Therapist Sessions for Blushing

#1
Hi everyone. I have started seeing a therapist about my anxiety and blushing. (BLUSHING, NOT FLUSHING.) I am going to record everything in this thread so everyone can try what I learn in my sessions! I hope that at least one person can find it useful. I usually see my therapist every Tuesday.
Okay, so I'm going to write down everything my therapist told me last Tuesday. Even if it seems 'lame' or like something you've tried before, just keep trying.

Okay. Sometimes if you have anxiety/blushing, that isn't just the only problem. There might be another problem as well. Us blushers are ALWAYS on "RED ALERT." It is as if we are walking through a land mine. We know one of them are going to go off, we just don't know which one or when. So we are on red alert! Everyone knows about the "flight or fight." This is like we are a bunny rabbit getting chased by a fox. When we are blushing/having anxiety and we just run away from the situation, we as the bunny are running away from the fox. If we don't run away from the situation where we are blushing/having anxiety, then we as the bunny are "playing dead." for the fox. When I was growing up, my mother abused me and eventually was removed from my house from Child Protective Services. My therapist thinks that I actually have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that my anxiety and blushing roots from that. Has something traumatic happened in your life? Anything? Also, if you have any questions, please put them in this thread, and I will ask my therapist for you.

Don't read ahead or it will ruin it...
I'm going to start by saying, right now you need to think of anything you want, anything BUT purple elephants...actually take a couple seconds to do this.
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Think about walking on the beach, flowers, ANYTHING but purple elephants!
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remember, think about the sky or something. Do not think about purple elephants!
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don't think about purple elephants...
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Okay, so what did you think about? Probably purple elephants! At least once! Or, you are thinking about trying to not think about purple elephants! This goes with blushing too. It is a "self-fulfilling prophecy." You keep thinking about not blushing when you are in social situations, so you end up blushing.
So, this week (not just this week only) I was told to practice "GROUNDING TECHNIQUES." I am going to go over this with you. It takes A LOT of practice, so don't give up! Eventually, your mind will do this automatically.

In class, I have anxiety just from sitting down. No one even has to talk to me and I will have anxiety. I will be so nervous and scared that someone is going to call on me or talk to me and then my face will turn beet red. So, when you are in this situation, you need to really practice these. And try AS HARD AS YOU CAN... think about how things feel. Sometimes it's hard to word how things feel to the touch, so it takes a lot of thought.
1.) Put one hand on your pants, and one hand on your shirt. Really think to yourself, how do these feel different? How do they feel the same? Well, my pants has more of a rough texture. My shirt is a little more smooth feeling. Now really think about it. Don't leave out ANY details. My shirt is softer. My shirt feels a little lighter than my pants when i pick it up a little by the sleeve. etc.. keep going.
2.)Scrunch your toes in one shoe but not the other. How do they feel different, how do they feel similar? Well, the foot where my toes are scrunched (Right foot) I can feel more pressure. the foot where my toes are not scrunched (left foot) feels more relaxed. My right foot feels tight right now. On my left foot, I can feel my toes touch the tip of my shoe, on my right foot i can't because i have my toes scrunched. Both are similar because i can feel the floor beneath my feet. I can feel the shoe beneath my feet and the floor beneath my shoe. Both are hard to the touch. etc...
3.)Think about how your clothes feel on your skin. literally try and describe it. Well, i can feel where my shirt ends on my arms. My pants feel different on my skin than my shirt because my pants are tighter, i can feel it on my belly, etc...
4.) play with a pen.. how is this pen different/similar to the touch than the desk/table?? people will think that you are just playing with a pen, but in reality, you are thinking about all the ridges, the rough edges... etc..
5.) count the colors on things. How many colors does that have? etc..

Scenario: Talking face to face with someone
1.) Count as many hairs as you can on their head, or if they have multi-colored hair, count how many brown hair, how many grey hair, etc..
2.)count the colors on their clothing, try looking them in the eye because sometimes its hard to think about other things if you are concentrating and thinking about just looking them in the eye.
****3.)STAND ON ONE LEG WHEN YOU ARE TALKING TO SOMEONE. It doesn't have to be noticable. you can just lift it up a little or put it behind you. Now you are concentrating on trying not to fall, instead of anxiety/blushing.

When you run out of things to think about (like trying to think about how the shirt feels... etc...) DON'T move onto a new thing so quick. The point is for you to stay on that topic in your head, even if it is hard, so you can keep trying to think of things, even when you think there aren't any things left. It is to get you really thinking and hopefully distracted.

