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Stuttering, Pain and Battle Fatigue Part 1 in a 2 Part SeriesDr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
When I was in severe pain I stuttered badly. It seemed to me that all the pain neurons in my head were repeatedly firing and my normal speech was destroyed.
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I guess most people understand the first two but how does Battle Fatigue get into the picture. Well it isn’t, it’s Terror Fatigue and rightfully so. We Combat Infantrymen were scared to death most of the time.
I had heard somewhere along the 18 months I was in the Combat Infantry that some guys went mute and some stuttered so badly that they were sent to the rear areas where they would NOT be a hazard to the other troops by not being able to functionally speak and pass along orders. That would cause an impossible situation in a battle zone.
I was one of the very lucky ones in WWII if you can say 3 months in combat is lucky for anyone. I did have my eardrums ruptured several times on both sides by artillery, mortars, four barrel anti-aircraft, rifle and machine gun fire.
When I got home my luck ran out. I have been in 4 near fatal car accidents, none my own fault. I’ve had the equivalent of a broken neck at least three times and why I am still able to read, write and even think is truly a collection of miracles.
For most of these accidents, I was severely injured with pain running out my ears. For treatment I was addicted to Phenobarbital, Valium and Codeine, anti-depressants and a variety of other painkillers.
When I was in severe pain I stuttered badly. It seemed to me that all the pain neurons in my head were repeatedly firing and my normal speech was destroyed. For someone who made a good living as a Medical School Professor of Physiology, Pharmacology and Toxicology this caused career-ending fright. Normal speech without stuttering was a severe mental chore. I found that if I deliberately spoke very slowly I could almost avoid stuttering. This was arduous work!
Obviously I have survived all of these accidents (not really!). When my youngest son was about ten years old he started to stutter. He was a very bright kid and I determined that his brain function was much faster than his speech muscles could handle. I had known of some people who stuttered that could sing without stuttering. I couldn’t figure out this either but I finally told son Paul, “deliberately speak slowly while you speak each word.” He looked at me like I had hit him with a bat. He, after a short while, got out “I guess I can try that”. That got out O.K. despite the stuttering consonants G, C, T. I think he was quite surprised with himself.
I checked my computer about stuttering which is very germane at this time. I found out that 3,000,000 people in the U.S. stutter and that includes 1% of adults. There seems to be at least 3 causative factors: 1 – Developmental, the brain working faster than the muscles; 2 – Neurogenic, after a stroke or other brain trauma; 3 – Psychogenic, from emotional trauma. In my own case it was extreme pain.
I found that certain medicines had/have been used. These are drugs for Epilepsy, anxiety and depression. These drugs are all brain depressants. I am surprised to know that for these three medical conditions Cannabis/Marijuana works very well!
SCIENTIST DON’T KNOW WHY WE STUTTER.
DOES ANYBODY KNOW IF CANNABIS HELPS THIS??
Link to part 2: Feb-08-2011 Stuttering (Continued) - Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry. He was a Professor of Pharmacology, employed by the University of London for 2 years, during which time he trained the first doctors in Tanzania. After training doctors, he became an Osteopathic Physician, as well as a Forensic Toxicologist.
Before any of that, Phil Leveque was a Combat Infantryman in the U.S. Army in WWII. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 60 years after the war, and specialized in treating Veterans with PTSD during his years as a doctor in Molalla, Oregon. Do you have a question, comment or story to share with Dr. Leveque?
More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole". Order the book by mail by following this link: DOGFACE SOLDIER OF WWII If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
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