Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bella

:: I feel like my blushing is a disease::

Recommended Posts

What a disaster! ++

Ok, I read somewhere on this forum, I don't remember where or who said it, but I read that Cortizone 10 was helping someone's blushing problem-- making their face feel cooler and not so hot when blushing and it even helped the redness..

Well, the only effect that had on me was 2 pimples on each cheek. haha

The cream may, and I mean MAY, have had a psychological effect on me. But then again, it may have just been my determination to get over this problem..whatever.

It had gotten somewhat better, but that could have just been my mind. Anyways, I am not a shy person at all, but my blushing is slowly turning me into one. I avoid "possible embarrasing situations" just so I avoid blushing. THis is turning into a nightmare for me. I know my fiance' and his parents and everyone else noticing my extreme blushing. I never mention anything, even after it happens. I just pretend like nothing happened. So does my fiance' and I am so grateful for that. Just like today for example. I just wanted to crawl into the nearest hole and die. (ok, almost). We were at the bank and I was depositing a big sum of money. I was like "how do you write that", smiling because I am terrible in math. And he told me. Suddenly, embarresment flew over me. That would have never been embarrasing if we were alone. I turn the color of a fire hydrant, my face perspires, and I feel like I am ready to turn on the arctic winds on my face--! The bank teller made everything worse. She looks at me like "what is wrong with this freak". I started to fujmble with my papers in my purse to distract me and hopefully lessen the redness attack. I get a pen and start writing and my hand was shaking so bad. My handwriting was atrocious. It was absolutely horrible. Then, after that we go to my fiance's parents' friends house....(ppl I have never met) and we are all sitting around the kitchen table with rather bright lighting. Again, I am a fairly socialable person, all the attention is on me with me being the newly fiance' to their son. (his parents live far away for I have only met them a few times). I turn so red at the first question. It wasn't even an embarrasing question. I mean, what can I do? I can't just say " well, I need the restroom, as I usually do in these type of situations) because I had just come back from the bathroom. My heart pounds my chest, I start to sweat. Everyone notices, I'm sure. I feel like I have some sort of disease with the dreadful blushing problem. I am about to order Eradicane and give it a try. At this point, no amount of money is worth saving. I have to fix this before it ruins me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bella. Sorry to hear about the terrible episodes. I used to have the problem with sweating too. In many ways it was worse than the blushing but Maxim has put an end to that. I apply to my forehead at night every now and then and I'm fine. Just so you know, maybe give it a go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hI bella,

What you have described is one of the worst situations we can encounter. That is when you have just excused yourself to get away from a blush only to return to have another question fired at you and there are no more excuses to get away :cry: :(

O yes and the dreaded sweats!!!! Blushing is one thing but the anxiety and sweating takes it to a new level altogether :cry:

mission121

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bella,

That sounded awful! I can totally see myself and feeling the exact way. All you want to do is escape and fast. But you simply can't. What you could do and I've done in the past is to just come out and say "Wow, I'm feeling kinda anxious right now." This has helped by somehow lifting a huge weight of the burden to hide it. Also I always carry around a Nalgene water bottle (in the southwest it always good) filled with ice water and when I feel a blush coming on the water tends to cool me off and also helps with distraction for me too.

I think it's all about learing ways to deal with it. Find what works for you in those situations. Becuase like you said you can't always escape them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gjs wrote:

I think it's all about learing ways to deal with it. Find what works for you in those situations. Becuase like you said you can't always escape them.

That's it, exactly. I use the "cold water sipping method" also. I've been in situations where I absolutely CANNOT leave the scene without looking like a complete psycho. So, I have learned to distract myself in other ways. Self-hypnosis, relaxation, whatever I can grasp at that moment. Sometimes, just deep breathing... It's so horrible though and I can relate to that quiet desperation which makes you feel sooo alone and insane.

You're not alone though... somehow, knowing THAT helps me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bella, please take some comfort knowing that I and many of us here are in the exact same boat. It can be absolutely baffling to try to understand why we have these panic attacks at the most passive of times. A simple question can just hit you like a brick to the head. I recently had a surprise meeting with all our staff when someone found a hidden camera aimed towards my area of work. I did not care about the camera, but as soon as it was mentioned, all eyes were on me.

Damn, I had to take control there. Nobody even asked me a question, but I stressed big time. As soon as things calmed down a bit in the office, I had to "take a call". I can't tell you how many times my cell phone has saved my ass.

