20 December 2015

Involuntary Silence

Sometimes, I can't talk. 

There are words in my head, but I can't get them out. And there aren't a lot of them in my head, either. 

It's a PTSD thing, apparently. Stress bypasses the language centres of the brain. I'm not being stubborn or wilful, though it looks like that. I just... can't. 

I looked back, and it has happened before at the same time of year. Must be an anniversary reaction of some kind, though I don't know what triggers it. At least with the antidepressants I'm not also listening to the Mean Girls, I'm just... Silent. Wishing I wasn't. Hurting, without knowing why. 

I sedated myself heavily and slept for most of a day and night. And then I could whisper. And slowly, I could talk. Quietly... Then at normal volume. I still don't have a lot of words, but the silence has lifted. 

If you encounter someone who is under a lot of strain and cannot talk, just bring them tea and make sure they are safe and wait patiently for it to pass. The worst episode for me lasted three full days. Sometimes writing or texting simple things is easier than trying to speak. Whispering is easier than talking. Being shouted at or told to stop being dumb makes it worse. 

It's not a common thing, as I understand it, but it certainly isn't unheard of. 

So, to those who have patiently waited out my quiet, asked yes or no questions so I could just nod or shake my head, who refrained from showing their frustration at my inability to speak... Thank you. 

And for those who may run into this in the future ... Now you know a little bit of what it's like inside the quiet. It's uncomfortable, but easier than trying to speak. It'll pass faster if you don't fuss. 

Welcome to the weirdness that is PTSD. 


  1. We're sorry you experience this - and no, we, your parents, cannot imagine you silent... we are grateful for those who ar patient with you and for the information provided for others who may experience similar situations! Hugs from home!

  2. I understand it is fairly common in children with assorted sensory issues etc. (clearly that was NOT me)
    Having even a little bit of sign language certainly helps... Yay for signing with babies!
    It's been a very hard week. I will be asking my psychiatrist about increasing my meds during the winter months, cause this just plain stinks.
    Love you guys.


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