This article is about the fear and phobia of speech. Not everybody is able to talk fluently in all situations and for people who aren’t, life can be quite tough. I hope you enjoy reading the article.
My name is Steve Hill from Birmingham in England. I developed a stutter or as some people call it a stammer in childhood. From what my parents tell me it started when I was four years of age.
Speaking phobia at school
Despite regular speech therapy over the next fourteen years the stutter became worse. I remember quite clearly the fear of having to read out from a book in class. Walking into the classroom, for example an English lesson, I would see that there was a book on each desk. I would start to panic straight away believing the teacher would make me read a paragraph. Just waiting my turn, knowing that it would result in yet another one of stuttering moments would be torture.
Socialising with friends was not exactly easy for me either. Most people look forward to their Friday or Saturday night outs with their mates. For me though this was not the case, I would be counting down the days as the week went on. Three days to go, two days to go, oh no, I have to go out tomorrow. You may be thinking why this would fill me with so much dread. Being unable to say certain words beginning with certain letters made it difficult to order a round of drinks and the whole conversation thing was something I was not at all confident about.
My worst area of speech was using the telephone. I certainly had a phobia to the phone and was quite lucky as my father would make a lot of my calls for me. Some people may say that this was not exactly helping me in the long run. This may be correct and I was very grateful at the time.
After leaving school, I started to attend interviews to try to find employment. I would normally stutter more when under pressure or when meeting new people and both of these situations are prevalent in an interview situation. I would normally arrive at the interview very tired after a lack of sleep through the stress of it all and I have to say found it very difficult to convince any employer to take me on.
At the age of twenty-two I managed to overcome the stutter and now run The How To Stop Stammering Centre in Birmingham.