Lämsä T, Erkolahti R
Selective mutism is a disorder closely linked to anxiety disorders in particular social phobia. Heightened sensitivity to emotional stress factors and coping with social anxiety may be part of the causes leading to the failure to speak. Follow-up studies confirm the fact that selective mutism is a very persistent disorder with a general tendency of poor outcome in particular if not intensively treated. Current treatment combines different modalities of cognitive-behavioural therapies which are aimed to reduce anxiety symptoms and to improve verbal communication. Enhancing of parent-child interaction is often needed to improve the child's emotion regulation skills. SSRI medication, especially fluoxetine, may improve outcome when combined with therapy.