The double trouble
The transition between childhood and adulthood is generally acknowledged as one of the toughest and most frustrating times of life.
You feel strong and independent one day, yet on another day you have real self-doubts.
You grow at an incredible rate, both physically and mentally. Your height, weight, and appearance all change and both what you think about and how you think changes. It is a time of considerable mental and physical challenge for you and for your family.
Friends become increasingly important.
Your family doesn't seem to understand or appreciate your growing need for independence.
It's important to belong - to be able to identify and connect with your peer group.
There's pressure to wear the right clothes, with the right labels, and to have the right appearance. Everywhere you look - TV, magazines, shops - you are confronted by advertisements which show you what you should be doing/wearing/saying/buying. This is of course a real problem for parents and can become an area of tension at home!
And what about the increasing educational pressures? Exams, course work, results, choosing subjects... the list goes on!
All these changes and challenges affect self-confidence.
... and the stammer
By 16 years of age, a person who stammers will have had a great deal of experience of stammering and, for many, these experiences have been quite negative:
The ever-present threat of being teased, bullied or not accepted.
Constant efforts to hide, avoid, or minimise the stuttering and the frustration when that doesn't work.
The failed promises that you would "grow out of it" - and the dream that one day this could still come true after all.
Maybe you have tried your best with therapy but it just hasn't worked out yet for lots of perfectly good reasons.
All that "helpful" advice! Sounds great, sounds easy but it doesn't work or it's impossible to do or it feels stupid and anyway other people really don't understand.
So, with all that negative stuff around, how can we find some good news?
Of course there are good things, too. There are opportunities and options out there and there is some useful advice to be had. The important point is that each person is an individual, and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another.The vicious cycle