Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Query re trauma label

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Question
Hi,

I had awful health-problems for many years. I got cured except for one unpleasant symptom. I find I sometimes talk aloud, uttering my thoughts, and only realise I have done so when others react negatively to my utterances, either that or I speak my thoughts out loud before I can stop in time.Even worse, the words I utter tend to be offensive to others in some way, whether sexual or otherwise - and, the more I associate with groups of others, the more likely this sort of thing happens. (I suspect that, due to past trauma, my subconscious wants to avoid the stress of human contact and so it gets me to say unpleasant things at random moments in order to get me expelled from human contact by others). I am wondering what condition this symptom is connected to? Also, what can I do to remove this? I would want to avoid medication and am hoping for other solutions, though I am open to all suggestions. Thanks!

Answer
Geoff, why don't you try to develop a simple habit -- replacing conversational spontaneity with rehearsal.  That is, when alone, practice talking in your head, only then saying it aloud. You can use body language to indicate that you "have the floor" and are about to say something.  

When you get that into your habit-base, then add a censorship function. That is, if it doesn't come out right in your mind, don't say it aloud.

It will take time. Let me know how it works for you.  

The aspect of putting a label on whatever speech pattern you have will not be nearly as helpful as developing a strategy for dealing with it.

All the best, and thanks for asking us,

Alan

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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