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Neurogenic Stuttering vs Psychogenic Stuttering: Know the Causes and Treatment

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

The quote, "Being a stutterer feels like being a writer without a pen!" can sometimes aptly describe the emotions that one feels about stuttering. It's hard on the best of days to live with one, and almost impossible on the worst. There are two primary kinds of stutters, that is, Neurogenic, and Psychogenic. So what is the difference between the two of them? Why do they exist, what's the cause behind them? Is stuttering caused by emotional trauma possible? Is there a treatment for Neurogenic stuttering? What are some Neurogenic stuttering causes? What are some Psychogenic stuttering symptoms? Is acquired Neurogenic stuttering possible? All of these questions will be answered here.

Neurogenic vs. Psychogenic; What you need to know

Neurogenic stuttering is caused by Central nervous system damage and is often associated with other neurological deficits while psychogenic stuttering isn't caused by any neurologic factors. Neurogenic stuttering coexists with memory problems, speech and language formulation problems, and involuntary repetition of words, syllables, and sentences. These are not seen in psychogenic stuttering.

Neurogenic stutters

Neurogenic stutters are, as defined by medical sources, when the patient knows exactly what they want to say, but are unable to put it into words due to prolongation, cessation, or repetition of sounds. It is a subtype of acquired stuttering, which we will get to in a moment, and is often caused by different kinds of physical trauma to the spine or brain. It is a complex disorder that is still not fully understood, and trying to diagnose whether it's Neurogenic stuttering or psychogenic stuttering. Treatment typically requires an effort between speech therapists and neurologists, however, it isn't always impossible. It can also be caused due to damage to the nervous system. In many cases, you can spot it, however, some people may acquire Neurogenic stuttering without any brain trauma, which causes it to be hard to differentiate between Neurogenic stuttering and Psychogenic stuttering. Some things can cause Neurogenic stuttering, such as:

  1. Head trauma

  2. Strokes

  3. Cysts

  4. Tumors

  5. Halting of blood flow to the brain

  6. Drug usage

  7. Parkinson's, ALS, etc.

Psychogenic stutters

These are stutters that can arise due to a variety of reasons which primarily include the manifestation of psychological processes. It typically manifests itself in emotional trauma or emotional damage or stress. Unfortunately, there is no immediate cure for Psychogenic stuttering, but it can be managed and cured over a period of time. There are many techniques that can help maintain your stutter, and it will take time, so be patient with it. Stuttering may also occur due to social anxiety, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and many more. It can develop at any age and is hard to catch at times as a disorder.

Symptoms of Stuttering

  1. Prolonged words or syllables.

  2. Difficulty starting sentences, phrases, and words.

  3. Rapid eye blinks.

  4. Tremors of the eye, lips, and jaws.

Note: some symptoms of Stuttering will also overlap with Tourette's syndrome, however, they are not the same.

What is acquired Stuttering?

Acquired stuttering is the sudden appearance of a stutter within adults. It may be due to either Neurogenic or Psychogenic reasons.

Treatments for Neurogenic stuttering and Psychogenic Stuttering

There are different treatments for both Neurogenic stutters and Psychogenic Stutters. They cannot both be classified in the same field, thus, we have a subtopic for both, which you can choose to read

Some treatments for Neurogenic stuttering are:

One thing that you must know is that the treatment of any kind of stuttering, be it Neurogenic stuttering or Psychogenic stuttering, cannot be treated without a Speech therapist, and it is highly inadvisable to choose to treat it at home. These treatments are not written for you to do them yourself, but rather, to educate you on them.

  1. Slowing your speech: this includes not saying a lot of words with each breath you take and increasing how long you stretch each syllable.

  2. Putting emphasis on a gentle onset when beginning a sentence: this means relaxing the posture of your speech muscles, gently starting the first word, and an easy beginning to the exhalation.

  3. An understanding of the disorder: this can help friends and family be more and more patient with the person who is struggling with this. It can also help them with understanding what they’re going through and be more open to helping them through it.

  4. Simplifying your speech: this can help ensure that there are less syllables or words that will make you stutter.

  5. Medication: due to the cause being damage to the nerve cells or brain, another treatment for neurogenic stuttering is medication. Though this is not a heavily opted for choice, it is still one that is possible.

  6. Identification of the problem: Once you've identified why there is a stutter, it can be treated accordingly to ensure that there isn't any mistreatment.

Some treatments for Psychogenic stuttering are:

  1. Identifying why the patient is stuttering: Should it be due to social anxiety or something similar, it can be treated with the help of a therapist and speech therapist.

  2. Meditation: Meditation can help calm you down, making it easier for the words to come out.

  3. Enunciation: Learning to Enunciate your words and pronounce each syllable individually, especially the ones you find hard, may help you with your stutter.

  4. Yoga: Yoga can help calm your brain and your body down, making it easier when you need to speak and talk, and gives you a feeling of control that stuttering may take away.

  5. Breathing before speaking: This can help you regain a sense of self and help you control your speech.

  6. Speaking from your diaphragm: This is especially helpful for patients as it can help in controlling how quickly you speak as well as the quality of what you say. Aside from that, it relaxes it and helps you to feel better.


There are many different types of stuttering, all of which are completely understandable and okay. To know how to reduce them and how to ensuring that your stutter goes down a bit, click here .



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