Funny thing was, if I was not a blusher, I wanted to say, "somebody must really like me if they want to film my ass all day at my desk. Hope I am doing it for them." Of coarse my condition conflicts with my personality. Sucks but you are not alone. I am near breaking as well many days.

((((((((((((((Bella))))))))))))

Vicky does this for me and it helps

B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my first post. I'm 62 now and have been cursed with insane blushing since about age 18. Didn't know what that funny, hot feeling in my face was until I looked in the mirror after someone laughed and said I was turning red. From that point on I've lived in fear, have been humiliated so many times under so many circumstances numbering in the thousands. I used to dwell on the episodes for days, now I get over them in minutes. I have gradually accepted that this is one of cards I"ve been dealt in my genetic makeup. I believe that hair-trigger blushing reflects some ultra-sensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system, and afflicts a very small % of the population. The negative feedback mechanism is so brutal - Ok I blush, but the more I blush, the more I fear it, the more I fear, the more I blush! A vicious circle. Stutterer's suffer from this same vicious circle. I've met other folks with a quick blush tendency who have reacted quite differently than I have. I'm introverted and self conscious; the lucky ones have no tendency to look inward and build the feedback mechanism. I sometimes look back on my life and say that I've suffered more than anyone I know because of the blushing, this fear of blushing (erythrophobia), the uncountable humilations. I believe this to be true, but I also believe that this suffering has given me a sensitivity to other's problems. People gravitate to me for my understanding and empathy. Of course I never tell them my secret - I've lived a life filled with episodes of emotional pain. Only a few people know about my affliction - my girlfriend during my 20's (telling her was difficult, but certainly helped), three psychiatrists and a group undergoing social anxiety therapy. A psychiatrist or psychologist can help. The best thing I ever did for my conditioin was to join a group undergoing therapy for social phobias. I recommend this very, very strongly. One on one with a therapist is ok, but the group setting is by far the best. I was the only one in the group who had the blushing problem - the others had problems meeting or dealing with others. They would get extremely nervous in social situations. They all had stories to tell about their specific conditions. The therapist gave us social situation homework to do, and then come back and report to the group. It was very effective - we supported each other, we interacted socially, we spoke in front of the group, we built our confidence, we understood. I haven't needed the group in decades. It helped me a great deal and I recommend this process to all at this forum. Your local psychologist, psychiatrist can find you a group.

Bella, I relate to your situation so well. I thought I had a 'disease'. I tried everything to stop the blushing process. I used heat linament on my fact so it would be perpetually flushed, so as to mask the blushing. I used a sun lamp for years to make my face red, to hide the blush. My face is pretty beat up from that process now. I would go into the office washroom many times daily to splash icy cold water on my face to prevent the blushing (it worked temporarily). I always wore hats and sunglasses outside, which seemed to give me a sense that little of my face was exposed. I always tried to sit with my back to a window in the office so that the light coming in would kinda blind someone from seeing my face well. I had the T3 nerve frozen temporarily to see if that would stop the blushing, but I wasn't able to tell. It's hard to blush when you want to, on demand, so that experiment failed.

I still blush, not as easily mind you, but I tend to avoid situations where it's easy to do so... eg. where there are several people in a position to stare at me. I work from my home office now, and rarely go to meetings so that's a blessing. When there's no way out, and it's an important situation (where I'm in the spotlight) I will take a valium, the most effective drug I've found to prevent blushing. Kava Kava works well, too, but I can't get it in Ontario anymore (banned in Canada for some reason).

Anyone wishing to contact me to discuss this from the perspective of one who's been through the blushing wars for 45 years, please do so - jimbobray@sympatico.ca. The best advice I can give you is to get into a social phobia group - it can change your life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi JimBobRay

I have never been so upset as when I read your post. I think it was a real reality kick hearing you are 62 and have had the blushing since you were 18 (I'm 35 and had mine since 13). So it is a very selfish take on your post, of course I can relate and feel for you as I do for all who post here but it is because we know how each of us feels.

I always would dream about being 30, married with kids and not dealing with this silly nonsense (as I thought then) and living my life. I am 35 with an amazing man and looking at having kids next year (God willing) but this silly nonsense I realise more and more will be with me forever. It is a case, as you say, learning to live with it and doing whatever you can to control your emotions and life in general. I know for all the young people reading this, it is the last thing you want to hear (believe me I know) but you have to take notice and not do anything drastic (like ETS or certain meds).

