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Slurred Speech From Anxiety: Causes and Treatments

Denise Griswold, MSc, LCAS
Slurred Speech From Anxiety: Causes and Treatments

Many anxiety symptoms can make a person feel like there is something wrong with their brain. Our brains are arguably the most important part of our bodies, and deep down many people with anxiety have a fear that their brain may fail them. They worry that something is wrong with their brain, like a tumor or multiple sclerosis, and that worry causes them even more anxiety.

Slurred speech is an example of an anxiety symptom that can be incredibly frightening. But it's common with those suffering from anxiety attacks, and in most cases it says nothing about the health of your brain.

Causes of Anxiety Slurred Speech

Slurred speech, also known as dysarthria, is when a person’s words become jumbled together and may be difficult to understand. This is caused by the muscles that are used to create speech not functioning properly or to their best ability. 

Slurred speech without alcohol is linked to a variety of diagnoses that are cause for concern, including:

If you think there's any chance that you may suffer from these or any related conditions, see a doctor. You should never leave your brain's health up to chance, because your brain is simply too important to take those types of risks.

However, it should be noted that in most cases where slurred speech is caused by the diagnoses above, the slurred speech is long lasting. It may fade in and out over the course of a lifespan, but rarely a few hours or less. It's possible, which is why this isn't a risk you should take to chance, but it's uncommon.

For some people, anxiety can cause slurred speech, as well as issues that resemble slurred speech. All of the following are potential links between stress/anxiety and slurring of words:

These are just some of the reasons that anxiety may be responsible for slurred speech. It should also be noted that some slurred speech once in a while is normal even in those without anxiety. But when you have anxiety, it's easy to feel as though your problems speaking mean "something more" than what someone without anxiety would think.

Slurred Speech From Anxiety Isn't Dangerous

While it's important to talk with your doctor about the cause of your slurred speech, slurred speech caused by anxiety is not dangerous. It's not a sign that you have something else coming, or that your brain will somehow be inefficient for handling life tasks in the future.

There isn't a specific treatment for slurred speech because slurred speech is simply a response to anxiety. One thing you should do, however, is avoid forcing the words out. If your speech is slurring, forcing yourself to speak is going to add more stress. The more you try to force out words that aren't coming out naturally, the more you'll find that the words become more troubling as your brain becomes more stressed as a result.

The best course of action is to learn how to cope with anxiety and learn to properly manage it.

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