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Psychogenic Voice Disorders

Many regard the larynx as the “valve of emotion” —the control valve that regulates the release of intense human emotions such as fear, anger, grief, and joy. The English language is replete with expressions describing the connection between voice and intense emotion. For instance, colloquialisms such as “I got all choked up,” “I tried to scream, but nothing would come out,” “My heart was in my throat,” “I was so nervous my voice was shaking,” and “I broke down in tears and couldn’t speak” are just a few familiar examples. Because the human voice is the carrier of intense emotion, when it becomes disordered (in pitch, loudness, or quality) it is not infrequent for clinicians to offer psychological factors, emotional states, or inhibitory processes as ...

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