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Psychiatric Study on Psychogenic Dysphonia and/or Aphonia

Jiro Suzuki

The clinical psychiatric study on 38 patients of psychogenic dysphonia including aphonia is reported. The patients’ ages ranged from 21 to 74 years old. Twenty-eight were females, most of whom were in their early thirties and nine were males, most of whom were their fifties. Twenty-one patients complained of dysphonia only, three patients had dysphonia with other symptoms and 11 patients developed dysphonia with other neuropsychiatric disorders.

The main 4 causes of dysphonia were conflicts with their family members, troubles at their work place, difficulties of singing or announcing clearly, money trouble, but no distinct reasons in some cases. But some physical or mental disorders with no vocal cord disorders were recorded. Most patients recovered after 10 to 40 interviews during a month to 8 years at the longest. The symptoms of three aphonia patients who spoke not at all but seemed bright and could write very quickly and skillfully, neither could be assessed objectively.

The methods of treatment for these patients comprised accepting supportive and cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy mainly clonazepam. The term “dysphonia/aphonia” first appeared in the psychiatric literature at the changing age of European traditional society around the end of the 19th century.

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