To think I'm too bloody old to still be blushing???

(75 Posts)
FaresPlease Wed 02-Oct-13 21:02:37

Just that really. Happens when i speak to pretty much anyone i'm not completely comfortable with, which is basically everyone except immediate family. Even on the phone!! It restricts my life and causes me so much distress and embarrassment and has done ALL my bloody life and I'm sooooo sick of it. Am I unreasonable to expect that in my mid 30's I should have a little more self confidence and composure? I actually have pretty good self esteem, am reasonably intelligent, have managed to get married and have a family, but I must come across as some sort of nervous shy bright red weirdo to most people.

binger Sat 05-Oct-13 15:03:57

I get this too and it goes right down my neck. I find propranolol really helps. I used it when my anxiety was bad and my blushing has dramatically reduced. I don't really use it now and I hardly blush at all. I guess mines must have been caused by anxiety deep down and I just didn't realise.

Sahmof3 Fri 04-Oct-13 21:53:02

Thanks so much abigboydidit for all that information. The place where you went looks very good and has certainly given me an idea about what to look out for. I notice that the therapists all have some involvement with the London College of Clinical Hypnosis, so maybe I could make an appointment with one of them in London. I'll definitely give this a go. This thread could change my life! I'm so exited thinking about all of the things I'll be able to do if I don't have to worry about blushing...simple things like being able to express my opinion in a meeting. Eternally grateful!

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 19:50:33

This is where I went. It may help see what credentials hypnotherapists should have?

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 19:44:11

I should say (think I mentioned it upthread but can't remember) that I tried CBT first but with no success.

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 19:42:29

Hi Sahmof3. Am glad you found us! I wish I had done it many years before as it caused me so much stress. I was fed up listening to people telling me I was imagining it, or to try not worrying about it - or that people wouldn't notice (as if!). As you said, you can feel them getting embarassed for you! The irritating thing with me was that I had a good job and I could do public speaking etc - it was just so unpredictable. The one that always got me though was when I bumped into someone unexpectantly. I must have looked so shifty..

Anyways - onto the session. It was about a decade ago but I will describe what I remember. It was about an hour or 90 minutes. She started with an interview and I explained the issue and general niggles (I explained I was a worrier by nature but wanted to make it clear that it wasn't social anxiety that was the cause). She then talked me through a relaxation. I didn't really think it had worked. During the session I thought I was fully conscious and aware of everything. I remember getting an odd fluttery eye feeling - that's the only way I can describe it! I bit like that feeling of falling you might get if you drift off to sleep on a train or something but without the unpleasant shock sensation. I do very clearly remember her saying a bit about "I wont let the gereral day to day things cause me to worry" & feeling a bit ratty as I hadn't asked her to tackle my worrying! I would say I heard the words she was saying but wasnt always fully following her. It was just a nice soothing sound. Then she counted me up and out, so to speak.

Afterwards we discussed how well it had gone and (I think - my memory is hazy) she described that people have sort of 3 levels - fully aware, partly under and fully under (she had fancier terms for those!) depending on how amenable to hypnosis they are. She said I drifted between partly and fully under, so the fluttery bits I recalled were me actually coming out of a deeper trance (I don't know the right word for it but you know what I mean). When I looked at the clock I realised I clearly had missed huge chunks as I remembered about 10 minutes and about 45 minutes had passed!

She didn't give me any guarantees and said it might take more sessions but it didn't I still use the CD occasionally as a top up if I feel it creeping back in or have something particularly anxiety provoking to do. Hope that helps! Any more questions, please just ask!

Sahmof3 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:05:25

abigboydidit Thanks for the info about hypnosis. I considered having the operation mentioned above when I read about it a few years ago, but it does sound pretty risky. I didn't want to leave three kids without a mum just because of what is, in my view, a problem largely caused by other people (i.e. their bloody insensitive comments which makes it a million times worse). I hadn't even considered hypnosis, but it's something I will definitely look into. Did you need to play the CD afterwards, or was the one session of hypnosis enough? This is a stupid question, but what is hypnosis like? Do you feel as though you've lost consciousness or just very relaxed and are you aware of what is being said to you on a conscious level?

Its so weird. I had a major blushing attack yesterday in front of a bunch of lovely people who just tried to ignore it...but it was obviously painful for all of us and it lasted at least ten minutes at major beetroot colour, probably another ten to cool down! I'm fairly new to mumsnet, but decided to look it up last night and just couldn't believe it when I read this post and realised that there are so many with exactly the same problem. I'm soooo pleased to be able to chat to people who understand how debilitating this condition really is.

sandyballs Fri 04-Oct-13 10:25:59

I'm also a blusher and I'm 45. I'm very sociable and have lots of friends but some situations just make me burn up, it's very odd. It's definitely held me back at work.

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 10:19:21

What made me decide to do it was a colleague called me up after I had chaired a meeting one day. I had one of my major blushes right in the middle of the meeting, for no reason as it was a group of my peers and I wasn't anxious or anything. She called me up to say she had felt so sorry for me during the meeting as I was obviously struggling with self confidence and had felt anxious in the group. She recommended I do a workshop on public speaking and forwarded me a flier for one taking place nearby.

