What if the only way you could communicate was by writing?

That is almost what my life is like. I rarely speak. It certainly was my life almost exclusively for a long time. I communicated solely via writing.

I write through a haze. One in which I’m often unable to talk, but writing works somehow, often it works very well. It leads to many misunderstandings about my capacities by pretty much everyone except those who’ve seen me at home.

I find it very frustrating.

I sometimes wonder, while the etiology is clearly different, if there are parallels with those labeled autistic who are non-verbal, but who can write beautifully.

To be clear, I can talk, with great effort…it is simply that generally the effort is not worth it…as the cost is too high and I become far too exhausted.

I wrote about the severe speech problems in May of last year when I discovered I was not alone with the phenomena. I found others on benzo boards also afflicted with Dysarthria, as a result of drug withdrawal, though that is not the only speech problem we have, there are other issues that I don’t believe fall under that label, but I’m not a neuroscientist so I’m not sure.

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder resulting from neurological injury (in this case iatrogenic injury from the drugs), characterized by poor articulation. After I wrote the post others wrote to me and shared they were struck with it too and it was not just benzo people, other psych meds seem to do it as well.

I’m always struck by how completely different classes of psych drugs can have such similar withdrawal syndromes. A friend who studies the brain science behind it says it’s because they all cause autonomic dysregulation. It may be caused in different ways by the different drugs, but the symptoms still end up being very similar.

Some of the speech problems I had have mostly cleared up, like I really don’t stutter anymore and I can articulate clearly, but there are other symptoms that still make talking very difficult and I’m still unable to speak comfortably pretty much most of the time. The difference now is that I can force it if I must and on occasion I can talk a bit if I simply want to. There was a long while I just couldn’t talk at will at all, though it’s always fluctuated in severity and there were always occasions I could talk a bit. I suspect that which is strictly called  Dysarthria is gone. Like most of our symptoms many different things come into play in this instance with the speech it includes cognitive difficulties.

Okay…another little update. Hope everyone had a good holiday.

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters