Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Spasmodic Dysphonia: Voice Revealed

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, has recently opened up about the reason behind his raspy voice. In an exclusive interview with People magazine, Kennedy revealed that he has been diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder that affects the vocal cords.

The Diagnosis

Spasmodic dysphonia is a rare condition that causes involuntary spasms in the muscles of the larynx, resulting in a strained or strangled voice. Kennedy first noticed symptoms of the disorder in his early 30s, but it took several years and multiple medical consultations before he received a proper diagnosis.

“For years, I struggled with my voice getting weaker and weaker,” Kennedy told People. “I saw many doctors and tried various treatments, but it wasn’t until I saw a specialist in voice disorders that I finally got the correct diagnosis of spasmodic dysphonia.”

The Impact

Living with spasmodic dysphonia has had a significant impact on Kennedy’s life and career. As an environmental activist and lawyer, he frequently speaks at public events and in the media, but the disorder has made it challenging for him to communicate effectively.

“It’s frustrating to have a voice that doesn’t always cooperate,” Kennedy admitted. “I have to work harder to make myself understood, and sometimes it’s exhausting. But I refuse to let it hold me back from speaking out on issues that are important to me.”

The Treatment

There is no cure for spasmodic dysphonia, but there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms. Kennedy undergoes regular injections of Botox into his vocal cords, which temporarily paralyzes the muscles and reduces the spasms that cause his voice to sound raspy.

“The Botox injections have been a game-changer for me,” Kennedy said. “They don’t completely eliminate the spasms, but they do make a noticeable difference in my voice quality. I’m grateful to have access to this treatment and to be able to continue speaking out on issues that matter to me.”

The Awareness

By sharing his story, Kennedy hopes to raise awareness about spasmodic dysphonia and other voice disorders. He encourages others who may be experiencing similar symptoms to seek help from a qualified specialist in voice disorders and not to give up until they find a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

“It’s important for people to know that they’re not alone in dealing with voice issues,” Kennedy said. “There are treatments available that can help improve quality of life and allow individuals to continue speaking up and advocating for causes they believe in.”


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has bravely shared his journey with spasmodic dysphonia, shedding light on a little-known disorder that affects the voice. Despite the challenges he faces, Kennedy remains committed to using his voice to make a difference in the world, proving that a raspy voice is no barrier to advocating for change.

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Keywords: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., spasmodic dysphonia, raspy voice, neurological disorder, Botox injections, voice disorders


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