FACE TWITCHING when smiling, face clenching up in social sitauiations, can't smile... - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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FACE TWITCHING when smiling, face clenching up in social sitauiations, can't smile...


Hi everyone. I'm really really desperate in finding a solution. This problem of mine has completely ruined my social life and my entire existence..

My face twitches after I smile for a while, and because I don't want people to see that, during social situations my face just FREEZES up and I can just FEEL my face starting to twitch if I started to smile. It also happens during situations where I know I HAVE to smile, like if someone makes a joke or when I'm being introduced to someone...I just get paralyzed by the fear of my face twitching and I just freeze up... I've conditioned myself, it seems, to associate smiling with a negative feeling and the twitching and the anxiety just gets worse and worse...can someone PLEASE let me know of a solution. I really really would appreciate it if someone could post a solution for this problem instead of just reposting the same problem over and over on this page. thanks guys..
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post #2 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 11:11 PM
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I have an idea but I'm not sure if it'll be useful. I have a similar problem, so I'll try this out myself. If all of this is going on in your head, you probably are not doing a very good job at listening to whoever is talking or following the conversation. Maybe if you try and refocus yourself (which I understand can be pretty hard) on the conversation instead of your face then you will look more natural.

Perhaps a good way to stay focused is to try and stay as involved as possible. All of this is very contextual, but lets say you're being introduced, maybe you could offer your hand or say hello, or ask them something.

Anyway, it's just an idea. Personally my eyes will start to water and itch and my face gets this expression I can only describe as terror. When I start to notice these two things it's a sure sign that my mind is starting to wander.
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post #3 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 06:33 PM
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Hey, my names Colin. i just want to tell you that I have EXACTLY the same problem as you, and it really sucks, im sorry i don't have a solution, but it's good to know i'm not the only one. it has completely ruined my social life, everyone thinks im real serious when a joke is told and i squint and cant smile because my lips twitch and it looks like im about to cry. its awful really. i'm naturally a shy guy, but i know that i am potentially very sociable, funny and engaging, i just envy some peoples confidence when i see them and wish i was them, i really need help. i hope this problem doesnt turn to alchoholism too, because the the twitch goes away when i'm drunk as im not aware of trying to hold back the twitch. anyway sorry to write an essay without a solution but just letting you know your not alone, and please let me know if you find ways to help and i'll do the same, thanks
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post #4 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 12:24 PM
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Essential Tremor?


I know exactly what you feel!

Do you guys also have this when you're completely calm and alone? It's probably essential tremor in that case (I was diagnosed with that a few years ago).

I've been using Propranolol (40mg) and Xanax (0,5mg) as-needed, but this only helps a little...

It is also really ruining my life, avoiding places and people... Alcohol does help, but the day after it's even worse... Any other suggestions?
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post #5 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 10:56 AM
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Hi pariscommune,i get exactly the same.i think panic attacks causes it for me.i get anxiety and mild depression aswel,Most people probably wouldnt think i do.When my mouth twitches though im very very sure its visible and its so embarresing.The rest of the panic attack symptoms i can cope with and no one would know im having an attack its just my mouth twitching.I dont drink all the time but yes it helps in social situations,the only other thing that i found that completely helped was diazepam but doctor wont prescribe that long term so back to square one.tried anti-depressants but no luck there,i feel its worrying about panic attacks that makes me depressed in the first place.If anyone finds a cure or help please tell me.
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post #6 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 12:20 AM
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Hi!

I would work on relaxation techniques. If you can develop awareness around the muscle tension in your body and focus on learning how to relax your facial muscles, I reckon you could lick this problem. You could try a relaxation technique called progressive relaxation or yoga nidra (try google). Obviously, working on the mind would help too - with some cognitive behavioural therapy.

I have an annoying habit of moving my head when I'm at the hairdressers or dentists. Any time I have to keep my head still, it wants to twitch.
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post #7 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by little elf View Post
Hi!

I would work on relaxation techniques. If you can develop awareness around the muscle tension in your body and focus on learning how to relax your facial muscles, I reckon you could lick this problem. You could try a relaxation technique called progressive relaxation or yoga nidra (try google). Obviously, working on the mind would help too - with some cognitive behavioural therapy.

I have an annoying habit of moving my head when I'm at the hairdressers or dentists. Any time I have to keep my head still, it wants to twitch.

This is a great point , yoga nidra helps with the mind too. I hope OP checks into it.
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post #8 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 12:45 PM
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This is a great point , yoga nidra helps with the mind too. I hope OP checks into it.
Yes. Love yoga. Works on so many levels. Helps you develop detachment from thoughts and emotion. Best thing i have ever come across. Actually am training to teach right now. Yogarocks.
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post #9 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 04:04 PM
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similar issue


ive had similar problems that youre describing in the face..ive had many different sensations and different areas of my face tensing up. although i havent had twitching, i definitely know what your talking about and how it feels around people. The most recurring thing i get is severe tension where its hard to smile normally and i cant really show emotion on my face. It sucks yet im so used to it its hard to change
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post #10 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 05:24 PM
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I met this man who suffers from Tourettes. He's managed to keep from saying swear words by suppressing them with a twitch. So he twitches a lot. It was weird at first, because anything that we don't really understand seems weird to us, but I loved that man. And it wasn't just me. We all liked him, and his face twitching became "normal" to us really fast.

I would hate for you to be so afraid of your face twitching when you smile that you stop smiling! That is so sad. I bet your friends don't mind if you have a unique way of smiling. And I agree with the other person who said if you focus on what the person is saying, you might forget about your smile.

Good luck!
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post #11 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 04:41 PM
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I met this man who suffers from Tourettes. He's managed to keep from saying swear words by suppressing them with a twitch. So he twitches a lot. It was weird at first, because anything that we don't really understand seems weird to us, but I loved that man. And it wasn't just me. We all liked him, and his face twitching became "normal" to us really fast.

