Blushing is a common but uncomfortable feeling associated with embarrassment. For some individuals, it is something more than mere embarrassment; it causes undue anxiety. An abnormal and exaggerated fear of blushing is called erythrophobia. Those who suffer from erythrophobia may not actually fear the act of blushing but dread the feelings and emotions that come along with blushing. The fear is chronic and impairing and interferes with the daily life of the sufferers. At this stage it is good to take professional help from a therapist to alleviate the condition.
The exact cause of erythrophobia is unknown because every individual is made different from another. However, erythrophobia may sometimes be a secondary disorder that stems from social anxiety disorder. Whereas some experts opine that the cause of uncontrolled blushing is because of a low-level failure of the sympathetic nervous system, other experts believe that low self esteem can cause frequent bouts of unwarranted embarrassment. Many experts feel that the initial trigger for erythrophobia is likely to have occurred during childhood of the affected person.
Erythrophobia – Fear of Blushing: Symptoms And Treatment Options
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Erythrophobia – Symptoms
A person who is in a state of constant anxiety about what others think of him/her is prone to feel that he/she cannot control the blushing that occurs frequently. Erythrophobia is accompanied by physical symptoms such as nausea, excessive sweating, dry mouth, dizziness and difficulty in breathing.
The fear of blushing, the anxiety and excessive sweating that accompanies such instances causes a person suffering from the phobia to totally avoid social situations that act as triggers. The affected individuals are prone to developing fears of being the center of attention in crowds or being embarrassed in front of other people. Most people suffering from the disorder try to suppress their blushing but as a result end up blushing more.
A person who suffers from erythrophobia feels that others view him/her as incompetent and ignorant. They are filled with insecurity and have pronounced fears of writing examinations, speaking in front of others, etc.
Erythrophobia – Treatment Options
Treatment for erythrophobia can include medications that are used to combat the physical symptoms such as excessive sweating, dizziness, increased heart rate, and altered blood pressure. Uncontrolled blushing and sweating in a person can sometimes be controlled through surgery. Some sympathetic nerves that are responsible for these effects are cut off. However, this is an invasive method and is resorted to only when other methods fail.
The surgery does not clear the root cause of the problem and the affected person may still continue to have the fear of what others may think about him/her. Realization that one suffers from this problem is the first step towards finding a cure for the phobia. Regular counseling sessions with a psychiatrist or a professional psychologist can help the affected person understand the problem and overcome it over a period of time.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is useful in treating the cause of the problem. This form of therapy helps to identify thoughts that are unwanted and eliminate them. The net result of CBT is that behavior in response to those thoughts gets altered and becomes more positive. Clinical hypnotherapy can be used to unravel the cause of the fear of blushing. Breathing techniques and relaxation therapies such as meditation and yoga help the individual to gain better control over the self and manage associated anxiety in a better fashion.
Fear of Blushing – Cures & Treatment
Erythrophobia can really affect lives – the fear of blushing and any attempt to suppress it will usually result in the blushing becoming worse and even more noticeable – to the point where those suffering from erythrophobia will look to avoid social situations or becoming the subject of attention. You don’t need to suffer though:
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