Keep doing this. Homework:
KEEP A BLOG. make a piece of paper with a vertical line down the middle. On one side, put a check mark every time you do the grounding techniques and you still blush. On the other side, put a checkmark every time you are doing the grounding techniques and you don't blush. Keep doing this DO NOT GIVE UP. I will write about my next session this Tuesday!!
 

nightcrawler

Well-known member
#2
Thanks for the post. I've suffered with blushing (+SP) for many years. The tips you mentioned - basically trying to take your mind of off blushing by concentrating on something else - are quite common. Sometimes they work, other times they don't. They are not always practical though. If for example I was sitting in a busy doctors waiting room then that's the sort of scenario I could put them to use. But if I was standing at the front of a checkout queue in a shop then it's not so easy. One technique I've been trying lately (with moderate success) is just before a potentially blush-inducing situation I think to myself "imagine how good I'll feel If I get through this without blushing...I'll feel great!". If you do get through said situation (no matter how small - baby steps) without blushing you will feel great, and this will give you the confidence to try and do it again.

Anyway keep us posted on how your therapy sessions go & good luck :)
 

doesit

Well-known member
#4
its nice of you sharing the information with the rest of us.But i cant understand,every person in their life has a period or a time,where its really bad,like you could be popular in school but your parents gonna be alcoholics or poor,so is it that point in early childhood/teens where strong start to get stronger in life,and weak go down the hill with fears,phobias,anxieties.
 
#5
One of the things that I have been doing is chewing gum, and thinking about the gum. How does it feel when I chew it?? And this takes me a long time to think of things. I was thinking, I guess the texture feels like clay, or maybe how playdough would feel except in my mouth... lol but there's more, i just have to think of what else..I can make it into different shapes, rip it apart, put it back together, it's sticky... but there's more.... and I just keep thinking and thinking and thinking. I'm still trying this in school, yes I still get nervous but I am not going to give up. I know that she is going to do some kind of "hypnosis" in the last phase. I forget the name of it, but I'll ask her in my next session and so I can post it. Even though I won't be able to show you what she did with me, I can still describe it, and I can blog here about everything I am doing in session, because if it works for me, then maybe it can work for someone else!

Another thing I forgot to add:

We are either living in the Past or the Future.
If you are living in the past, sometimes you are very angry and you have regret. So you are just a really angry person. If you have anxiety like us and live in the future, then you are scared all the time. Because on my way to class, I'm scared to even go because I'm scared that someone will talk to me and I'll blush! I am living in the future. I am scared about the future, what will happen, what's going to happen...etc. and I'm scared. The grounding techniques are to try to help you live in the present, in the now, because right now we aren't living in the "now." We are either living in the past or future. A question my therapist told me to ask myself is "Well, what can I do about it RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, RIGHT NOW." One answer to that question could be, well, i could practice a grounding technique, and think about how my hair feels on my neck right now (or something else if you don't have long hair.) Don't give up guys! I know it's hard, it's really really really really really really really really hard for me!!!!!!
 
#6
I have problems looking up when they are many people in the place,I just look down on the ground.I tryed to drink water or eat but it just prevent the people to ask me why im so quiet.In school I always need to sit at the last place,never in front or near the teacher because i cant concentrate and if so,I have to leave the place as fast as possible.The good think is that people cant see how I feel.
 

Feathers

Well-known member
#7
Interesting!

Thank you for posting these!
I think these things could help everyone for different anxiety-related things or thoughts that need distraction/coming back to present/now, not just blushing..

And remember, sometimes blushing can be CUTE!!
My roommate (one of them) totally had a crush on a guy just because of his 'rosy cheeks'! So there!! :)
There are books and poems written about 'cute girls who blush' too...
(I sometimes wished I could, but it's only if I hiked up into the mountains at a too great speed or something like that..)

Lionheart, can you just look about the room or check people's hairdos or something? I usually preferred to sit in the back too, except if there are really interesting classes with bad projectors (so you can't see in the back). It helps if you have someone friendly who sits with you too..
 
#8
No I'm afraid it's not as easy as that. I have the same problem as Lionheart. I had to quit going to school for a semester because my social anxiety was so bad. It was so bad that sometimes I could only sit in class for 10 minutes and then I would get up and literally hide in a bathroom stall until my Father came to pick me up.
 
#9
THERAPIST SESSION #2

Today I kind of just explained to her more about my social anxiety/ blushing/ nervous rash that I get. She said that it is important to understand triggers, so that I can practice the "grounding" techniques that I talked about in my first post before these triggers. We made "bubble sheets" like this...

(SCHOOL)-(I sit down)-(We take role)-(I'm nervous about saying "here")-(We begin our lesson)-(I'm nervous that she is going to call on me and that I won't know the answer and/or my face will get red.)-(we continue about our lesson)-(my heart beats fast I am more nervous)-(we are called into groups)-(ETC....)-(BLUSHING)

By doing this, you realize that A LOT occurs before the actual blushing/panic attack happens. There is a lot that occurs between school and then the blushing.

