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Can speech and writing become affected by stress?

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Q. I worked in a skilled Nursing facility as a charge nurse. My duties were to take care of 18-25 patients; some were 3 days to one week post-op. For a week I had been having headaches. I started having difficulties with my speech and charting. They seemed to be connected the pattern in my speech was the same as when I wrote something. Then I got to where I had trouble concentrating, I was not even able to figure out the correct time to give scheduled medications. I knew I needed time off. I got it in a form of being made to resign from the facility on May 22. Two hours after leaving the facility I went to visit a friend, she made me call my psychiatrist and he told me to go to the ER at the local hospital. I ended up having a CAT-scan and labs drawn. All showed normal except an old scull FX from childhood. The next day I saw my PCP he tells me I sound like someone learning a new language. He asked for an MRI, but this showed the same results as the CAT-scan. It took me over a month to start to speak almost normal again, I still slip back into the speech and writing difficulties at times. I have not been able to work yet; I have been on hold awaiting a release from the doctor to be allowed to find work, it’s been almost 3 months. I know prior to this I would have minor bouts of speech difficulties, but nothing to this extent as I experienced this time. My question here is could this have been all stress related or as a friend of mine has mentioned perhaps it may be related to the old head injury? Is there a residual long term effect from head trauma? (I flew over a truck as a kid, landed on the tailgate breaking both femurs, then head first on the pavement behind the truck ending up with a skull FX; my horse went through the windshield.)

Can speech and writing become affected by stress?

Answered by on -

A.

Your speech and writing should not be affected by stress in the way that you describe. My advice for you is to make an immediate appointment with a neurosurgeon or any other doctor who specializes in head traumas. Seeing your PCP is not enough and he or she usually does not have the specialized knowledge that is needed to fully understand what might be going on with you. Ask your PCP for a referral and definitely see a doctor who specializes in head or brain injuries. I wish you luck.

Can speech and writing become affected by stress?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Can speech and writing become affected by stress?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/22/can-speech-and-writing-become-affected-by-stress/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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