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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Just north of Atlanta
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    Young WA man commits suicide over unbearable blushing

    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...icide#comments

    This is so sad. I had no idea there was such a thing as chronic blushing.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2008
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    Sydney Australia
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    3,594
    This is a really sad story. I wish he was able to reach out to the public to reduce the stigma of this disorder without giving his life away.

    Last year I was on a panel to hire a new teacher for the school. One of the applicants had this blushing disorder and I felt terrible for her. It's not like normal blushing. It started out as a little red rash on her face, and within a couple of mins , her whole face, neck and chest were tomato-red.

    I'm sure the other applicants were just as nervous, but their nerves weren't on display like this. The teachers on the panel said things like "if she was that nervous just doing an interview, how will she cope in a classroom?" Despite her credentials she was judged on her blushing.

    If I could see her again now I would tell her how sorry I am that I didn't say more to stop the judgement and discrimination.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2006
    Location
    Virginia
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    I understand how this young man was depressed about his disorder but I also have to wonder if the medications they gave him may have contributed to his suicide. I do know that some antidepressants can sometimes do just the opposite...make you more suicidal. I know the article doesn't say he was prescribed antidepressants but it did say anti-anxiety drugs.
    I wish Brandon had given it more time. There had to be some help out there for him.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    I've got a little blushing problem myself. Seems like if a stranger talks to me, I instantly feel my face heat up. I've never been able to get a job on my own (the few I've had, I've gotten through people I know that already work there) and I'm pretty sure its because I bomb interviews. I couldn't even get a job to groom dogs :P Who wants to hire the awkward person who's turning bright red when there's more confident people around.

    I doubt I have this disorder, but I do think I blush way more than most people :P 99% of the time I don't even have anything to be embarrassed about, but I can't control its happening. Of course, once it does happen, I'm very aware and then I am embarrassed, and then it gets even worse and I don't even want to make eye contact.

    I remember my friends in school telling me my face was red sometimes and giggling. Always nice when somebody points out your flaws and laughs at you. Maybe its funny to them, but it's pretty lame when you have "awkward" written all over your face every time you speak your mind. That is why I like the internet.

    Michaela Garecht | Misty Copsey | Scott Kleeschulte | Kyron Horman | Baby Kate | Mickey Shunick

  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    He looks like such a sweet kid -- without a care in the world....I guess it just goes to show that none of us know what burdens each other is carrying.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    1,465
    I blush easily too. Even talking to one person would cause me to blush. I was never able to take a speech class or stand in front of a group and speak. I never ever considered killing myself. There are so many other things in life that cause pain and hardship --- that for a person to commit suicide over this - IMO - is cruel to his family. More cruel to them then how he felt about this blushing. These young people that do this - don't they pause to consider what will happen to those left behind?

    I tell people dealing with life and its problems that it won't last forever. They will get through this bad spot and to think of people that are worse off. For example the young gal with the flesh eating bacteria who has lost her hands and feet. Now she's got bad stuff but her attitude will sustain her. Young people today must learn to deal with adversity and difficulties in all things because that is life. Suicide is the easy way out for them but years of suffering for the family left behind.

  7. #7
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    Have those of you with out-of-control blushing ever tried phobia therapy? I realize the blushing is involuntary, but I wonder if an expert trained specifically in helping people face fears could help with whatever underlying anxiety causes the redness.

    This is just me wondering aloud. I have no expertise on the subject, except that I worked at a phobic clinic once and I know a lot of the patients were there because of social anxieties.

    ETA I hope it's clear I'm not suggesting anyone is "crazy" or sick or anything of the kind. I'm just wondering if there is a round-about way to partially solve the problem.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Have those of you with out-of-control blushing ever tried phobia therapy? I realize the blushing is involuntary, but I wonder if an expert trained specifically in helping people face fears could help with whatever underlying anxiety causes the redness.
    (snipped.)

    I have no insurance and no means of paying for something like that, so no. It isn't a big deal anymore, now that I'm an adult and married. I just don't care anymore. The most people I see these days is when I go grocery shopping, and I don't have to talk to them. I'll admit that I felt myself blushing just reading your post, though.

    It's kind of a cycle. Seems like the more aware you are, the more you blush and fumble. The more you blush, the more embarrassed you become. People think you blush because you are shy. But maybe you are shy because you blush. And everyone else thinks its funny that you (appear) so nervous, which doesn't really help matters. You become very self aware over such a little thing. I don't think I'm shy, but everyone else always has. I'm not afraid of people. I just wish I could be as casual as everyone else when I speak.

