Psychogenic voice disorders…

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I have been treating people with voice difficulties for many years.  There are many causes of voice problems including disease, infection, stress, structural anomalies, trauma, over use and injury.

One of the most fascinating areas of voice disorders is caused by an inability to ‘voice’  when there is a conflict over speaking out, or life stresses become too much.  People may lose their voice suddenly, or find it becomes disordered in some way with no organic reason for doing so (that is, a physical reason). This is known as a ‘psychogenic voice disorder’ or a ‘conversion disorder’.

The treatment for this is a combination of physical and emotional work to help the person express what they want to say, deal with the stresses in their lives and rehabilitate the voice box (larynx) to use normal muscle movement again.  Results can be very quick; in one session, but most need a period of time to understand and manage the conflict or stresses and reconnect physically with their bodies in a healthy way.

The symptoms in a psychogenic voice disorder are a way of letting an individual know that something is not right, or out of balance and we should listen to these symptoms without fear,  seek help and a way forward.

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