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'How can I stop myself stuttering?'

  • 1 Comment

Can you advise this student nurse?

“As a child I used to stutter whenever I was nervous and was bullied in school about it. I had heaps of speech therapy and completely got past it, I hadn’t stuttered in years but then I started my nursing course in March and suddenly it’s back with a vengeance.

“To make matters worse, I’ve got to give a group presentation next week and even just practising my bit with my group makes me stutter so much I can barely get my words out.

“No-one has even mentioned it, everyone’s too polite, but it’s bringing back memories of how much of an outsider it made me at school and those thoughts are obviously making it even worse!

“I can’t seem to get out of this cycle of worrying about stuttering and stuttering then because I’m worrying.

“This might not be the right forum but I’m willing to try anything – any advice?!”

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  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Hello,

    I think the first thing that is important to say is that your stutter probably sounds a lot worse to you than it does to other people! It's not that people are being polite, they really don't mind your stutter.

    Nurse training can be really stressful and if your stutter is linked to your anxiety, then it’s understandable that you might be having a few problems. I’m sorry to hear that it's bringing back memories of those horrible experiences of bullying when you are younger, but you are now training amongst caring adults and the response you get is likely to be quite different. Have you been able to have an open conversation with your tutors and/or your group about your concerns? Is there anything they can do to help? Because I’m sure they want to!

    Whilst I don’t know much about stutters, it might be worth looking at some self-help material around cognitive behavioural therapy for social anxiety. That’s not to say that you have social anxiety per se, but it sounds like it might be helpful to challenge some of the negative thoughts and worries that you have about your stutter.

    You could also see what support your University welfare team can offer, and look at services available through your GP or your local IAPT provision.

    Remember that you have overcome this before and you can do it again. Lots of successful people have stutters – I have a friend who is a lawyer and despite years of speech therapy, still occasionally stutters in court, but it has no impact on how well he does his job or how others perceive him.

    I hope you find some of this helpful and good luck for the rest of your training

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