Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Stuttering & Anxiety

Yesterday afternoon it was 13°. I had to carry my coat as I walked back from the aquarium store. The “pineapple express from Hawaii” then brought biblical rain throughout the night.
Miss a guy? Write a poem about him on Valentine’s Day and after months of silence he’ll send you an affectionate text on the same day. That’s what happened to me.
When I was in my late twenties a prestigious magazine commissioned an article on the exploding market in First Nations contemporary art. I was so intimidated by the challenge I worked harder on that article than on any other since; it’s always been unrecognizable to me, unlike all my other work. Yes, it was better but it had no soul. I want to bring that level of intensity to the dialogue in my script — but not the soulless part. I’ve been ambivalent about applying for the Boca del Lupo workshop but I’ve decided to apply and then decide whether or not to do it if it’s offered.
I saw Dr. Dorscheid on Tuesday. He’s my asthma doctor. He’s open, incredibly bright and a wide-open soul with a busy clinical practice, a heavy academic load and research responsibilities. Boy do we have interesting talks: Today we talked about his brother, an ex-con and who’s dying of Fentanyl.
This afternoon I see Dr. S. It’s the appointment at which I expect an A++. I’m excited about telling her about my insights; I’ve written everything down. I’m keen to see and hear her reaction.
“For a long time it has been assumed that excessive tension in stuttering is related to exaggerated emotions of anxiety or fear in social settings. However, there is no strong evidence that speech-related anxiety in persons who stutter is typically a result of the basic speech problem and not a primary cause of stuttering. For examples, children who begin to stutter do not show higher levels of anxiety or shyness than other children, and emotionally reactive children do not appear to have a higher risk for development of persistent stuttering.” ~ Per Alm, Uppsala University Department of Neuroscience, Sweden.

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