To blush, or become red in the face, is a common occurrence that happens to nearly everyone. Sure, it’s an uncomfortable feeling that’s often associated with an embarrassing moment, but for some people, it’s more than just an uncomfortable feeling. Some people have an actual fear, or phobia, of blushing and it’s called erythrophobia. Those that suffer from this phobia aren’t afraid of the actual act of blushing, they are afraid of all the thoughts, feelings and emotions that are associated with it.

The feelings of embarrassment associated with blushing and the inability to control when and how much you blush are the basis of erythrophobia. A person who can’t control their blushing is in fear of what others think of them. Erythrophobia can also be associated with excessive sweating. So, blushing combined with excessive sweating can cause a person with erythrophobia to avoid social situations at all costs. Also, the anxiety caused by erythrophobia can manifest itself into actual physical symptoms.

Symptoms of Erythrophobia

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased perspiration
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing

Causes of Erythrophobia

The cause of erythrophobia is fairly unknown and since every individual is different, the cause varies for each person. Some experts attribute uncontrollable blushing to a failure on some basic level of the sympathetic nervous system. Erythrophobia can also be the result of low self-esteem or social anxiety. For example, people with low self-esteem are more easily embarrassed; therefore they are more likely to blush more often.

Erythrophobia can have many negative effects on a person’s life. It can cause great stress and anxiety and can cause a person to avoid social situations all together, leading to social isolation.

Treatment of Erythrophobia

Treatment of erythrophobia include medications available that can help fight this phobia. Also, there is a surgery that a person with erythrophobia can undergo. This surgery cuts off sympathetic nerve responses that are responsible for controlling blushing. Although invasive, this surgery can be effective.

While surgery and medication can work, a person who suffers from erythrophobia still suffers the fear of blushing and what others think. This is why it’s important to seek therapy as well. Therapy can help a person get over the mental fears associated with blushing. The most common type of therapy used to treat erythrophobia is behavioral therapy.

Erythrophobia can be debilitating and can cause great stress and anxiety in a person’s life, which is why it’s important to seek professional help. Realizing that you suffer from this phobia is the first step to recovery. A professional psychologist or psychiatrist can help you better understand yourself, overcome you fears, conquer the phobia and help you start living again.

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