I have found while doing my "bubble sheet" that my nervousness starts before my "situation." (school.) I start to get nervous even before school starts! On the way to school, in the car is when I start to get nervous. (living in the future... like I talked about in first post.) This is when she wants me to play the alphabet game. While I'm on my way to school, to find something that begins with A, B, C... etc... until I get through the whole alphabet. It can even be cars like Chevy.. etc.. but it has to be things that I see.
Notice how I put the situation (School, work etc...) in the FIRST bubble, and then BLUSHING, PANIC ATTACK, NERVOUS RASH etc... in the LAST bubble. All the bubbles in between you must be extremely specific, detail to detail. Don't forget to keep adding in when you get the most nervous in your bubbles... etc...
WHOEVER IS READING THIS, I AM ASKING IF YOU CAN PLEASE MAKE A "BUBBLE SHEET" IN THIS THREAD. I AM CURIOUS TO SEE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE'S TRIGGERS ARE! Mine was really short, but they are supposed to be long because you are supposed to add EVERY detail!

She also printed out this article from Psychology Today for me to read called "Revenge Of The Introvert."
Revenge of the Introvert | Psychology Today

She also let me borrow this book:
"Restoring Hope and Trust, An Illustrated Guide to Mastering Trauma" by Lisa Lewis, Ph.D., Kay Kelly, M.S.W., LSCSW, Jon G Allen, Ph.D.
This book seems great so far for us blushers or us fellow social phobics. If anything seems interesting or seems like something that could really help someone in the book, i will add it in another post. The book is relatively short. This seems like it would especially be good for you... Brooklynn.

She also gave me this meditation Cd that I am supposed to sleep to. (I have a horrible time trying to fall asleep/stay asleep.) It is supposed to help relax my mind and thoughts at night. If there is a way to put this CD on the computer and give to other people, tell me so I can do so. I am not that great with the computer! If I can't then try to get one for yourself.

So we didn't really do too much today, just tried to give her a lot of information. Next week seems like it is going to be a lot better.

Try to bring your mind on focus to the task that you are doing right at that moment.
The things that we have trouble accepting are SHAME and HUMILITY.

"If we can let ourselves recognize and accept shame, we have the gift of humility, not humiliation!" (From that book I was talking about.."Restoring Hope and Trust."
Anyways, This week I am going to continue to work on the grounding techniques. I am going to make more bubble sheets. I am going to continue to meditate, possibly yoga, exercise and listen to that CD while going to bed. I am going to try to help myself know that it's okay to be asked questions.

If you want, you can write your goals and stuff here too!
Okay, I'm done for now. Good luck everyone!
 

Iseesky

Well-known member
#10
That is so lovely of you! It's like an online therapy session!
Ironically I'm going to try these techniques while attending my first clinical psychology class tomorrow! :D

Thanks!
 

roseycheeks

Well-known member
#11
thanks for sharing. as you can probably tell by my nickname i have a problem with blushing so this thread is helpful. looking forward to give it a go.
what therapetic style is it that you're doing? mindfulness baseD??
 
#12
Thanks for sharing, I find those techniques have helped me too, the mindfulness. It's hard to think that way but it helps to give yourself permission to blush or not to blush. If you tell yourself you absolutely cannot blush then you usually do.
 
#13
(SCHOOL)-(walking to school I worry about who will talk to me)-(get to class and sit down)-(Slightly red from just walking up the stairs)-(feeling guilty because I havent said hi to anybody in protection of myself so i dont turn red)-(open my computer and click around until class starts)-(I open my mouth to speak)-(blush)
STORES-(on my way I hope to god I dont see anyone I know because blushing under store or school lights is the absolute worst..especially in the store when added heat like my jacket is on)-(someone is being friendly by saying a few words)-(blush)
FAMILY GATHERING-(nervous before i go, obviously)-(see family, say hello)-(blush)-(begin talking about what has been going on etc, I never offer anything openly about myself, always someone asking me)-(blush)-(go to washroom to cool down-- but i find once the first episode happens, it's downhill from there, a dropped spoon will trigger it again , and it keeps getting redder and hotter :( )

I try to ignore the fact and carry on with my life, but I always seem to stumble upion the same issues... that are hard to ignore when so obvious. I have quit school a couple times...i am now in school for web design bcause i know its a job i can do without much contact with other people..( i do have interset in it as well- Ive always wanted to be a teacher but cannot for the life of me get through university with my blushing adn anxiety) - the first job i kept for longer than 4 months was when i was 22..(im 23 now) i kept it for a year... now i am in school so im not working. When i first started at the job i had for a year, my boss would always ask me if i was hot because I was blushing constantyly.. she finally stopped asking if i was ok becuse i guess she clued in.......... anyways..it's a big problem in my life..and everytime i ignore and try to belivee thats its not an issue..it comes knocking again.... its terrible. :(

Thanks for posting your therapy sessions..what kind of therapist is she...CBT?? I would go but i dont have the money right now...
 
