Maria stopped talking all of a sudden at age 12, there was no symptom of a health condition that would be responsible for such, or a case of an underlying long time health complication that had manifested with time and developed into a speech problem.
It just started one Monday morning in school when she had tried speaking to answer the quiz questions in class but no sound was made despite her many attempts. Her parents had to be called into school when her form mistress noticed the speech malfunction in her, she also informed the Johnsons of the drastic change in Maria’s lifestyle as Maria was always the jovial out spoken child but she was now withdrawn and shy. This situation came as a shock to the family and despite the numerous hospital visits and check up rounds, there was nothing that the doctors could point to as the cause of her conditions.
The last doctor they visited suggested therapy as he believed it was more a psychological problem than physical.
He asked her parents to check with her if she had experienced a trauma or witnessed something traumatizing, because traumatic events could have physical representations such as speech impediment. This was most times a coping mechanism he explained, a way to keep themselves safe.
That evening Maria’s mum decided to follow the doctors advice and she questioned her daughter in a non-confrontational manner, only asking her questions that would expose any sign of trauma. She told her that if she didn’t feel comfortable she could drop a note for her on the dining table.
The next morning, there was a note on the table and the contents made Mrs Johnson weep, she was devastated to discover that her cousin who usually came around at weekends from school had been sexually abusing her daughter and threatening to kill her. The boy was the epitome of Innocence and one would hardly believe he was capable of such.
That Saturday she waited for him to come around as usual and in front of the whole family she confronted him for his heinous act which he denied until the letter was presented alongside test results for traces of sexual abuse. The police van arrived at that time and whisked him off to deal with him according to the law. Maria shed tears of relief at his arrest. A few weeks after his arrest, Maria’s speech impediment was cured and she was well on her way to recovery through therapy.
Mental health can be disrupted by a number of reasons, mostly trauma related. This can be caused by physical circumstances like abuse( sexual, verbal, physical) or by loss of family, lifestyle disruption through war or natural disasters. People react differently to situations as these, most become a shell of their former self others turn to maniac habits to cope.
Mental health is highly important as it governs most activities of a human, it should not be neglected as this can lead to adverse effects. Luckily the health world has grown to such terms that there are treatments for mental health issues through therapy or drugs that help deal with anxiety many other results of poor mental health.