I would hate for you to be so afraid of your face twitching when you smile that you stop smiling! That is so sad. I bet your friends don't mind if you have a unique way of smiling. And I agree with the other person who said if you focus on what the person is saying, you might forget about your smile.

Good luck!
guess that means the last three years of my life have been pretty damn sad. i havent really been able to smile when having this tension crap in my face. its not twitching but it feels like im frowning
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post #12 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 10:31 PM
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Have an uncontrollabel twitch on the right side of my face, gets worse when i'm nervous. Has runed my social life, career. People automatically think I'm stupid and don't value my opinion and just begin to ignore me, which doesn't do to well for the ole self esteem. Nothing tops the humiliation of people occasionally staring, mocking/ laughing at me.
You can try magnesium supplements(I just started this), medication(s)(hasn't helped at all or just made me suicidal), botox(I haven't heard anything good about and then all the side effects.
I do keep hearing that any type of relaxation therapy does help, but there really isn't any cure for this.
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post #13 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 11:32 PM
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you are focusing on the face twitching, but you should focus on the cause of the face twitching

you say the cause is your fear and social anxiety isn't it?

so all you must do is spend energy on healing from social anxiety and fear and not caring what people think.

You might like to answer:
Whats more important in life than what people think of you?___

Whats more important in life than not having face twitches around people?___

whats more important in life than what people think about your face twitches?_____

That's to get you started. Otherwise, you need to keep up overcoming social anxiety in a regular way. Whether thats by seeing a therapist (preferably that specializes in social anxiety), reading articles online about how to overcome social anxiety, or watching youtube videos about overcoming social anxiety.

~To your peace, healing, and wellbeing
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post #14 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 06:55 AM
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Question

Face Twitching


Hi all
I have the same problem for about 3 years.
It happens sometime and I fell like unable to speak. The cheek muscle become harder and it get difficult to move the jaw. It is a very big problem.

I have tried to dig into the root cause. I do not know what causes it but to avoid it, following exercises help:
1- Blowing cheek with air for a while and release it
2-Squeezing the the cheek muscles towards nose, holding it for a while and then release (like you have smelled really bad)
3-Squeezing forehead muscles towards the middle of eyebrows, holding it for couple of seconds and then releasing it (just like when you feel angry at something)
4-Avoiding psychological anxiety : when I talk to someone face to face this happens. It is not usually there when I talk on phone or with my back towards him.
5-Restlessness may be one cause

I hope with exercises it could be fought back.

I have noticed that same expressions are also transmitted to the person who is looking at us. His/her face also starts twitching? did somebody else notice this?

Regards
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post #15 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestreak View Post
Hi all
I have the same problem for about 3 years.
It happens sometime and I fell like unable to speak. The cheek muscle become harder and it get difficult to move the jaw. It is a very big problem.

I have tried to dig into the root cause. I do not know what causes it but to avoid it, following exercises help:
1- Blowing cheek with air for a while and release it
2-Squeezing the the cheek muscles towards nose, holding it for a while and then release (like you have smelled really bad)
3-Squeezing forehead muscles towards the middle of eyebrows, holding it for couple of seconds and then releasing it (just like when you feel angry at something)
4-Avoiding psychological anxiety : when I talk to someone face to face this happens. It is not usually there when I talk on phone or with my back towards him.
5-Restlessness may be one cause

I hope with exercises it could be fought back.

I have noticed that same expressions are also transmitted to the person who is looking at us. His/her face also starts twitching? did somebody else notice this?

Regards


Wow this is the most similar experience ive related to with my probem--and i relate to everything you said, that i can be mental when it gets worse around ppl--also what you said that sometimes you see others faces cgange when you look at them and it just makes it so much worse..thanks for the advice though we always need to be thinkin of solutions, bc this thig is very hard to fight
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post #16 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 08:19 AM
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I twitch when im speaking to people i dont know, i hate it because im always thinking that they notice it.

Playstation 3 - tom1210

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Why don't you like me?
Am I so different from you?
Now does it scare you that I'm able to discern
What to love and what to burn
I'll add your fuel to the fire now
Stand back, brother take your hand back
Leave it and I might crack
More than a smile or two you see
Don't judge what you don't understand
You can't deny what has been given to me"
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post #17 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 08:47 AM
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This happens to me frequently when I'm speaking to someone one-on-one in person. It's almost like I try really hard for my expressions to look natural, but because of all that effort, they end up being unnatural and sometimes awkward. I can always feel the muscles in my face tensing up during the process.
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post #18 of 83 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 05:13 PM
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Sorry
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post #19 of 83 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 07:10 PM
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Mine has stopped for a while just automatically , but it had stopped before and then returned again , what i found helpful was to chew gum in social situations and it really covered my twitches , once you feel you are about to start twitching then chew faster then nobody could actually see that your mouth is twitching
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post #20 of 83 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 07:53 PM
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Facial excercises


First off I just wanted to say that I thought I was completely alone when it came to this side effect and I completely understand what you are going through. I have a few things that I do to help my face twinges and 'frozen smile' as I call it. The 1st thing I did was played with my expressions in the mirror and practiced a half smile using the side of my face that seems to twinge less. The other thing that I found that REALLY helped is before I go to public places or outing to where I know I'm going to meet people is facial exercises and vocal warm ups (you can do them in the car or in the bathroom so no one sees). It may sound silly but since we get tense and nervous in social situations the same techniques they use for public speaking help to relax the facial muscles and over time my twinges became less frequent. If you look up vocal warm ups for public speaking on youtube there is a lady that has a bunch of videos..... and if all else fails, fake cough when its time to smile and excuse yourself, It will get better over time =D hope this helps!
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