    I'd never kill myself over this, either, though. I think something more was wrong.

    Michaela Garecht | Misty Copsey | Scott Kleeschulte | Kyron Horman | Baby Kate | Mickey Shunick

  9. #9
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    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucid View Post
    (snipped.)

    I have no insurance and no means of paying for something like that, so no. It isn't a big deal anymore, now that I'm an adult and married. I just don't care anymore. The most people I see these days is when I go grocery shopping, and I don't have to talk to them. I'll admit that I felt myself blushing just reading your post, though.

    It's kind of a cycle. Seems like the more aware you are, the more you blush and fumble. The more you blush, the more embarrassed you become. People think you blush because you are shy. But maybe you are shy because you blush. And everyone else thinks its funny that you (appear) so nervous, which doesn't really help matters. You become very self aware over such a little thing. I don't think I'm shy, but everyone else always has. I'm not afraid of people. I just wish I could be as casual as everyone else when I speak.

    I'd never kill myself over this, either, though. I think something more was wrong.
    Lucid, I am so sorry. I certainly didn't mean to make you blush, much less make you uncomfortable. The cycle you describe of blushing-because-you-are-blushing applies to most of us; it just isn't as severe and goes unnoticed.

    I can tell you've adjusted to the problem, but why should you have to do so? If there's a university anywhere near you, you might find a phobia clinic that would see you for little or no money. The one I worked for in NYC charged as little as $5/session because they were also a training institute.

    As I understand it, phobia therapy usually deals with learning to face one's fears and bio-feedback exercises that teach one to feel and control bodily reactions (such as blushing, anxiety, panic and the like). (ETA I was a clerk, not a patient. But they needed a volunteer to help them fine-tune the bio-feedback equipment. It was completely non-invasive and in no way uncomfortable or unpleasant.) AFAIK, phobia therapy usually isn't "lay on a couch for 8 years and tell me about your childhood secrets".

    Please don't blush over this post. I was just trying to think of something helpful and I admit I'm guessing. I certainly didn't mean to suggest you are "abnormal" in any way. We all have our reactions to stress.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    883
    Thanks for posting this. I actually think I might have this. I've never gotten to the point of being suicidal over it, but I definitely believe it can cause problems with relationships and getting a job. If you're already a nervous person who is not very confident in this culture where gregarious braggadocio is prized (at least in the US), you'll probably get counted out at job interviews and other situations if you are projecting nervousness through bright red splotches that you cannot help.
    If there is anything worse than the sandwiches, it is the sausages which sit next to them. Joyless tubes, full of gristle, floating in a sea of something hot and sad, stuck with a plastic pin in the shape of a chef’s hat: A memorial, one feels, for some chef who hated the world, and died, forgotten and alone among his cats on a back stair in Stepney. – Douglas Adams


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Lucid, I am so sorry. I certainly didn't mean to make you blush, much less make you uncomfortable.
    Oh its okay! I'm not uncomfortable at all. That's the whole thing. I usually am not, I just blush anyway - and only then do I get a little embarrassed. It happens for no good reason! That's the biggest reason I hate it. Because people think I am embarrassed or ashamed or uncomfortable when I'm really not, and it makes me look socially awkward when (aside from my red face) I don't feel that I am. Although maybe I am because I become so self aware at that point.

    I never took it that you thought me abnormal or anything else, sorry if it came across that way! I was just trying to explain it from the way I see it. And I just blushed simply because the post had something to do with me.

    Thanks for the info. I live in the same town as a small private college, but other than that one there isn't a univeristy near me for hours.

    Michaela Garecht | Misty Copsey | Scott Kleeschulte | Kyron Horman | Baby Kate | Mickey Shunick

  12. #12
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    Aug 2003
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    Palm Springs
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    Lucid, you weren't in the least defensive. It just occurred to me that some people still associate a certain stigma to any sort of therapy, and somebody reading (not necessarily you) might think I was faulting those who blush heavily.

    Many members of my family have very fair skin, but I got lucky. I got the blonde (now grey) hair and blue eyes, but I tan normally and don't blush too easily. My mother, however, can get a sunburn inside the house, if the drapes are open. LOL.



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