Fear of blushing.

by Kristi
(Akron, OH)

I have always turned red when nervous. When I was 23 (a year ago) that turned into an all out phobia. I had a crush on a boy and when I would see him I would get nervous, therefor I would blush. I was scared that I would blush in front of him. That began to turn into panic, and panicking made me blush.

Ever since then, I have avoided many situations that I think might induce uncontrollable blushing (panicking). I have realized that this is a form of agoraphobia. My thoughts are irrational. For instance, me and my friends were hanging out on the porch once. We were waiting on another friend to show up. I began to think, "What if I panic when he shows up, then everyone thinks I'm in love with him?" I became uneasy. Then he showed up and sure enough, I panicked. I had to go inside for a while but I think everyone could tell that I was freaking out. It's EMBARRASSING.

I only do my grocery shopping at a 24-hour store at 1 in the morning. I'm scared to run into ANYONE. I'm scared I'll freak out in front of ANYONE, no on in particular. When I think I see someone I know, a wave of terror spreads over my body. I used to be extremely confident. Not cocky, just confident. I never worried about things like this. I could get up in front of people and speak. I'd be nervous but I could get through it. I consider myself an outgoing person. When I ran into people I knew I just bs-ed and moved on. Now all I can think about is, "Am I going to have a panic attack in front of this person?"

My agoraphobia is not out of control, but it has progressed since it first started a year ago. I need to stop it before it gets bad but I don't know where to begin. I hope that I can look back on this period of my life and think about how stupid I was.

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