When I was younger I was diagnosed with something called Selective Mutism.
Selective mutism is a severe anxiety disorder in which a person is unable to speak in certain social situations. These can be with classmates in school, or maybe to relatives which they do not see very often. Selective mutism usually starts during childhood (as it did for me).
A person with selective mutism does not refuse to speak to others, or choose not to speak at certain times. They are unable to speak. People with selective mutism suffers from feelings of panic and anxiety. Talking will become impossible for them, when they are suffering from this. Some people with selective mutism feel as they are on stage constantly.
I had selective mutism mostly in school, but also in some other places. I didn’t speak to any one of my teachers or classmates when I was in school.
Selective mutism began for me when I started preschool. I didn’t speak to anyone except for my sister and two of my friends at preschool. It puzzled my parents that I didn’t speak at preschool, because I always talked at home. I stayed quiet for many years at school before my parents found out that I had selective mutism.
This is one of the first times that I have shared with anyone that I had selective mutism. I have always been a bit embarrassed by it, so that is why I haven’t told anyone about it before. But I have decided to share bits of it now in hopes that if anyone is struggling with this, that they will know that they are not alone.