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Mutism

Mutism is a rarely seen disorder where an individual either lacks the ability to speak or makes the decision not to, in either social situations or for an extended period of time. The most important factor in treatment of mutism is to not lose hope. In younger patients, mutism is likely to be a phase requiring moderate treatment methods to adapt the patient to different social climates and to raise their self-esteem. Other reasons for mutism may be more serious and require outside research to find the top treatment methods available that’s specific to the individual.

Common Facts About Mutism

You may be interested to find out that mutism is actually a symptom of more common anxiety disorders. This is why so many treatment methods in dealing with mutism primarily focus on dealing with the patient’s psyche. Methods include building confidence, increasing self-esteem and focusing on creating coping strategies to deal with outside stresses that may create the anxiety disorder. While there can be more severe causes of mutism, such as a sustained injury or outside effect on the brain, most treatable cases are found in young children with a fear of “existing” socially. If causes of mutism are more severe, more intense therapy methods such as medicines and anti-depression treatment might be implemented to create and maintain a healthy mental state.

Types of Mutism

Mutism is most commonly found in children and can be traced to one of three commonly seen categories. Akinetic, elective and selective mutism are the three major sub-categories of the disorder. Akinetic mutism is another type of mutism that deals with frontal lobe injuries and usually causes a sufferer to lose the ability to both move and speak. This may also be caused by a treatment of psychosis in which glands in the brain are halted by medicines in order to treat a more severe mental condition. Elective mutism is a complete lack of speech, to any and everyone, usually resulting from a personal choice of the patient. This may be a reaction to a traumatic event that has caused a mental change in the person or a serious injury that has been sustained to the mouth or throat. Selective mutism is when someone who has the ability to speak chooses not to. While those suffering from this disorder may speak to close family or friends they are usually silent around strangers.

Mutism can be a confusing disease and should be a cause of concern if seen in a child. Underlying factors usually point back to anxiety disorders, even if the mutism cannot be traced back to a medical reason. Doing some early research using the Internet will help you determine which type of mutism a loved one may be affected by and will help find the best treatment options available.

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