inability or refusal to speak. Innate speechlessness most commonly occurs in those who have been totally deaf since birth (deaf-mutism). Inability to speak may result from brain damage (see aphasia). It may also be caused by depression, psychosis, or psychological trauma, in which case the patient either does not speak at all or speaks only to particular persons or in particular situations. This latter condition is called selective (or elective) mutism.
Treatment of mutism due to psychological causes is now increasingly by behavioural means, such as prompting: people that the patient does not address are slowly introduced into the situation where the patient does speak. This may be done either alone or in combination with more traditional psychotherapy.
mute adj., n.

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  • Mutism — refers to certain types of speech disorder, one of the following:*Akinetic mutism *Hysterical mutism *Selective mutism *Hearing mutism, an obsolete term of late 19th early 20th century for specific language impairment… …   Wikipedia

  • mutism — MUTÍSM s.n. Muţenie; p. ext. tăcere încăpăţânată. – Din fr. mutisme. Trimis de ana zecheru, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  MUTÍSM s. v. muţenie. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  mutísm s. n. Tri …   Dicționar Român

  • Mutism — Mut ism, n. The condition, state, or habit of being mute, or without speech. Max M[ u]ller. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mutism — (n.) state of being mute, 1824, from Fr. mutisme (1741), from L. mutus (see MUTE (Cf. mute) (adj.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • mutism — [myo͞ot′iz΄əm] n. [Fr mutisme < L mutus, MUTE] the condition of being mute; esp., a refusal to speak, as a manifestation of a psychotic disorder …   English World dictionary

  • Mutism — The inability or unwillingness to speak. A person who is mute cannot or does not care to talk. Someone who was mute was said to be dumb, not in the sense of being stupid, but in the sense of being devoid of the power of speech. The term mutism is …   Medical dictionary

  • mutism — noun A psychological disorder in which the sufferer cannot speak in certain situations. See Also: mute, mutant, mutation, selective mutism …   Wiktionary

  • mutism — noun Etymology: French mutisme, from Latin mutus mute Date: 1824 the condition of being mute …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mutism — /myooh tiz euhm/, n. Psychiatry. an inability to speak, due to a physical defect, conscious refusal, or psychogenic inhibition. [1815 25; < NL mutismus. See MUTE, ISM] * * * …   Universalium

  • mutism — mut·ism || mjuːtɪzm n. pathological refusal to speak, inability to speak (Psychology) …   English contemporary dictionary

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