Of course, everyone is entitled to their own choice but the reason we come together on this site is to share and learn......so here you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was your age Tallulahbelle, I felt as you do, that by the time I got to age 60+ I wouldn't blush much anymore. Well, it didn't happen, but it doesn't mean you or anyone else will carve out the same path as I. What I have found is that I now have better defenses, and I also have a more calloused attitude which essentially says 'nobody cares if I blush, and neither do I (sort of)'. I've made many friends and acquaintances since age 30 and while some of them may have wondered about my odd behaviour from time to time (in terms of me changing the focus from me while blushing to some other topic which takes attention away from my face, or walking away from them as if distracted, etc), but there hasn't been one person make fun or criticize me for my aflliction. I haven't actually known another blusher, although I've seen a several over the years. I've known a few stutterers and some others with different social phobias, however, and my own feeling towards them has been of compassionate understanding and acceptance (I know what they are going through). I guess my point is that if anyone cares about us, it is not likely to be scorn or ridicule - more likely incomprehension and the feeling that we are too narcisistic or too shy (polar opposites). I will say, though, that I'm glad I don't have to go through youth and middle age again with the same affliction!

If I did have to do it all again, I would spend the early years participating in social phobia groups (as I indicated in my last note), where I could get (red) face-to-face time with other people while discussing how dibilitating my hair-trigger-blushing-for-no-damn-reason can be. I did this when I was in my late 30's. As I said before, this process was extremely effective for me. And like many of you now (I'm sure), it was almost impossible to discuss this 'disease' with other people face-to-face (other than a therapist). When I took the plunge and fessed up to others in a group setting the details of my problem, it gave me a great sense of freedom, and that relief has stayed with me. Listening to others in the group relating their own "wierd" problems was an eye-opener too, giving me a sense that I was perhaps exaggerating the impact of my condition (as I almost felt about the other people in the group). I couldn't imagine not being able to talk to someone on the phone, but there were people at our meetings who had great difficulty doing that. Others in the group said to me that they couldn't imagine blushing, and if they did, it wouldn't have any significance! As I also said earlier, we are very sensitive people, and there are other folks out there who blush easily but they just don't care like we do. And there are many, many other people who have social phobia manifestations that you and I wouldn't really understand.

Couple of more points and I'll go quietly. An interesting book for blushers and any other folks with similar anxieties is 'Of Human Bondage' by Somerset Maughan. It's the author's life story, and central to the the book is Maughan's excessive blushing condition and how he gradually got the best of it. He really didn't blush, he stuttered, but the novel uses blushing as a proxy for his anxiety condition. I read the book when I was 19 and felt a deep affinity. Is blushing an anxiety condition? I think many professional therapist think so. I have struggled with that concept for years, always wanting to believe that if I could just get rid of this stupid 'effing blushing I'd be perfect. Over time, I've realized that I am an anxious person, for example, I've been a nail biter (big time) since aged 8 and have only in the past year quit (I hope). I have much stronger 'fight or flight' reactions under stressful conditions than other people. There's no doubt about me - I am more anxious than most. Is our concern about blushing an anxiety issue more than anything else? As I get older, the more inclined I am to say 'yes'.

Having said these things, if there was a magic bullet that could stop or totally mask my blushing, I would pay big money for it even today. I spent a lot of time looking for something when I was in my 20's and 30's to no avail. I've been largely desensitized to my condition now, but I could still use the cure-all. I'm waiting for the tests of those skin makeovers in another thread on this site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JimBobRay

I reckon I will try and pick that book up and give it a read. :wink: I agree with you about being an anxious person to begin with can then manifest the blushing to the max. :oops: Someone asked if anyone had gone through a traumatic experience which they could relate to their condition. :shock: I for one did and believe it has been a big factor in my problem. How about you :?:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tallulahbelle,

The traumatic events in my life have revolved around my blushing, believe it or not. Of course I've experiencedt the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune', but none as powerful as being born a blusher. I was terrified to show my face in public as a young man (early 20's in particular). I spent a lot of time trying to find a 'cure' much as many of us in the forum. I didn't have the benefit of the 'net in the 1960's, but was able to do some research at the university libraries. I was determined to find a fix, and had no compunctions about seeing psychiatrists, etc. Fessing up to my girlfriend early in our relationship when I was 22 was a big help, she had great compassion.

