Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How the quality of voice affects the quality of life.






When the person with a voice disorder is trying to live a (so to speak) normal life, he/she is definitely experiencing some difficulties in communication with others; nevertheless, at their work place and even in their family lives. They are usually very frustrated with their voice which is not, by far, sounding the same as before. They are also not very well understood and are, quite often, being asked several times to repeat or to reiterate what they were trying to say. That makes those people with voice disorders understandably very irritable and overall, very emotional. They feel like they are handicapped (in a manner of speaking), and understandably so.

Some of them are so disillusioned that they carry with them a sign, advising the strangers that they have difficulty to speak. Others who have lost the hope to regain a normal voice are even starting to learn sign language. How sad is that? 

A lot of those people have lost hope with respect of living their normal lives ever again. Some of them are even trying to pretend that everything is per normal and they are claiming that it does not affect their emotions and their everyday living. They are "troopers", of course, but they are still in denial. And finally, there are those who want to fight to the end and, to their credit, are looking for salvation of their vocal problem(s) until they find it.

It does, however, take time, energy, determination and, sometimes, also does require financial obligation. Not all of the voice disorders are completely curable, however, in many cases, if nothing else, the voice condition could be dramatically improved; and thus, the quality of life could be also improved exponentially.  The person gains their confidence back, which helps them to maintain their personal, social and work relationships.

Many years ago, I received the student; a woman in her early thirties, who desperately wanted to meet a future husband and raise a family. Her voice was very weak and she was getting really tired after speaking for only 10 minutes in person, or over the phone. Due to that condition, her confidence was quite shut down and, along with that, her spirit appeared to be pretty low. Nevertheless, her body language was reflecting exactly that.

Her head was always down and she was standing and walking, slouching her back. Given all that, the possibility of attracting “the Man of her dreams” was quite remote. So she embarked on my course. For the first 10 hours, I had to put her through the structure and routine of the voice support, structure, placement and projection. We were reading all kinds of scripts including commercials, theater plays, and just colloquial texts.

Then we did improvisations on what we have read. When we embarked on the next ten hour course, we were learning the everyday speech; teaching her brain to reciprocate the structure on a (so to speak) “automatic pilot”. Before we finished (in total, 20 hours), she went to what’s called a speed dating. By the end of the evening, she hit it off with one of the men there and ended up talking to him until 6:00 a.m. in the morning, sitting together with him in a 24 hour donut shop.

Once I’ve learned that, I knew that mine and her journey was complete. And now, indeed, the sky would be the limit for her. I do not know what happened next, as our course came to the end. I just know that she was not shy or timid anymore and her voice was holding up nicely and for hours on end. My guess would be that she is happily married now and she has completely forgotten that she once had a mild voice disorder, which was greatly affecting her life and preventing her from achieving her live goals. 

So for those still with voice disorders, the best is, hopefully, yet to come.
Just maintain the hope and look for a solution. You never know; It might be just around the corner.

No comments:

Post a Comment