NPR’s Diane Rehm on Spasmodic Dysphonia

While not related to the singing voice, per se, Spasmodic Dysphonia is a very serious neurological condition which causes spasms in the musculature of the larynx.

I wanted to share this video with NPR Broadcaster Diane Rehm, who suffers from the disorder, mainly for the compelling reason of the effect of her voice loss upon her stress and anxiety levels.

The voice is one of the central parts of our being, and when we are not able to speak or sing, it can cause a tremendous amount of life stress. Rehm mentions having to go on Paxil (an anti-depressant) as well as Klonopin (an anti-anxiety medication).  Singers who suffer with compromised or even ill voices can experience many symptoms of anxiety and stress OUTSIDE the studio walls. Voice teachers need to be aware of these psychological impacts and move ahead with caution for the person’s vocal and mental well-being.

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