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voice disorder no idea what it is!
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voice disorder no idea what it is!

hi i have a problem with my voice! i am a singer and about a year go on certain bits of certain songs it felt like my voice was struggling to come out, it was as if it was just cutting off and when i did get it out it was all squeaky and really tense my whole throat felt so tense and jaw and neck. it has got worse and if i am relaxed i am fine but as soon as i think about my throat the feeling comes on and it gets tight and i cant sing right or even talk right it cuts off all the time. sometimes even when i am not singing i get the feeling that my throat is closing up its a horrible feeling. if i sing normally like now i am fine its only when i am on stage signing using my mic, or practicing songs with my mic that i know i have done it on before! or i can be singing a song normal then suddenly think about my throat and it will start coming out strained like my throat is just closing tight. i have no idea what disorder this is! or what caused it. i can sometimes do a whole gig fine and prefect when i am relaxed and get into it and enjoy it but i will always worry that it might happen. i was stressed a while back as mum got cancer i moved house and we got married all in a year! but she is fine now and we are back to normal now, i don't know if that had anything to do with it. also at the time it started happening my husband use to come and do the music for us then he stopped ( am in a duo) and we did it our selfs my mic sometimes wasn't loud enough. any idea what voice disorder i have or whats wrong with me? i will see a ENT and go for anxiety counselling but would like to know what u think? have looked up things like mtd and vocal nodules but i don't know if its any of them. thanks jane
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First off, lets clear the air, I am not a speech pathologist. But if you saw my degree program, BA & MS you think I was. If you saw my Doctorate you would know for sure I was not.

That said. It does look/sound as though this issue is purely psychologically based, & I think you know that. I would hesitate to think a 5 minute visit and a bottle of pills is going to be much good. Although the ENT may alleviate some underlying fears such as cancer, nudules etc. Again, I don't think for a moment you have that, but I think psychologically it would be bennificial to remove/rule out those issues.

I do recommend that you seek out a Speech Language Pathologist, and yes there are those that specialize in music. They may cost more, and be more rare.

I do have a question...   If you sing in harmony or in the "back ground" so to speak, do you still have this problem? If so, is it less severe?

I ask, because stutterers can sing along in harmony without issues. Not that you stutter, I am just curious.

If you find that sining harmony is not difficult, you may want to get yourself a monitor system, such that you can play your pre-recorded music in your ear, and sing along with it. That may help.  But please get back with me on that question.

Thank you, and I wish you luck.
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Interesting about stutterers. My son stutters when he is relaxed, but does not stutter at all when performing, such as giving a report in class or performing a role in a stage play. The opposite of what you'd expect.

To Jane, the good thing is that if it's an anxiety issue, which it sounds like, it will be a temporary thing and you can get back to singing normally with time. Good luck finding the solution.

Nancy T.
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thanks that really helps! i think it is psychological as i can make it come on and off myself by just thinking about my throat, and when i am enjoying it and relaxed i am fine, i i do one song like it then thats it i start to do them all like it and get really hot! i find if i suck a sweet while i am singing it takes my mind off thinking about my throat and i seem to be alright,i use in ear monitors, when it all sounds right on my ear monitors ( hear my voice loud and hear reverb) i can do the whole gig normal cos it just seems to flow out without me putting any effort in. another weird thing is to start with it was like i did not like hearing my voice loud- it was like it wasn't my voice?! so when i did a holiday camp and i couldn't hear my voice coming out of my mic at all but i could hear my normal voice i was fine!i now am starting to find it easier with my voice loud and trying to get myself to like how i sound through my mic, i have managed to do my first spot which is a meatloaf tribute we do the duo songs( i do a couple of songs too on my own too) i do that nearly every time perfect! but i really enjoy singing that kind of music- my 2nd spot which is pop stuff i can do most the songs but a few i struggle on although my last gig i managed to do them all fine. becos i have struggle more on my 2nd spot i always start worrying before it and sometimes even b4 i go on i just feel like i can't do it! so i know i will start doing it, cos i can feel my throat already tightening! but like i said this only happens when i use my mic and at gigs i never have this problem any other time even if i am singing now and think about my throat it will not do it. i will try and find a speech pathologist thanks for all your help i feel much better now- i really enjoy my singing and just want to get back to normal! jane p.s about the harmonising question if i think about my throat it will do it what ever i am singing even when in background singing
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Princess,  thank your for answering that question. My company has exclusive distribution rights for the a particular anti-stuttering device worn in the ear. The concept of the device is to trick the wearer's brain into believing that he or she is speaking in unison/harmony with another individual. It has a pretty high sucsess rate. It is not a cure that is for sure.  So that is one of the reasons I asked you that question. Kind of a hidden agenda. Not that I would try to sell you the device or even plug it on this forum.

Nancy, actually stuttering is so weird it is not uncommon to hear storries about people like your son. James Earl Jones (Darth Vadder's Voice) (CNN) etc is actually a stutterer. He found in school that he could READ fairly well when the teacher called on him. From the account that I read, he decided from this experience that acting would be his carrer choice.

If you watch him closely in some of the movies he is in, you can see the stutter appear. (minor) Stuttering actucally fascinates me. I love the subject.
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It's certainly worth seeing an ENT for this.  Your symptoms are possibly due to strain of your vocal cords, that can lead to nodules that can be seen by laryngoscopy.  You really want them to take a look and rule out cancer since you have a family history of it.
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