It is unknown what causes people to stutter for sure, but there are four factors that contribute to the development of stuttering: genetics, child development specifically related to language, neurophysiology connected to how your brain processes speech and language, and family dynamics like high expectations. Stuttering is considered a communication disorder that is defined by the normal flow of speech being broken up by the repetition, prolongation, or abnormal stopping of sounds. This generally occurs from a combination of these factors that are different for every person.
However, more than 70 million people around the world stutter, and it affects four times as many males as females. It’s a myth that emotional or psychological trauma can cause stuttering, and there is no proof that connects the two. The good news is that there are several approaches to successfully treating stuttering in both children and adults, but there isn’t a miracle cure that works over night. Sometimes stuttering can be worsened by stress levels, particularly tightening around the throat, so doing relaxation exercises that loosen your neck and shoulders is helpful to ease this area. Also, practicing speaking in a mirror can help you focus on both not stuttering as well as gaining confidence to put you more at ease while talking. Doing vocal exercises every day relaxes the muscles you use to speak with and can work against the stutter too. The more frustrated you get while stuttering often increases the amount you stutter, so taking a deep breath and slowing down is a good way to remain calm.