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Alexis

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  1. Like many of you, my life is controlled by my facial blushing. It consumes my every thought and prevents me from living my life the way I want to. I have slight rosacea and fair, sensitive skin, so it does not take much for my face to turn bright red. Within the past few days, I have had some especially bad blushing episodes where the people around me have asked me if I'm okay because my face is so red. But this isn't abnormal for me; my blushing is so bad that rather than being made fun of for it, the people around me typically express concern. I feel like this is almost worse, as it indicates that my face must be turning REALLY red. Because of all this, I have been feeling extremely depressed recently. I will be graduating from college in May, so I feel like this is the time for me to really do something about this problem before I enter the work world. I have had issues with FB since I was probably around 11 and it just keeps getting worse, so I do not want to suffer with this problem any longer. I have already tried anxiety medications like Beta Blockers and Xanax, but these are more fast-acting and do not last long enough each day to fully help. I tried SSRI's in high school/beginning of college, but they made me lethargic and decreased my libido immensely. My next step will most likely be CBT, but for some reason I'm not very confident this will help. I think it could definitely address the root of the problem, which is clearly social anxiety and low self-esteem, but I'm nervous this isn't enough. That's why I've started to consider ETS, although I feel like it is an extremely unrealistic option for me. The biggest problem is money -- I've heard it's extremely expensive and rarely covered by insurance. Another huge issue is side effects... I'm really freaked out by some of the horror stories I've read about. And then the third problem is my family. I cannot even imagine telling them, as no one else in my family deals with this issue in the slightest (I'm not sure I've even witnessed any of them blush), so I doubt they'd understand or support me in this decision. I also don't even know where I would go for this procedure, as I haven't been able to find anywhere in Boston that performs this procedure (it seems Mass General does but only for hyperhidrosis... thinking about calling them anyway). Anyway, I apologize for the long post but it did feel good to get it all out. I haven't confided in anyone about this problem because I'm too embarrassed, so I'm really glad to have found this website. I know I didn't really ask a concrete question, but I would just love some advice or general words of wisdom from anyone who has gone through the same thing. Feedback on CBT, ETS, and maybe even meds that are helpful would be greatly appreciated. I just don't know what to do about all this! Thank you so much!
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