I'm not surprised that most of the discussion here is about finding a quick and easy cure for excessive blushing. If I could have gone through life wearing a mask, life would have been easy, so I think. But who knows what other manifestations of this 'condition' would have arisen? What is really at play here - is it simply a physical thing, or are there mental demons involved? I"ve just posted in another thread about what a famous shrink once said about erythrophobia - he said we suffer from an inferiority complex. Some others have talked about shame and guilt being the culprit. Others have said it may be self-consciousness or narcism. I don't know what the truth is, but I do sincerely believe that we fall into the social phobia camp, and to really treat the root of this 'thing' we should kill that snake by participating in group social phobia therapy. I did, and it worked for me, and it was fun to boot.

And oh, by the way, I still blush but I don't really care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi JimBobRay

I can relate to the shrink's explanation of an inferiority complex as I do feel very insecure in certain people's company and I believe it comes from my insecurity as a child (when folks divorced). It was not a quiet divorce were they went to their lawyers and got things sorted but a very messy public one (not that we were rich or famous) as my mother decided to share all our secrets with the neighbourhood (who didn't care a jot about us only the latest gossip). I got on my school bus unaware many knew what was going on in my home and family life (found out the hard way, as usual). I felt very ashamed (if only I had known then what was going on in their households) and as though everyone was better than me because no one was going through this kind of thing (it was the early 80's - not many divorces in suburban Glasgow at that time). I feel too the whole worrying about everyone else's thoughts and opinions of you totally threw me into a very bad place. So I will go with the mental demons first and a little physical thing to boot!!!!! :twisted:

Sorry to go on, I know I am putting a little more out there than necessary but I am trying to take what you are giving and fit it into my experiences. Let's face it folks the TV is rubbish so get your fix of soap opera and drama right here!!!!!!!!

I am taking on board the social phobia group thing too but I need to try and find out about that a little more.....excuses, I know but I promise I am listening. :wink:

I hope I can one day say 'I blush and I don't care' as far as I'm concerned you have made it mate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've 'made it', Tallulahbelle, because I'm a geezer and I don't need to kiss ass and work in an office setting anymore unless I run of out money (always possible given the way I day-trade in my spare time!). That's where I did my best blushing, and I guarantee, if I have to go back to that environment I'll be averaging at least one good blush a day. Hey, here's an idea - why don't we write a book on Blushing, then do book signings and demonstrate our talents. At least we won't be faking it.

Back to reality. AA works because of the support provided. Social phobia groups work because of the support provided. Instead of standing up each meeting and saying "I'm an alcoholic", we say "I have a phobia". Confronting the fear, IMHO, is the only real way to a cure. The support group provides cover and at the same time an opportunity to face the fear head on, making you stand up and talk about your recent experiences and how you are coping. Imagine going into the office or group and standing up and saying "I have a phobia, and it's because I blush easily, and it's controlling my life, and I need understanding and help". There would be a lot of embarrassed silence and humiliation for the most part. A support group environment gives us a terrific opportunity to do this and be accepted. It was very difficult for me to do this, I thought nobody would understand. They understood immediately and accepted me as one of them. After that it was easy, and within two meetings I had reduced my fear from 9 to 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. And the effect stayed with me.

Last night while trying to get to sleep I had another flash back to some therapy I had in my 20's which had a beneficial impact. The psychologist said to me "You don't have to blush". OK, never thought of that. It was a profound assertion. He told me that fear had consumed me, and that in situations that most gregarious people considered totally normal, like sitting around a table, I was gripped with fear that the attention would focus on me and I MUST blush. That had been my MO since my teens - I'm going to blush because that's what I do. I always lived in fear of that, and my thoughts were always, ok, let's get on with it, get the blushes out of the way early and maybe I can settle down. Settle down seething with anger at myself, settle down with another notch in the habit belt, but at least settle down because there, I've shown you my worst and it's got to get better from here. That's what my whole life has been like. So, getting back to the "you don't have to blush" statement, I began to realize that I was programming myself to blush at a moments notice. If, instead of turning that switch on, I turned another switch on, the one that says "You don't have to blush", then maybe I could program myself in a positive way. I was able to do this with some success. You need to say it to yourself in a confident manner - "Hey, wake up, you don't HAVE to blush". It's quite remarkable how this kind of self-suggestion can actually work. You, Tallulahbelle, and many others in this forum have programmed into your grey matter that "Hey, doofus, you are going to blush ASAP and there's nothing you can do to prevent it". (I feel another book coming on - The Power of Self-Suggestion - oh drat, it's out there already). This has worked for me when I remember it. Being the negative, introspective person that I was for most of my life, the magic of the self-suggestion worked under normal everyday interaction situations, but failed when I was confronted with a more fearful situation, and when I had significant failures I would throw it out the window and look around for the easy solution, like ETS, makeup, etc. I suggest you give this a good try, it can help you in the everyday human interactions. Couple positive self-suggestion with group therapy, and you'll beat this curse. I"m going to begin to apply self-suggestion again myself. Heal thyself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've 'made it', Tallulahbelle, because I'm a geezer and I don't need to kiss ass and work in an office setting anymore unless I run of out money (always possible given the way I day-trade in my spare time!). That's where I did my best blushing, and I guarantee, if I have to go back to that environment I'll be averaging at least one good blush a day. Hey, here's an idea - why don't we write a book on Blushing, then do book signings and demonstrate our talents. At least we won't be faking it.

