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I talk in a foreign accent without wanting to or knowing how to

I guess the story is long, but I'll shorten it as much as I can.

I started noticing my accent was changing when I didn't mean it to or want it to about two years ago. It started off as saying some words in a thick Boston accent. Classmates started making fun of me and I didn't realize how thick the accent could be. For some reason it kind of went away. I still do it sometimes, but I don't know why.


A year ago I went to one of the world's best psychological trauma hospitals. One night while I was in the shower there I started thinking of it and accents. The next morning I woke up with a full, seemingly authentic, and somewhat thick Scottish accent. I don't even know any Scottish people. For the next two weeks or so I couldn't get rid of it no matter what I tried. It really started to worry me, especially because I was going to be discharged soon and how on earth do you explain something like that. I was finally able to control it in a way when I noticed the Scottish accent was a different tone. Like if I talked in a certain tone then it was Scottish. I was able to get rid of it completely in a month or so by consciously talking in a different tone.

Ever since it first started I've been asked about where I'm from or what I accent I have. I've had comments from like "Are you from Europe or Britain", "Where are you from", "What kind of accent is that", and people genuinely confused at how accent can change.
Most of the time I think it's just certain words or phrases. Or moods. But I have no idea why it happens.

I guess I should note, I'm terrible with accents. Like I've never been able to talk in one before all of this started.
I have Dissociative disorder DDNOS.

The guy who ran the psychological trauma institute had no idea what it could be. Or didn't say if he did know. Neither does my world class psychiatrist. But they've ruled out conversion disorder pretty immediately. I had some brain MRI's done and everything appeared normal.

Does anyone know of anything like this? Or have any suggestions on who to see about it? Really anything at this point...
1 Responses
Avatar universal
I remember years ago that Oprah Winfrey said she does this when she interviews people with accents. It was very embarrassing for her too because people thought she was making fun of their accents. I don't recall if she had someone on who explained it or if I learned the reason elsewhere but it is a combination of having a good ( musical) ear and being empathetic. So you are suffering from having two very good qualities that create a quirk that may at times cause you trouble. The fact that you also have DDNOS just adds another dimension to this. Disorders have a way of sorting through whatever  you've got - your strengths, and your weaknesses and making their own use of them. It's interesting that you say you are not good with accents. Are you sure - or is that an aspect of your DDNOS - a block that opens just some of the time?  

My impression of many disorders is that they manifest in creative ways in creative people. That is why you may feel some isolation with this. I've felt that way too. I'm a highly visual person and have twice been given medication that was too strong so it manifested in visual disturbances. In both cases, doctors had never heard of anything like it. When I had my son I was given a medication that gave me  a week hallucinations of Donald Duck superimposed over everything I looked at,I didn't know if I'd be looking at this stupid cartoon I've never liked for the rest of my life.

I would recommend that you try to harness the power for good - bad being  letting it control you ( this seems to be what you are expressing?). Good being gaining mastery of it and seeing what you can do productively with it. And be glad you're  not  talking like Donald Duck.
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