Aphonia is the loss of voice, a unique human ability to produce sounds. Voice production facilitates communication between people.
Partial or complete loss of voice can occur for the following reasons:
- Acute laryngitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis,
- Inhalation of smoke (gas),
- Neck injuries,
- Foreign objects in the larynx,
- Endocrine disorders (thyroid dysfunction),
- Strain of vocal cords,
- Malignant neoplasms in the larynx,
- Breathing cold air,
- Voice mutation in adolescent boys,
- Emotional shock, etc.
The organ through which a person emits sounds is the larynx, so its diseases directly affect voice loss.
The most common laryngeal disease is laryngitis. It is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the larynx, accompanied by swelling and thickening of the vocal cords, reducing their ability to vibrate when air passes (hence the hoarse voice).
Symptoms of laryngitis include:
- Pain and dryness,
- Throat irritation,
- Difficulty breathing,
- Dry barking cough,
- Weakness and headache,
- Elevated temperature.
Causes of laryngitis include mouth breathing in cold weather, hypothermia, colds, allergies, smoking, alcohol consumption, strain from shouting or singing, anatomical structure, gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Psychosomatics of Voice Loss
Having a voice allows a person to express their position, attitude, thoughts, and emotions through sounds. Therefore, its absence prevents this expression. What could be the psychosomatic reasons that prevent a person from expressing themselves?
To answer this question, let’s recall what the organ containing the vocal cords and larynx – the throat – symbolizes.
Louise Hay believes that the human throat symbolizes the path of self-expression. She also considers the throat a channel of creativity.
Psychologist Liz Bourbeau writes that the throat connects the heart and the head, i.e., “self-love” and “I am.” This means, the author continues, that a person is obliged to create their life according to their needs, even if someone does not like it.
Psychologists have identified such common causes of voice loss on a nervous basis: a person cannot express something, express their emotions for fear of being misunderstood; fear of public speaking (words “stuck” in the throat); fear of being unheard or offending; self-anger for speaking out.
Author Debbie Shapiro sees causes of voice loss in strong fear or anger, which arises when a person is not heard. These emotions can especially become the cause of pathology in children due to problems in relationships with parents.
Sometimes a person suffering from voice loss feels that someone (a close person or acquaintance) is pressuring them to say something (literally “taken by the throat”). The person is overwhelmed by strong emotions of anger, but they restrain themselves and remain silent.
Liz Bourbeau explains psychosomatic voice loss as a consequence of emotional shock: a person whose sensitivity has been strongly affected wants to express themselves but cannot say what their heart wants to say. The psychologist believes that these excessive efforts lead to despondency and are wasted, as the sounds do not come out.
Dr. V. Sinelnikov writes that the human throat symbolizes the ability to stand up for oneself, to ask for what we want. According to him, the state of the throat reflects the state of a person’s relationships with the people around them: “healthy” (excellent) relationships – a healthy throat.
Also, according to Sinelnikov, the throat is an area of the body where human creative energy is concentrated: it is the channel of expressiveness and creativity. This area is associated with a person’s self-expression.
In this regard, Sinelnikov characterizes people with a sore throat as those who cannot express themselves, their attitude, and cannot stand up for themselves.
Psychological Causes of Laryngitis
It is necessary to remember that inflammation in the language of metaphysics means the filling of the corresponding organ with “inflamed feelings,” when “boiling” emotions accumulate and get stuck, causing a physical ailment.
What emotions cause the psychosomatic ailment of the larynx, responsible for human voice formation?
Louise Hay writes that the basis of psychosomatic laryngitis is strong irritation, fear of speaking out, or contempt for authorities.
Another cause of psychosomatic laryngitis, according to Dr. V. Sinelnikov, is the feeling of one’s own inadequacy. He asserts that all complexes of inadequacy go through the throat because a person constantly scolds and criticizes themselves, dissatisfied with themselves (their appearance or actions).
As psychological causes of laryngitis, Liz Bourbeau highlights the following: a person does not allow themselves to speak because they are afraid (afraid that they will not be heard or that their words will not be liked by someone), they try to “swallow” their words, but they get stuck in the throat; fears of not living up to someone’s expectations regarding words and speeches; fears before an authority in some area; angry at themselves for saying too much, speaking out; fears of rejection in response to their request, etc.
Liz Bourbeau also explains the psychological causes of other symptoms related to the throat. Thus, difficulty breathing, in her opinion, means that there are few aspirations in a person’s life. The cause of pain in the throat, the psychologist suggests finding through the answer to the question “What situation could not be swallowed, which situation does not go down the throat?”. And a cough indicates an easily irritable person with a developed “internal” critic, who always criticizes and scolds themselves.
B. Baginski and S. Shalila see the cause of psychosomatic laryngitis in the refusal of communication and clarification of relationships due to fear of encountering resistance in response to open expression of one’s opinion. The resulting anger and annoyance, the authors believe, should be expressed in another way. Because external annoyance, as a rule, indicates an internal conflict that needs to be resolved.
Ways of Healing Voice Loss on a Nervous Basis
It would seem simple: free the larynx, responsible for the voice (express stuck words and free suppressed emotions of indignation), and everything will pass!
Why then does it not always work?
Probably because it is not enough just to release (shout somewhere in a secluded place or in the forest, turn on your favorite song and sing very loudly, etc., as advised on the Internet).
If you have released emotions, but inside, in the soul, there is still discomfort associated with your relationship with close people, then these negative emotions may return.
Therefore, the main thing is to remove the cause of the discomfort. And this reason is in your head, in thoughts (emotion usually arises after a thought, as your reaction to your thought).
For example, for some reason, a person thought that they were not wanted to be listened to (this is not yet a fact), and resentment appears against those who supposedly do not want to listen.
Often a person restrains themselves, forces themselves to be silent when words are bursting out. Yes, this happens in life almost for everyone. What to do? Keep silent and harm yourself or say and harm another?
First question: is it impossible to say what you want calmly? It’s one thing when a person shouts at you, another when they calmly express their opinion. Which option do you choose? Choose the same for others.
By the way, now you can find a lot of different ways to calm your thoughts and emotions (count to 10, breathing exercises, etc.). Taking these methods on board will only benefit you.
Second question: why did you decide that if you say what you want to say to a person, it will hurt them? Isn’t the bitter truth better than sweet deception? What would you prefer? Each of us can cite many examples from life when deception made the situation worse.
Regarding the situation when the loss of voice is associated with the absence of the possibility of creative self-realization. Here there can be two options: either you yourself forbid yourself to do what you want (you have to work, not draw) or someone else does not allow you ( “this is not a serious business” etc.).
Remember that a person is born with a specific task: development. At the same time, each person has their unique abilities, inclinations, which require their development. If a person was born with the ability to draw beautifully (sing, sew, compose, create something), doesn’t it mean that this is their business (since this ability manifested in them)? And who said that this business cannot be profitable? If you become a master of your business, then any business will eventually bring profit.
Hence, the conclusion: in terms of creativity and self-expression, one should not “step on one’s throat” and not allow others to do so.
Even if you cannot fully devote yourself to your business for now, then, probably, you can devote a certain time to it. Start as a hobby and develop in this direction. Many do just that. Persistent and determined go further, turning a hobby into a worthy business.
There is always a way out, as well as a path to healing. The main thing is to want to find it.