Back to reality. AA works because of the support provided. Social phobia groups work because of the support provided. Instead of standing up each meeting and saying "I'm an alcoholic", we say "I have a phobia". Confronting the fear, IMHO, is the only real way to a cure. The support group provides cover and at the same time an opportunity to face the fear head on, making you stand up and talk about your recent experiences and how you are coping. Imagine going into the office or group and standing up and saying "I have a phobia, and it's because I blush easily, and it's controlling my life, and I need understanding and help". There would be a lot of embarrassed silence and humiliation for the most part. A support group environment gives us a terrific opportunity to do this and be accepted. It was very difficult for me to do this, I thought nobody would understand. They understood immediately and accepted me as one of them. After that it was easy, and within two meetings I had reduced my fear from 9 to 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. And the effect stayed with me.

Last night while trying to get to sleep I had another flash back to some therapy I had in my 20's which had a beneficial impact. The psychologist said to me "You don't have to blush". OK, never thought of that. It was a profound assertion. He told me that fear had consumed me, and that in situations that most gregarious people considered totally normal, like sitting around a table, I was gripped with fear that the attention would focus on me and I MUST blush. That had been my MO since my teens - I'm going to blush because that's what I do. I always lived in fear of that, and my thoughts were always, ok, let's get on with it, get the blushes out of the way early and maybe I can settle down. Settle down seething with anger at myself, settle down with another notch in the habit belt, but at least settle down because there, I've shown you my worst and it's got to get better from here. That's what my whole life has been like. So, getting back to the "you don't have to blush" statement, I began to realize that I was programming myself to blush at a moments notice. If, instead of turning that switch on, I turned another switch on, the one that says "You don't have to blush", then maybe I could program myself in a positive way. I was able to do this with some success. You need to say it to yourself in a confident manner - "Hey, wake up, you don't HAVE to blush". It's quite remarkable how this kind of self-suggestion can actually work. You, Tallulahbelle, and many others in this forum have programmed into your grey matter that "Hey, doofus, you are going to blush ASAP and there's nothing you can do to prevent it". (I feel another book coming on - The Power of Self-Suggestion - oh drat, it's out there already). This has worked for me when I remember it. Being the negative, introspective person that I was for most of my life, the magic of the self-suggestion worked under normal everyday interaction situations, but failed when I was confronted with a more fearful situation, and when I had significant failures I would throw it out the window and look around for the easy solution, like ETS, makeup, etc. I suggest you give this a good try, it can help you in the everyday human interactions. Couple positive self-suggestion with group therapy, and you'll beat this curse. I"m going to begin to apply self-suggestion again myself. Heal thyself.

Hi JimBobRay.

You make some good points. I do wonder about the suggestion you suggested :? though. By saying "I don't have to blush" is reminding yourself about blushing and reminding your sub-conscious about the blushing which might not be a good thing. I think a better statement would be without the word blushing.

I've come to the conclusion that my blushing and fear of blushing (this may be the same for everyone) is directly associated with my concern over what people are thinking about me and my blushing. Therefore I've taken a proactive stance and recorded myself saying the statement "It doesn't matter what people think of me" and listening to it over and over on my mp3 player.

You might be thinking it's not a good thing to disregard totally what people think of you because that's what I thought. But then I thought it doesn't have to be bad. My core values are there, one of which is to treat people as i'd wish to be treated. It's just an attempt to lower self-conciousness. I'll see how it goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...