I was one of the speakers on the workshop confused

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 10:12:09

Am in Scotland. Sorry! It was a good few years ago. Ten maybe? And cost £60 and I got a CD to play away with me. The difference was amazing. I was very sceptical but the next day I would feel myself thinking "uh-oh.. Here it comes". But it didn't. And I am talking the full on purple face, sweat on top lip stuff but, no. I still blush but appropriately. So if am feeling guilty or getting teased I will get rosey cheeks but nothing like the crazy blushing that used to happen. I so regret listening to all the people who told me to shrug it off or that no one else but me will notice. They do notice. And sometimes comment. And I couldn't shrug it off hmm

I'm really interested in hypnotherapy too. How many sessions is it likely to take? Did you notice a dramatic difference?

I'm in south Leicestershire and already googled a few charging around £90 smile

Sahmof3 Fri 04-Oct-13 07:55:31

abigboydidit I'm in Sussex. If anyone could recommend a hypnotist that would be great.

bobkate Thu 03-Oct-13 22:57:18

This really gets me too - and I can totally relate to faresplease and ridersofthestorm, well and everyone else really too.
I find myself not looking someone in the eye in case I blush, then in my head I'm thinking that I'm being rude and shifty looking so I'll try to look them more in the eye, then I blush, get flustered, get more embarrassed, feel like I'm making a right tit of myself, blush some more, then go back to no eye contact and feel even more embarrassed and rude and socially inept so blush more. God, and I'm 39. It was dreadful when I was at school - had some nice teachers who wouldn't put me on the spot as they knew my reaction....and some others who either were oblivious to my obvious problem or who asked me outright things on purpose.

TedMoseby Thu 03-Oct-13 22:42:31

I blush too! Not all the time, but in situations where I bump into people unexpectedly, if I'm being accused of something I haven't done or if I get it into my head that someone thinks I fancy them.

I really wish people would think first before saying things such as "ooooh look, she's going red" as it just makes it worse. I often wonder why they get a kick out of mortifying someone.

elah11 Thu 03-Oct-13 22:37:37

aggaddoo I was thinking that too, how so many people on here have experienced the same thing yet I have never seen it happen to any one else in real life? My gp prescribed clonidine for me too and so far, 4 months in, it has reduced the problem by about 80 or 90%. It's not a total cure but it's a lot better than it was. Gp said around age 40 hormonal changes can occur that make your blood vessels more sensitive and thats why you blush/flush. I found alcohol and caffeine definitely make it worse so I steer clear unless I am at home and there is no one to seesmile

abigboydidit Thu 03-Oct-13 22:20:49

Where are you? Just in case I could recommend my hypnotherapist.

Sahmof3 Thu 03-Oct-13 22:19:27

This is me too. It's has really limited me in life, mainly because people so often comment on it. The thing is, the level of redness doesn't reflect the level of embarrassment I feel. Like someone said here, it could just be bumping into someone I didn't expect to see that leaves me looking like a beetroot!

I've also got Rosacea now which probably doesn't help.

Would like to know more about hypnosis and how to find someone good, if anyone could offer any advice.

Aggadoo Thu 03-Oct-13 11:15:46

Also here's someone who had it done - sorry its a DM link
www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-107003/Surgery-cured-blushing.html

Aggadoo Thu 03-Oct-13 11:11:16

Sympathectomy is the operation, here's more info, sounds drastic though:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endoscopic_thoracic_sympathectomy

It's strange isn't it - a number of us who have this and yet I have never met / seen anyone blush in random situations like I do. It feels like your face just let's you down as it's expressing something you don't actually feel!

heidiwine Thu 03-Oct-13 08:48:42

I thought I was alone until I read this thread! There are other people out there just like me!
I blush talking about blushing and always blush in front of authority figures - every male boss I've had must think I have a massive crush on them... Of course that makes me blush even more.

I am definitely going to look into hypnotherapy. I would love to be free from blushing it literally takes over my life sad

FaresPlease Thu 03-Oct-13 08:05:17

Reassuring to know there are so many others with this issue. And that there might be a few things for us blushers to try in order to improve things.

Like a number of others, I feel confident within myself, but the blushing let's me down, and sort of gives people the wrong impression of me.

Sadly, I regularly turned to alcohol in my younger days, thinking that would help (on nights out only, not in the daytime). It of course did not help, and I ended up waking in the morning with something to genuinely be embarrassed about!

I think I might go down the hypnotherapy/CBT route initially.

I do hope people will report back with any progress or success they have with this!

BrianButterfield Thu 03-Oct-13 06:54:23

I'm a teacher and I don't really blush in the classroom any more although stressful situations do set it off. We have a new head of department though and I blush furiously every time he speaks to me which is really odd as I honestly have no particular feelings or opinion about him so I just can't work out why!

MomentForLife Thu 03-Oct-13 00:01:49

I don't really blush from anxiety or embarressment much. I do however get really flushed when I'm tired. Or if the heating is on my face is beetroot. I have very white ruddy skin so it's to be expected I suppose. Puts me off going to the gym or anything though.

I think it's so rude if people point it out you.

cerealqueen Wed 02-Oct-13 23:45:37

I still blush, in my 40s. if I know I'll blush I visualise icey cold snow against my face, and it helps. Can also reduce the blush if I think about this quick enough. Nearly blushing writing this FFS.

LostMarbles99 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:34:12

buddagirl what is CBT?

Have heard of it but not really sure what happens

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