Mutism is a characterized by the inability to speak which may be due to neurogenic or psychogenic factors.

For instance, neurogenic mutism is caused by a certain trauma or damage to the brain. One case is a boy who could not speak after waking up from surgery. Other neurogenic factors include traumatic brain injury, seizures, medications, dementia, and other nervous system disorders. On the other hand, psychogenic mutism or selective mutism is characterized by suddenly being unable to speak without any physiological concern. For instance, a 6-year-old child suddenly stopped speaking and could not utter any word even if she wanted to. The therapist found out that her uncle sexually abused her and that it should be their “little secret”. This confusing and traumatic incident led to her psychogenic mutism.

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