Sunday, August 28, 2005

Why are you so scared?

Over the last weeks, I have been reading a German discussion forum. I was amazed to discover how many were very scared of speaking situations, and tried everything possible to avoid them. One person is getting married this weekend, and the whole forum including him and his wife spent so much time trying to come up with tricks so that he doesn't have to speak.

I know what it feels like to be in such a state. I was the same when I was young(er). But strangely enough, after the age of 20 I am not scared at all at any situation, even though I do stutter in most of the situations. I am still wondering why? Is it because I attended therapy and met other people with PDS? Or is it just an hormonal change and my true personality shines through? :-)

Anyway, reading the posts has made aware again that the handicap arising from PDS is NOT JUST dysfluency, but for many (especially those that never had contact with other people with PDS) can impact life very dramatically. But their current (and my past) behaviour is completely irrational. You have the choice: being scared like hell or worrying for a week before the speaking situation and then stuttering, or not worrying and stuttering. Isn't the choice obvious? I guess the solution is "to do what you fear", and the fear will dissolve if the fear is irrational. In fact, I believe that many people with PDS can reduce their fear substantially by attending group therapy, and speak or "stutter" in a safe environment. Making you mentally fluent is easier than physically fluent.

To finish off, let me tell you what might have made me fear less: A dream! One day I was dreaming about being chased by a few people. I was always running away and I always ended up on the top of a cliff line. Obviously, there was no escape route, and the closer they came the more scared I got. But one day I realized that I was dreaming, and being a physicist I realized: "Hey, inside dreams the laws of physics don't apply!!!!!" So I decided to fly away! This happened in several dreams. So I could always fly away, but after a while I got bored by running away. So then one night I realized again that I was dreaming and I told myself: "I am so sick of running away. Let them kill me. Physics doesn't apply. But would be cool to see what would happen if you get killed in your own dream." So instead of flying away, I turned around and stood there waiting for them to come closer. And then they got scared and run away. And I started chasing them!! From then onwards, I hardly had nightmares anymore... :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While wanting to succeed for some reason ( very important point) I trip over my words and repeat the same thing each time I speak because it becomes increasingly important. I am learning I can't speak properly and this operant learning is supported by rote learning and eventually becomes classical learning and then I worry about it before it happens and my model of the world is changed.

I am a stammerer, don't understand how I got here and interpret the situation as an affliction and prison that I can't get out of.

The point is that my model of the world has changed. Can it be changed back?