Why is it that the speech pathologists that I have talked to are so quick to dismiss the physical component of stuttering? Is it an inherent conflict of interest? Here are the specifics of my case and you decide if there is a physical cause:
At the age of 24 I tried cocaine once, for the first time
Approximately 2-4 months later I found that I couldn't start my sentences the way I used. I gradually built a list of words that I couldn't say (my name, my hometown, my profession). At this time I didn't make the cause-effect relationship with my one-time drug use
For three years my level of fluency continued to slowly decrease (psychological component with a physical core?); however, my stuttering was still manageable
-At the age of 27, being the idiot that I am, I experimented with drugs one more time. Over the next few months, my stuttering worsened, dramatically. I have become a full-fledged stutterer.
I don't see stuttering as a blessing or a rose, I see it as a thorn. I don't count the number of people that I meet because I stutter and attribute that friendship to the fact that I stutter. I met alot of people before I stuttered, and alot after.
Rather, I see stuttering as something that I want to beat. And I think that the answer lies somewhere in the middle of the traditional SLP community and the medical community. I have been working with a neurologist for the past three months. He agreed with my hypothesis of drug-induced stuttering. During this time of legal drug experimentation, I have seen giant swings in my fluency. From almost a non-stutterer for 3-7 days at a time, and then back to my typical stuttering. Could this be psychological? I don't think so for two reasons:
I don't know why more stutterers are not charging into doctors offices, seeing if they can affect the neurological component. Maybe people don't mind stuttering as much as I do. Maybe I should accept this lemon and make lemonade. If I had been a stutterer, my entire life I might do that. Each time I start a cycle of medication (combinations of Zoloft, Zyprexa and Nortryptiline (sp?) my stuttering nearly disappears. Only, much to my disappointment, I returns in 4-6 days. I have graphed my daily medication intake versus a subjective rating of my stuttering (1-5) and it looks like a mountain range: peak followed by valley followed by peak. However, now I am on a peak (just started my cycle the day before yesterday) so I need to get some rest so that I can capitalize on my near back to normal speech tomorrow. Ahh, The joy of walking the tight rope, as someone said. But you know what -- everyday that I have like today (little to no stuttering) feels like I busted out of jail. I know that I will eventually be caught and returned, but it feels too damn good on the outside to care!