Selective Mutism

5 Things Selective Mutism Is NOT

1. SM Is Not Shyness. Shyness has become a catchall term to describe anybody who is not the life of the party. That is a little bit of an exaggeration, but when people hear words like introverted, shy, or antisocial, they associate the same types of similar negative associations to these words. Each of these has a distinct meaning. The accepted characteristic of introversion (as opposed to extroversion) in people is a tendency for them to give out their energy in social interactions and to build up their energy when they are alone. On the other hand, shy people...
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Selective Mutism

How To Be Friends With Someone With SM

I want to talk about how to communicate with someone with SM. When I think back on my life and remember the friends that had the most impact on me, or at least the friends I thought “got” me, they were always the people who were the most comfortable with themselves. They were very accepting and non-judgmental. It takes a special kind of person to intuitively know how to act around SMs. However, if you don’t know how, it is easy to learn, and it is a great way to act around people in general. What should you NOT...
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Selective Mutism

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone!

I was recently reading online that children with SM have difficulty speaking to people they’re already not talking to. In other words, it’s easier to start talking to a stranger right off the bat than speak to someone with whom they’ve already established a pattern of silence. It’s a really interesting point, and someone asked why this was. I can tell you that this was definitely the case with me. When I was a senior in high school, I was talking a little bit to my classmates, but I was still very withdrawn and suffering from various issues –...
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Selective Mutism

Drugs and Alcohol and SM

As sort of a continuation from the previous article, where I mentioned medication can help as a tool. Drugs and alcohol can be in many ways similar to taking medication. Let me just say, in case you are reading this and you’re a bit slow, DRUGS ARE BAD. I am not condoning drug taking, but I’d like to share my experiences with drugs, which may be limited, but hopefully will provide some insights, and you can take what you can out of it. My former roommates smoked weed every day (and snorted cocaine sometimes, but that’s another story), and...
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Selective Mutism

Medication and Therapy for SM

A question I’m often asked is what I think about medication for SM. Some people are very dogmatic in their belief that medication should never be used in children, like messing with the batter before the cookies are even baked. If you are like that, then more power to you because the natural ways are of course ideal. I do believe medication can help when used correctly. It can definitely be a great tool to physiologically lower your levels of anxiety. However, we have to realize it’s only a tool, not the solution itself. If your child is young...
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