Quiet And Closed To One’s Own Family But Open When With Friends?

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Illustration: Quiet And Closed To One’s Own Family But Open When With Friends? heysigmund.com

Hi doctor, I have a cousin who is a grown up, just graduated from college. We grew up together, as a child he was like a normal person, but since middle school and high school, he gradually became quiet. I doubt that he is just an introvert because until now he has never spoken to his family, even his parents every day. His parents are a little worried that he has autism (which I doubt because he is like an ordinary person, only never talking and always aloof at every family gathering). I decided to google and came across the term Selective Mutism. But in the example of Google, most SM people close themselves to their friends, but they are the opposite. He still wants to talk to his close friends (although not many), but closes himself to his family. He is a smart and kind person, his friendship is the same.

1 Answer:

Hello Chanyeolears, thanks for the question for HealthReplies.com

Selective Mutism (SM) is a manifestation of situational anxiety disorder characterized by the inability to speak in certain situations, but in situations where they feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed, they can speak and communicate freely. SM is more often suffered by children, but it is not impossible for adults to experience it as well. Usually, the untreated BC from childhood can be carried away until the person becomes an adult.


In the case of your cousin, the chances of autism are quite low. Symptoms of autism are usually seen since childhood, although in some conditions such as mild autism, sometimes autism is only detected in adulthood. However, people with autism or other developmental disorders (such as Asperger's), will not show communication disorders in certain places (not selective), even some may not show communication disorders at all.


In the case of your cousin, it is possible that he has SM. Your cousin may feel more comfortable outside the family and feel uncomfortable and insecure in his own family environment so that talking in the middle of the family will create a certain anxiety or anxiety in him. Another possibility that your cousin experiences is that your cousin consciously decides not to talk to his family for some reason. Differentiate with SM where the sufferer wants to speak but cannot or when speaking there will be excessive anxiety so they choose to remain silent.


You can ask your cousin directly why he doesn't want to talk to his family or you can also suggest your cousin to consult directly with a psychologist or psychiatrist to get a definite diagnosis of the symptoms they are experiencing.

So much information from me, hopefully it will be enough to answer

dr. irna cecilia

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