A MAN has told how he overcame his stammer.

Ed Gammie, 23, from Pulborough, struggled with his speech for years and went through many unsuccessful programmes and courses.

But he has now conquered the worst of his stammer and spoke to The Argus to coincide with International Stammering Awareness Day today.

Mr Gammie said: “It came to the point where it was bringing down my aspirations and my career.”

He started stammering when he was a young boy and went through various treatments. At his worst, he struggled to introduce himself.

There is no known single cause for stammering but the condition affects about 500,000 people in the UK, making up around 1% of the population.

Stammering affects more men than women – 80% of adults who stammer are men.

More than 5% of children under five years old go through a phase of stammering at some stage of their speech and language development.

Research shows that stammering occurs across all cultures and in all social groups.

Penny Michaels, a mind trainer and anxiety specialist at Seraphina Mind Studio in Slinfold, near Horsham, treats people from across Europe and receives referrals from healthcare practitioners.

She said: “Ed was at the depths of despair when I spoke to him. It’s not uncommon for stammerers to think no treatment can help after many years of trying traditional methods.

“It is not simply a speech difficulty but a serious communication problem that can have a catastrophic effect on a person’s self-esteem.”

Mr Gammie says he has improved after ten months with Mrs Michaels.

He said: “In the last year, I have gone from cleaning houses alone to working with hundreds of people on feature films.

“It is amazing how much of an impact it had on my everyday life, both professionally and personally.”

Mr Gammie made a film when he was 17 which documented his stammer and now plans to update it with his progress.

To mark International Stammering Awareness day, Seraphina Mind Studio is donating 20% of the proceeds from its Speak Freely course fees in January to the British Stammering Association.

Call 01403 791607 or 07710 459197.