Have you ever come across a person, especially a male person having a female-like voice, and worse still, have you ever bullied or made a bad joke for his having such an adolescent voice? If you have, STOP NOW! The person might be suffering from a more serious medical complexity. Don’t make it so difficult for the person; he is already having a hard life! And if you are the one suffering from such a voice disorder, and is facing such awkward situations in your day-to-day life, then you are probably suffering from Puberphonia! Do not panic, as it can be cured completely, and you will soon be having an attractive voice, which everyone would love to hear!
What is Puberphonia?
Puberphonia is a type of voice disorder which is characterised by the habitual and continuous use of prepubertal high-pitched voice of a child even after puberty. In other words, according to many Speech Language Pathologists at any renowned voice disorder treatment clinic in Kolkata, Puberphonia is the inappropriate persistence of adolescent, and often female-like voice even after one has attained puberty. This condition is also known as mutational falsetto or functional falsetto.
Incidence and Prevalence
Puberphonia, sadly, is commonly seen in males more than females. It is uncommon in females because the laryngeal growth spurt normally occurs in males. According to studies, the incidence of Puberphonia in India is about 1 in 900,000 people of the total Indian population.
What are the Common Signs and Symptoms?
People suffering from Puberphonia visiting at any good voice disorder treatment clinic in Kolkata, have complained about these common symptoms of the disorder –
- Unusual high-pitched voice which is retained even after puberty
- Hoarseness of voice
- Vocal fatigue
- Inability to shout
- Some patients even speak in a double voice – that is, both in a low pitch and a high pitch.
How does it Occur?
The person suffering from Puberphonia normally does not have any underlying anatomical abnormalities. That is to say that the laryngotracheal complex which initially lies at the highest level during childhood adolescent stage, and gradually descends as the child hits puberty, is quite normal. The descendancy (which is slow for females and quite fast in the case of males) too is quite normal, along with the overall laryngotracheal structure. Trained and professionals at any well-known voice disorder treatment clinic in Kolkata strongly believe that Puberphonia is rather psychogenic in nature – that is, it stems out of various mental stresses or psychological disbalances or complexities. It occurs due to the inappropriate use of the voice habitually. It commonly occurs due to person’s constant contact with female members at home or even elsewhere. Hence, they tend to adopt that female-like voice and due to habitual use of such a high-pitched voice, they develop it.
However, Freudian psychology explains puberphonia with Oedipus Complex, which involves the male child being attracted towards the female parent. In such a case, the son’s love for the mother becomes strong. This strong bond between the mother and the son leads to over-dependence of the child on the mother, thus fearing to take up responsibilities. This in turn develops a notion in them that the father is a threatening figure, so this grows in the child a feeling of hatred towards the male parent. As a result, he starts denying sexual maturity and masculinity, and hence denies using the mature male voice. The child hence, gradually develops the habit of speaking in the high-pitched female voice.
What are its Causes?
Apart from the above conditions, various other factors for which this retention of the child’s voice can be possible, as suggested by most of the health professionals at any recognised voice disorder treatment clinic in Kolkata, include –
- Late development of sexual maturity
- Hypogonadism – which refers to the reduction or the complete absence of hormone secretion or some other complexes in the physiological activity of the gonads (testes or ovaries), as a result of which these fail to function properly.
- The desire to retain this singing voice, which incorporates in the person a feeling that the loss of this voice might lead to loss of attention.
- Hero worship fo older boy or sibling
- Non fusion or the underdevelopment of the thyroid laminae
- Emotional stress
How can it be Treated?
The primary treatment of a voice disorder like Puberphonia is speech therapy done by a professional and highly trained Speech Language Pathologist at a recognised voice disorder treatment clinic in Kolkata.
First the symptoms are examined, along with genital examination and the assessment of secondary sexual characters. If some hormonal issue is the case, then effort is given on ruling out hypogonadism. However, if the problem is psychogenic in nature, then effort is first put on eradicating these psychological issues, mainly by counseling. Then accordingly the certified Speech Language Pathologist goes on with undergoing regular speech and voice therapy sessions so as to correct the voice disorder, and to develop in the sufferer a masculine voice.
The voice therapy sessions at any renowned voice disorder treatment clinic in Kolkata, includes –
- Teaching the person suffering with Puberphonia to produce a low-pitch voice while speaking
- Teaching the person how to use his Phonatory and Respiratory musculature fully
- Teaching the person how to manipulate his voice well
- The person should be given enough motivation so that he might be convinced that the new low-pitch voice should be used instead of the high-pitch one.
What are Major Treatment Methods?
At any distinguished voice disorder treatment clinic in Kolkata, Puberphonia is usually treated by either or a combination of the following methods of treatment –
- Voice therapy
- Larynx manipulation
- Surgical therapy
When there are a host of such hassle-free treatments for Puberphonia, why not go for it? Voice is a vital aspect of one’s life, and it has a great impact in every fields of our life.