Case Study 9 - What I think caused my stuttering

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:

This caused me to look back at the onset of my stuttering and make the link to drug-use. (One more reason to just say NO!) I played Russian roulette and lost. I think that before I experimented my speech mechanism was barely above the magical stuttering zone. My one-time experimentation dropped my brain chemistry to this zone. A normal person (i.e., not predisposed to stuttering) would have felt none of the long term effects, except for a killer hangover.

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:

  1. I have tried various "fixes" in the past that I truly believed would work (vitamins, supplements, prescription medications). These provided no benefit for my stuttering.
  2. My speech cycles have been completely unpredictable lately. Some days I just don't stutter, the "core" that I feel is causing me to stutter is gone. Speaking feels like it did over four years ago - effortless. No easy onset, no cancellation, no voluntary stuttering -- just good old-fashioned fluent speech. Other days, back to the same-old B.S.
This seems encouraging to me. If I were a SLP, I would be intrigued by this. "My patient is experience a 90% decrease in stuttering", I might think. However, my speech-pathologist told me that the internet is taking me down a path that he/she disagrees with, and that if I change my mind I can call him/her. Maybe a conflict of interest rearing its head.

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!