Blushing is a visual cue to a symptom of embarrassment. That’s technically what happens when a young girl is complimented by a boy she likes or a teenage boy when his dad shares an embarrassing story from childhood. Blushing is normal, and however uncomfortable it might be it may not be high on list of things to fear. Yet for some the fear is frustrating. Therapists refer to the fear of blushing as Ereuthrophobia.
This ‘symptom’ demonstrates itself by elevated blood flow and body temperature specifically in the face. This symptom of embarrassment is a strong visual cue to others. That cue is generally the fear trigger.
What Causes Ereuthrophobia?
It is highly probable that this fear is not an originating fear. What I mean by that is there is likely an original source fear like embarrassment, rejection or ridicule that can often trigger blushing. In this case the phobic personality expands their fear to include a symptom.
In this case the fear is almost always likely to be learned from personal experience. When the individual can feel their face getting warm from embarrassment they begin to struggle with more than one fear. If they could simply deal with their fear trigger quietly they might be happy, but the visual signal of blushing tells everyone that there is something the individual is embarrassed about.
This can also be a phobic response to social anxiety. A person may believe themselves to be living with the fear of blushing when it may be something completely different.
Symptoms of Ereuthrophobia
A phobic personality living with Ereuthrophobia will avoid any event or situation where they believe a question or circumstance might lead to blushing. This phobia can affect children as well as adults and the struggle can be visually heartbreaking.
Other symptoms may also include…
- Panic attacks
- Elevated heart rates
- An almost irresistible urge to flee
- Air hunger
No one appreciates being embarrassed, but the ereuthrophobe will do almost anything to avoid the potential for blushing and may run from the potential before anything is even said if they feel the threat of blushing is possible.
How to Overcome Ereuthrophobia
The fear of blushing is more symptomatic than the source of original fear. A therapist would be a great resource to help you understand what you fear most and why blushing is considered an object to be feared in addition to the original fear. It is quite likely the person with the fear may find a slightly greater sense of comfort in believing they fear blushing instead of something that may seem like a bigger deal.
A quality therapist is gifted in finding ways to treat your anxiety level and helping you realign your response to include rational input. This is important in developing a solution that meets your needs and allows for the greatest sense of relief.
In issues of social anxiety there may be medication that can help. Ask your therapist for details.
The fear of blushing is also referred to as:
- Blushing fear