an early warning sign of some more serious condition like depression or psychosis--so well worth having evaluated. ...Read more
Is it possible to get selective mutism treat at the age of 17? or is it only treatable in children?
Yes: Therapy at any age is beneficial. I suggest the younger the better for socialization, but anytime the therapy will benefit the patient and family. ...Read more
Is it possible that I have selective mutism as an adult? If I get overwhelmed or too anxious I can't make myself speak.
Can't speak: Many things are possible. You may be experiencing the fight-flight-freeze response due to anxiety. There may be a neurological situation. Please see your doc so he/she can diagnose what is happening. A mental health professional may be part of the fix. Peace and good health. ...Read more
Get help: A number of different approaches have been used in attempts to treat selective mutism. Recent opinion has moved away from the idea that it is caused by a trauma, and attempts to treat it have followed accordingly. The factors that are most intensively studied at present are underlying anxiety problems. In few cases trauma is the source of the problem. No self cure for mutism has been reported. ...Read more
Selective Mutism: Although most people associate selective mutism with children, it can also affect adults. Children who are treated for the disorder can develop the skills that help them get past the social anxieties that block them from speaking. If untreated the problem could continue into adulthood. In adults, other physical disorders could cause loss of speech and should be checked by a physician. ...Read more
Older need meds. +: The exact txmt. depends on the person's age, any comorbid mental illnesses, & a number of other factors. For instance, stimulus fading is used with younger children because older children/teenagers recognize the situation as an attempt to make them speak, & older people with this condition & people with depression are more likely to need meds. Several other behavioral techniques are available. ...Read more
Related to Anxiety: Selective mutism is a condition in which a person is relatively nonverbal. This can sometimes occur across multiple settings, or may be restricted to certain situations. It is usually related to increased anxiety, and sometimes depression. It is understood that the person involved has the ability to verbalize but chooses not to do for emotional reasons. Antidepressant medications can be helpful. ...Read more
Very treatable: If causing impairment in school and socially, seek evaluation and therapy by experienced professional. Combined behavioral, individual, family (and sometimes antidepressant medication for anxiety) may be effective. Person is anxious and inhibited and may develop social phobia. Other conditions may co-exist and require treatment. It is possible to achieve complete resolution. Best regards. ...Read more
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