Our well-being, our happiness, and our sense of self is intrinsically tied to being able to express our emotions, our anger, experiences and memories. And knowing that someone is listening, who holds it in regard, is interested, cares.
The human need for love and acceptance resides in everyone. So does the fear of embarrassment, exclusion, and depression. For people with speech defects like stuttering, the fear of isolation from family and friends and the possibility of depression is further exaggerated by the constant threat of not being able to communicate.
The first step towards recovery perhaps is the acceptance of one’s problems. Identifying it and allowing yourself to seek a life that doesn’t feel numb and isn’t dictated by fear. The stigma that society unfairly associates with speech defects and with depression can be crippling and can stop people from acknowledging that they need help.
It is okay to need help. It is okay to ask for it. Whether from a speech therapist, a therapist, family member or a friend. No one simply snaps out of depression. It takes time, might take years. Be kinder to yourself. You need not feel guilty and it most certainly is not your fault. As difficult and painful as it might be, talking about depression takes the hurt and shame out of the condition. Afterall, it is a clinical/medical condition. One that can be cured.
As children who stutter transition into adolescence, they become more vulnerable to depression and other psychological difficulties. The fear of bullying, negative reactions from their peers keep them from seeking help. Adult stutterers suffering from depression have carried this habit of stifling their emotional needs to ‘fit in’.
Do not be stifled by your need to conform to what society deems suitable. Do not let your mind imprison your future. Because, irrespective of how you tell your story, the people who love you, will listen. They do care.