Anything To Help?

Hi, I'm nearly 22 years old, and I have selective mutism. I only got diagnosed when I was 19, which was kind of a relief because I knew something was wrong, I just didn;t know what. I have had CBT, counselling, been on all kinds of medication, but nothing has worked. I went through school not saying a word to anyone, my sister also has the condition and so we stuck together through school; everyone thought we were strange and took that as an opportunity to bully us. They would make up their own theories as to why we wouldn't speak, one of them being that it was our religion not to talk to boys (lol that one always you to make me laugh). I am currently at university and am struggling quite a bit. Any group work and I just want the ground to swallow me whole. I have just been hit with a presentation I need to prepare for 4 weeks time, in a group, and I have noone to do it with and I am stressing out big time. I feel physically sick and it isn't even here yet. I managed to pull through one presentation by glueing my eyes to my sheet of paper with my speech on, to have the lecturers at the end of it rip me to pieces telling me how bad I was :( I am very aware I have problems, but it took alot to get up infront of everybody, let alone say my 3 minute piece. With that past criticism, I am dreading this presentation more than ever. I was just wondering if there were any other selective mutes out there who were diagnosed late in life? And if they found anything really helpful to calm them down? I have read that intervention is crucial at a young age, which makes me feel really hopeless about my future. Any advice would be much appreciated :) x
EmmaL5262 EmmaL5262
4 Responses Jan 17, 2013

I have had SM my whole life and can sympathize with you. I am currently having CBT for social anxiety and severe depression, with little results so far. I'm still hopeful the therapy will prove useful. I have been on one medication or another for social anxiety and severe depression since I was 14.

Don't give up. There are many therapies and many medications. Be patient and keep trying. I am willing to provide support and help in any way I can.

Thank you :) I know that feeling, I had CBT but things got complicated and it didn't work, I could try it again but I'm feeling very pessimistic about it. I also had anorexia when I was younger, and the medication I was put on for social anxiety made me gain weight and I'm just not ready to put on a huge pile of weight (I've already put on 2 stone from going on medication). So medication is a big no no right now. Counselling didn't work because the counsellor didn't really understand my problem and so was expecting me to do all the talking (lol) and there were long awkward silences. I hope your therapy works for you! Good luck x

Hello, do you have any advice for a big sister trying to help her 15 year old brother with selective mutism? He has not been diagnosed but I can tell this is what it is and I want to bring it up to him. Should I? Any advice? He will write to me and won't talk to my mom or my little sister.

He will probably feeling very closed up, but if you just bring it up in coversation, show him some information on the internet about selective mutism. I remember my mum telling me about it and it was such a relief to know that what I had had a name and that I could pin all my feelings to this condition. I wouldn't talk to my dad and he ended up kicking me out, so I really hope your mum can understand it's not his fault. I'm not sure if you have told your mum what you think your brother has, but I think this will help if you show her some info on it aswell. Because I know people take it to heart when we don't talk to them, but it's nothing to do with not liking them or anything like that (most of the time lol), but especially family members can get quite upset about it, so maybe bringing this information to light to all of them will help them understand x hope that helps

Also I'm not sure how old your brother is but I would recommend he goes to the doctor to get treatment, as the younger people with this condition get treated the better their chances x that's not to say it won't work when he's older by the way.

I met with the counselor once a week while I was in college and before every semester she wrote out medical form to all my professors asking them to excuse me for anything that requires speaking, and to give alternative assignments so maybe your university has something similar

Thank you for your advice, I am trying to get the uni to help me, they are helping in their own way. They gave me the option to do the presentation just to the lecturer, but he wanted me to speak for longer if I agreed to this, so I am biting the bullet and just doing the presentation to the class as normal. Really nerve racking

I have no friends at uni because I can't talk to anyone, and so I am feeling rather alone

I'm so sorry your feeling this way. I hope you get through your journey.

Thank you, so do I