Stammering in adults: symptoms, causes and treatment

There is a wide range of speech disorders, In which stuttering (or dysphamia) turns out to be one of the most common. This disorder involves the subject repeating words involuntarily, or blocking while speaking them.

In childhood, he might present with this condition, being transient over time. In adolescence it would start to decline, so that by adulthood it would have completely disappeared. But it doesn’t always happen that way.

In this article we will review what are the main causes of stuttering in adultsWe will also give an overview of the most characteristic symptoms of this disorder in people who have already reached the age of majority.

    What is stuttering?

    As we have seen, stuttering is a speech impediment, which is characterized by involuntary repetition of spoken words and the presence of interruptions in speech.

    The origin of this disorder has its roots in the lack of coordination of the peripheral movements necessary for speaking, but it has certainly not been possible to determine a specific cause of stuttering in adults, nor for other stages of development.

    What has been established is that the prevalence of this speech complication is higher in men, Compared to its female counterpart. Men are up to four times more likely to have genetic stuttering than women.

    Stuttering in adulthood

    If the necessary attention is not given to it during the early stages of development or if the problem is not properly addressed, it may only go away momentarily until the subject is faced with a situation that may trigger off. stuttering again.

    If the stuttering has an organic root in the nervous system, the symptoms are likely to be continuous throughout life, but if these are primarily emotional causes (nervousness, anxiety, fears, etc.), in many cases the presence of this disorder. it may decrease, but there is no total cure.

    common causes

    Let’s see now some of the most common causes that cause this disorder in adulthood.

    • having suffered a knock where the regions of the brain responsible for speech (Broca’s region and Wernicke’s region) are affected.
    • Hereditary genetic abnormalities.
    • Pathogenic frustrations (emotional trauma, bullying, bullying).
    • Brain infections.
    • Prolonged exposure to stressful situations.
    • Side effects of certain drugs.

    Symptoms of stuttering in adults

    Cases of adults with stuttering are evidenced by the following symptoms.

    • The repetition of sounds while speaking, parts of words or sentences.
    • Feeling anxious when it comes to talking, Especially if it’s in public.
    • Physical symptoms of shyness when talking to another person (rash, sweating).
    • The presence of continuous tics can be head or eye movements.
    • Lack of control and poor coordination when speaking.
    • Pause between words or in the middle of the word.
    • You have a tone of voice.
    • The subject feels that he cannot control what he is saying.

    It should be borne in mind that the intensity of the symptoms described above is variable, depending on the person’s level of stress or anxiety At the time of the conversation.


      To determine the most appropriate treatment in these cases, it is necessary to know what were the causes that support the existence of stuttering.

      Since each person testifies to their reality in a very personal (subjective) way, it is necessary to conduct the semi-structured interview before the psychological assessment.

      Once the necessary data is available, the specialist will be able to distinguish which is the best therapeutic method, or whether it is necessary to refer to the doctor (in case of organic conditions).

      The most popular methods for stuttering in adults, And which have proven to have very positive results, are as follows.

      1. Cognitive behavioral therapy

      The therapist deals with maladaptive thoughts that generate anxiety while speaking, or any other emotional symptom, and then replaces these beliefs with more adaptive thoughts. with the aim that the subject loses fear and sinks in self-confidence.

      In addition, intervention strategies on the behavior of the person are established.

      In any case, as already mentioned, in stuttering in adults, there is no cure that will make the symptoms disappear. Thus, the treatment was aimed at alleviating the effects of Russia and learning to live with dysphamia.

      2. Language therapy

      The speech-language pathologist works in conjunction with the psychologist to treat stuttering, Especially when there are organic influences which prevent the muscles involved in speech from coordinating properly.

      Through practical exercises that the person will have to perform at home (reading with a pencil in the mouth, correct breathing while speaking, etc.), the specialist will assess the progress of each case, and will inform the psychologist of the progress.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Guitar, B. (2005). Stuttering: an integrated approach to its nature and treatment. San Diego: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
      • Ward, D. (2006). Stuttering and Disorder: Frameworks for Understanding Treatment. Hove and New York: Psychology Press.

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