Selective Mutism Memoirs and Biographies

Selective Mutism Memoirs and Biographies

People suffering from Selective Mutism are often misunderstood. As they go through life with their condition, they experience a variety of difficulties associated with this disorder. These are their stories. These vivid Selective Mutism memoirs and biographies attempt to portray the severe anxiety and paralysis of voice and body that these people encounter at every expectation to speak. They also try to explain the behaviors commonly associated with the condition.

Without further ado, here’s a roundup of Selective Mutism Memoirs and Biographies.

Learning to Play the Game: My Journey Through Silence

by Jonathan Kohlmeier

This is a coming-of-age memoir of the author’s young life living with Selective Mutism – an extreme form of social anxiety. This book started out as a school project at the Rockland Country Day School in Congers, NY and transformed into a memoir aimed to educate others about this disorder. It also offers insight into the larger world of mental health.

As a child, Jon was so afraid that he could barely speak outside of his home. His story of struggle turns into triumph as he is able to eventually join the debate team in high school. He records his story of triumph starting from he was in kindergarten to his high school graduation. His chronicle consists of prose, text messages, lyrics, photographs, and even his mother’s own recollection of his most traumatic events. Through this book, the author sends a message to everyone — to the student who might have sat next to him in school, the student who might have made fun of the quiet girl on the bus, or the boy who sits alone at the lunch table: you either learn to play the game, or the game plays you. But the best part is that once you learn to play the game, you can still be yourself.

Kohlmeier hopes that this book can offer guidance and support to any child who is experiencing any form of social anxiety. He states that “The point of the book is outreach. The more people that get to hear about mental health, the better.”

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How I Overcame Selective Mutism

by Liza P

Liza experienced the crippling effects of selective mutism from early childhood to her teens and early adult life. The condition had a significant impact on her life and now she wants to tell her story. In this memoir, she shows how it feels to have selective mutism, and bravely explains her embarrassed feelings behind her SM.

Through this book, the author wants to bring hope and understanding to parents, teachers, siblings, and individuals suffering from selective mutism.

This book offers an extraordinary view into the thoughts and feelings of a child growing up with SM. It attempts to explain the many behaviors associated with this condition. It also offers tips on how to best manage this disorder in children and young adults.

The author states “I hope that by detailing some of my experiences throughout different parts of my life, I have sparked a new desire or hope in someone’s life. Thank you for helping me open up and take this heavy weight off of my chest.”

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I Have Something to Say!: An Exploration into the Heart and Mind of my Selective Mutism

Kathryn Harper

Kathryn Harper endured the social stigma of selective mutism as a child when very little was known about this often misunderstood condition. She developed further complications in her teens and early adult years as a result of her untreated anxiety.

Today, Kathryn’s primary goal is to share her unique perspective on this condition. She was able to develop this view using the benefit of hindsight, and a willingness to explore her past. The author hopes that her personal experiences in this book will provide insights and a greater understanding of people whose lives are affected in some way by selective mutism.

She says “I have wanted to write this book since 1985. As a six-year-old girl, I had no idea that selective mutism even existed, but my silence was palpable and inside of it I was developing all kinds of conversations, explanations, questions, and insights …”

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Persona Medusa: A Tale of Selective Mutism & Social Anxiety

DJ Sharry

This is the story of a boy, who upon starting school is struck by selective mutism. The overwhelming anxiety is so strong that he stops speaking and is paralyzed of all expression. The debilitating effects of SM follow him as he leaves school, starts college, travels, enters the workforce, makes and loses friends and falls in love. With his marriage coming up, he must first confront the anxiety that first confronted him on the school classroom threshold.

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Drifting in and Out of my Two Worlds

Jessica Thorpe

This is a fascinating story of a girl suffering from Selective Mutism and how she overcame the condition. The book highlights the stark contrasts between her lives in the public, silent environment in which people with selective mutism exist, and the relatively normal and even slightly boisterous life they lead on their own terms. This is a captivating journey through the life of a girl with SM, filled with distressing twists of bullying, a near-death experience, and how she spoke in front of hundreds of people while in the grip of mutism. The memoir is more of a coming of age story filled with love, hope, friendship, and many lessons about life in general.

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