This is why I'm afraid...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 1/16/2009 1:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok I have a question, that goes along with some backgroud information. If anyone honestly knows, I'd appreciate the advice.
And if you even take the time to read this whole thing, bless you. I tried to keep it as short as I could:
I grew up having a lisp without any formal treatment, and I can still feel like I have it even to this day. One of the reasons I'm such an anxious, shy person still, is because I'm afraid of how I sound to others.
I brought this up in Therapy recently, and my therapist said that she couldn't hear anything. She told me my voice sounded perfectly fine, and she never would have guessed that what I was hinting at was that I had a lisp as a child when I was trying to tell her.
I lay awake at night wondering about this-do you think she's lieing to me so that my feelings aren't hurt, or so that my self-esteem doesn't sink deeper? Because I asked another girl from school and she said she couldnt hear it "a little bit". I feel like I trust my therapist enough to believe that she'll alway sbe honest with me, but do therapists say stuff like that so that the truth doesn't affect you? She knows I need more self-confidence, so I'm wondering if she said I "sound normal and fine" so that I dont stress over it and just forget obsessing over how I sound.
If you are a therapist, or know how they work, please let me know. I'd rather know the truth that she might have said some stuff to avoid hurting my recovery than to really think I sound OK and make a fool of myself.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2268
   Posted 1/16/2009 2:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not a therapist, but I do have a background in linguistics. Some people have a natural ear for hearing slight distortions of speech whereas others do not. A trained speech pathologist, diction coach or linguist would be able to tell you whether or not there is a slight variation from the typical accent for your part of the country. I can't imagine your counselor would lie to you about something like that. It is possible she herself just doesn't hear it. She may, like many adults, focus much more on what you're saying than on how you're saying it.

Beyond that, even without treatment, often children with relatively mild speech disorders learn to compensate for them as they grow into adulthood. That's not to say no one could notice, just that most people wouldn't notice unless it was specifically pointed out to them, and even if it is pointed out many people (esp. middle aged & up) will not be able to detect it at all.

I obviously can't say how you sound, but in any case I think your counselor gave her honest opinion. It is just her personal opinion & remember that speech is not her area of expertise. If it really concerns you, perhaps you can get a referral to an adult speech-language pathologist and get evaluated. If your speech really is slightly outside the typical range, they can work with you & give you home exercises to practice to get your speech in tip-top shape.

good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 1/16/2009 2:22 AM (GMT -6)   

thank you so much. your knowledge and advice really helped me. maybe im just being a little paranoid. Im trying out for a play, and im just al ittle nervous of the whole getting up in front of an audience thing.
but really, thank you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/16/2009 3:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe Frances gave you the perfect advice. I just thought i would say hi and goodluck with everything. gillxx


"Our greatest problems in life come not

so much from the situations we confront

as from our ability to handle them"


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 1/16/2009 4:00 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey Taryn- i believe your therapist was telling the truth. growing up my sister had a lisp and was always ultra self concious and she still shys away from speaking to many people- and yet i cannot hear it for the life of me. i think after she got her braces off, the lisp corrected itself. i swear i cant hear it at all anymore (we are 20mnths apart- im 28, she is 26) but SHE still believes she has the lisp.

Dont let it hold you back- you're awesome and everyone deserves to know that!

Maz XX

            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/16/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Frances gave you excellent advice. Find a speech therapist and see what they say. Remember that you may be worrying and letting your supposed lisp hold you back in life when it may not even exist. Relax. I bet most people can't even tell you sound differently. Good luck with the play!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
Prozac and Carvedilol

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 1/16/2009 2:05 PM (GMT -6)   
My little brother had speech problems, but after surgery on his lip to detach his lip from his gum, his speech improved - he's 16 now.. but he was slow to both read and speak (since reading out-loud is how teachers teach you to read and he wasn't comfortable with that).

He speaks fine now - he went through some speech therapy, and that helped both with the problems he was having and his self-confidence when speaking.

For all his learning problems as a kid, he turned out to be really bright he's graduating this year and going to India (at 16?! I wish he'd wait a couple years... but I'm a protective older sister)

Therapy might help it did for my brother :D
Diagnosed with Fibro - October 2008

Venlafaxine 70mg/Armitriptyline 40mg to help me sleep and anxiety

Ativan... when things get real bad.

Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/16/2009 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Taryn!

It is nice to see you again. Most of my family, including myself have a lisp and I feel a strange way of speaking. We are great singers with gospel music especially, but I can't stand to hear my voice recorded while speaking at all. My baby sister is half deaf and it was a trial when she was younger trying to understand why her speaking was way off. She went through speech therapy and you can't even tell anymore. When she was older we learned of her condition and she also had tubes put in her ears every few years to drain the fluid behind her eardrums. The last surgery when she was 16 left her with no hearing at all in her right ear. She turned 21 last November and is a well adjusted young woman and unless a person knew about her condition, it is not obvious to the general public.

Don't be too hard on yourself about this, because I'm sure from personal experience that it is something you notice more than anyone around you. I'm sure that you are great person and this is what sums you up my friend in this life. Not the way your speak :)

Take care and have a nice day!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Fall Seven Times. . . . . . . . . .  Stand Up Eight."
~Japanese Proverb~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 1/17/2009 1:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Thank you.

So maybe I don't still suffer with this speech impediment, but honestly whenever I think, or hear myself out loud, I can hear it and feel it. So I just don't understand that.I guess I'll keep working on it..


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