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I have had chronic, pathological blushing since childhood. That is the first time I have ever written those words. I've never said them aloud. Aside from overhearing people say, "Aw, look how red she's getting", my reddening is not something that has ever been discussed or acknowledged by my friends or family. I guess it's the "red elephant" in the room. How have people not asked me about it? How have I not had the courage to bring it up? I have never even had the nerve to research it. I guess I thought that admitting that it happens, even typing the words into a computer, would have been letting it win, making it real. And if I had ever had the courage to talk to my family about it, two things would have happened: 1) I would have blushed (and we all know that we avoid any situations/conversations that make us blush) and 2) they wouldn't have understood. I have never even googled blushing before today. Once I did, I was shocked to learn that there are so many other people who suffer from this condition. And I mean suffer. I felt such relief to know I was not alone. I am going to assume that anyone reading this does not need the bleak, destructive effects of facial blushing on one's life explained. How the fear of blushing is all consuming, or the havoc blushing reeks on one's social and professional life, how infuriating it is having a condition like this because you know you are better than this, more confident that your face it letting on, not embarrassed, not shy, not pathetic, not someone people should feel sorry for. Did I mention, "Aw, look how red she's getting?" I cannot say that any of the websites have helped me understand or explain why I redden when the cashier at the supermarket asks me a question, or when I am called on unexpectedly, or when I run into an acquaintance on the street, or when I think I may have said/done something wrong, or when I have to repeat myself because someone didn't hear me. But now I know there are treatments. I used to wish that I was of a nationality with darker skin so that no one would see the blushing. As a kid I was jealous of my friend with the jet-black skin. In high school I used to wish I was an inanimate object. There were days where I would have traded my life for that of a pencil because pencils don't blush. Crazy, huh? I have considered ridiculous solutions like staying chronically sunburned, or always being "two and a half glasses of wine" tipsy, or pretending to have chronic allergies so that I could cover my face with a tissue at any given moment. If women could grow beards, I would be the Wolfman. I know, I am being too garrulous. It's just that this is my "coming out of the oven" so to say and I'm still shocked that this community exists. I don't know my next move though. Can anyone share any thoughts or recommendations on meds or cognitive/behavioral treatments that may work? Although I would let a doctor come into my house right now and perform ETS on me on my kitchen table with a butter knife (now that I know such a treatment exists), I know it would be more prudent if I try other treatments first. Any feedback would be very much appreciated. Yours in redness, Tomato Face
I have been on paxil for a short while and it has helped somewhat but i am still getting hot flushes and panic attacks where i break out in a hot flush and sweat / blushing. I know that paxil is a ssri. Will a snri such as effexor work better for these symptoms? Any suggestions and advice is greatly appreciated