#14
Interesting posts, thank you for sharing them. It seems to me its all about mental control. Control of being able to concentrate on anythink but blushing. I am a blusher and ive learnt to live with it the hard way, and its made me a stronger person. I am so much better and im improving all the time, i just have the odd bad days like most people. For me meditation has given me the contol of my mind and the use of self-help audios keep me thinking positive so i just keep getting better no matter what. Good luck! . I beleave all us humans will master are minds one day. :)
 
#15
One thing I do when I can feel the panic of a blush start is to repeat over and over in my mind "what do I have to do... what do I have to do."

Sounds stupid but I read something years ago in which a similar grounding technique was given. I can panic so much on the shame of blushing that I cannot concentrate on what the person is actually asking me to do so this can help me to focus.

I also notice that when other people blush it doesn't seem to matter as long as they don't show any anxiety. When I blush, I feel so ashamed (why???) that it shows in my face which always makes the other person feel uncomfortable.
 

mr.jimbo

Active member
#16
thanks for sharing september! you kind of gave me some perspective. i appreciate you taking the time telling us about this. thanks again.
 

Hottie

Well-known member
#17
Hi,

Im not sure if you seen when that was posted but it was last year. I was reading it and was going to comment when i first joined but then looked at the date and decided not to.

I wish he/she had of kept posting there sessions too..!!!! As there did sound very helpful.

I also notice that when other people blush it doesn't seem to matter as long as they don't show any anxiety. When I blush, I feel so ashamed (why???) that it shows in my face which always makes the other person feel uncomfortable.
Thats because they do not worry 24/7 about blushing...
With me, sometimes if someone im talking who gets embarrased over something, im in my mind going "oh sh!t they are after blushing...please defo dont happen now as he/she will think im mad!!", as it can be a trigger for me. Actully there is not alot of things that dont trigger me!

It is very difficult to lead a normal life if every social interaction and every sudden shock, you could possibly go red and have people look at you funny!
All i know is not to try and avoid things as it is soooooo much harder to get back into things and it also makes it worse.

@ Flushed & Mr.jimbo - how long are you suffering from this? Its a nightmare and i cant wake up.....

:)
 

Phoenixx

Well-known member
#18
Awesome post, September! Definitely enjoyed reading this, since I have such a hard time with blushing. No matter who I talk to or what I talk about, I just blush, constantly it seems.

I've tried a few of these techniques before. Some of them worked for me, but some of them didn't. The chewing gum thing really works for me, but I don't always like talking to people with gum in my mouth. Looking people in the eye seems to make me blush just as bad. :p I also try to 'play' with things whenever talking with people too, but it still doesn't seem to work for me. I'm gonna try scrunching my toes, or focusing on how something feels, see if that works...
 
#19
Hi,

Im not sure if you seen when that was posted but it was last year. I was reading it and was going to comment when i first joined but then looked at the date and decided not to.

I wish he/she had of kept posting there sessions too..!!!! As there did sound very helpful.



Thats because they do not worry 24/7 about blushing...
With me, sometimes if someone im talking who gets embarrased over something, im in my mind going "oh sh!t they are after blushing...please defo dont happen now as he/she will think im mad!!", as it can be a trigger for me. Actully there is not alot of things that dont trigger me!


It is very difficult to lead a normal life if every social interaction and every sudden shock, you could possibly go red and have people look at you funny!
All i know is not to try and avoid things as it is soooooo much harder to get back into things and it also makes it worse.

@ Flushed & Mr.jimbo - how long are you suffering from this? Its a nightmare and i cant wake up....
Oh, just noticed the date:)

I have suffered since I was about 10 or 11 (was teased by the entire class in school and that was that...) Developed a school phobia (but really it was about the blushing) and have gone through horrendous periods alternating between periods of coping and periods of normality. I am in a relatively good 'coping' period now even though I can have bad bouts of a few days of blushing. But I have avoided people my entire life because of blushing. Even close relatives, friends will be rebuffed if my fear of blushing gets the better of me.

The idea that it could be a physical cause appeals to me (obviously! it could be cured!!!) but also because the blushing does not seem to be a part of the real me. It really isn't who I am at my core.

The shame bit i guess comes from being teased and humiliated at school. Shame is a terrible thing. Without that I probably could cope but it is a big step to achieve: a bright red face and not a care in the world?

But, that's the key I think until there is a proven cure.
 
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