Emotional Effects of Stuttering

Hi! My name is Jenna and I wanted to ask the PWS group for you personally, what was the most difficult obstacle you had to face as you came to recognize and begin your journey as a person who stutters? Thank you!

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Emotional Effects of Stuttering — 4 Comments

  1. Hello Jenna,

    Thank you for the question.

    The most difficult obstacle for me was disclosing my stammer. My stammer was very covert and I would go heaven and earth to hide it. This stage was the most difficult part of my life as I went through a lot of emotional stress to constantly avoid others hearing me stammer. It was energy draining, frustrating and depressing.

    I avoided situations I thought likely for me to stammer, I avoided public speaking as much as possible, I would not take up leadership positions I so wanted to. Life with a covert stammer took a lot away from me.

    As I realized I needed to overcome the fear of stammering to live a stress-free life, I knew the best way to start was to be open about my stammer and not feel embarrassed about it. Now, that was the most challenging step for me to take. I started the journey by first accepting myself as a PWS, and then decided to go on media awareness campaigns with the Ghana Stammering Association.

    From avoiding the least situation that would make me stammer to raising stammering awareness on TV & radio, I knew I had overcome a huge obstacle.

    An obstacle remains a barrier until you decide to cross it.



  2. Thank you for the interesting question.

    I began my journey as a person who stutters when I was 3 years old.
    Stuttering was a major problem in my life by the time I was 4, as by then I was stuttering in nearly all situations, including when playing alone by myself.

    However, my first real challenges as a person who stutters were in elementary school. I was determined to make sure that my teachers and my classmates knew that I had a good intellect, despite the fact that I stuttered severely most of the time. I had taught myself to read at the age of 3, so I was way ahead of my other classmates in the early elementary grades. I also had skills in mathematics and other subjects, and in addition was playing piano and composing at an early age.
    I raised my hand very often in class to comment or ask questions, and often raised my hand to give the answers to the teachers’ questions. In this respect, I felt it was important to assert myself in class, even if I almost always stuttered severely. Frankly, I wanted people to realize that I was smart, even though I could hardly speak.
    And my strategy worked. The other classmates looked up to me. They came to me when they needed help in various areas with their schoolwork. It helped my self-esteem immensely to know that I had strengths in so many areas of learning, despite my difficulties in speaking. And the other kids too became very aware that stuttering had nothing to do with one’s intellectual abilities.
    Without actually realizing it, I had embraced a philosophy to not let stuttering hold me back in most areas of life, during my childhood years.

  3. Hi Jenna! Thank you for your question. I believe the most difficult obstacle I had to face was rewiring my brain to not see stuttering as a fault or something bad/shameful/dangerous. I was taught from an early age stuttering was not okay and it had to go away, and finally being able to challenge that view of myself and stuttering was really difficult. It’s easy to fall into certain views of how the world should look like and accept that things are a certain way without ever challenging those views. So I would say going against everything I was taught and accepting myself as a person who stutters and showing that part of myself is the most difficult obstacle I’ve had to face in terms of the emotional aspects of my stutter.

    – Andrea

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