FACE TWITCHING when smiling, face clenching up in social sitauiations, can't smile... - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #21 of 83 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 07:55 PM
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Yeah, my face fets all tense and rubbery too...I made a concerted effort to stop it but then I worry I come off looking expressionless.

Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips...
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post #22 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:52 AM
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Shrooms& Anxiety


I understand what your going through but my symptoms were brought on by myself. I took shrooms over two years ago in school and I had a panic attack and left the class. Ever since then my face smile twitches when I smile and I feel shaky when I lift heavy objects and my hands are always sweaty. I wish I Knew a way to get over this because before I didn't have a problem with being infront of alot of people but now I feel like I can't do any of that. Just stay postive and someday it will get better. It has been two years with some change. But no where near the same. If anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate them.
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post #23 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by pariscommune View Post
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..
I have the EXACT same problem. It sucks.
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post #24 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pariscommune View Post
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..
Same thing here man. That is the worst part of my SA! Help is appreciated if you have any solutions!

Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.
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post #25 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 04:32 PM
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In my own experience consistent exposure helps with "inauthentic behaviors" like too much smiling. If I stay active and engaged I tend to act more natural and have less time to think and become anxious.
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post #26 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 05:01 PM
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I haven't gotten this (the twitching) for a few years. I think it's mostly because I get less anxious than I used to, but someone mentioned magnesium supplements, and it's possible these may have helped, too (although I think the twitching stopped before I started taking them). Since I started taking magnesium, I have had very little twitching of any kind, a lot less hypnic jerking, and also none of the sudden, very painful calf cramps I used to get in the middle of the night (which were the main reason I decided to try it). I do still sometimes get sort of frozen smiles I can't get rid of, but at least they don't twitch.
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post #27 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 07:07 PM
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This only really happens to me if I'm smiling for a photo. It feels like it takes the photographer forever to finally snap the picture. Having pictures taken of me is like torture.
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post #28 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 12:17 AM
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exact same symptoms i have....once again no solution but looking for things to help so bumping to the top
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post #29 of 83 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 03:21 AM
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Uggghh the same thing happened to me in the past when I was really nervous, I remember I was asking this girl to the formal, and it just started happening uncontrollably It was probably one of the most embarrassing things ever. It rarely happens now but I find myself blushing like really bad for like 2 minutes straight when I'm really nervous or anxious too, which seems like succcchhhh a long time, especially when it feels like an hour when you blush normally, so it just feels like its never goin to stop :/
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post #30 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 04:19 PM
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I've been searching for a forum that describes my symptoms for years and by the number of replies to this 'frozen smile' it looks like we're certainly not alone.

After suffering SA since my teenage years, the main issue for the last 15 years has been this frozen muscle in my lower left hand eye whenever I smile. I've used smiling to hide my anxiety since I was about 15, but because I did this in EVERY social situation I was in, I've now inadvertently 'trained' my eye to lock up or freeze in an unnatural way when I'm feeling even remotely anxious.

When rubbing my lower left eye muscle I can feel & hear a 'liquidy' squelchy sound as I try to massage it back and make it behave! My right eye does not have any such fluid like sounds when rubbing it.

It completely pulls the carpet underneath me when meeting people or talking in social situations and usually results in most people rubbing their own lower eye in response to my eyelid kind of locking up when talking to them.

I feel like screaming - "It's not you...It's ME and I can't help it!!"

Even more frustrating is there's no inbetween. I can't half smile - it's either all or nothing. I'm a naturally friendly person who is sincere and actually enjoys the challenge of making people smile. It comes in handy in helping people in an IT support function, but it is just so awkward, deflating and confidence shattering.

I feel a lot more at ease talking to people on a serious note or anything that doesn't involve smiling or laughing, as I can talk with confidence.

I've tried Botox on 3 occasions but found it had too much of a negative effect and did not allow my eye muscle to 'smile' at all. I would really have to squint my eye almost shut in order to make the eye smile at the same time as my mouth!

I might try the mirror practice and focus on trying to half smile so I can find some sort of inbetween. It's difficult as my social anxiety dictates that the problem will not occur unless there is someone else around other than my wife.

I'm sorry for the long post, but it's somehow relieving to find others with this problem. At time I feel like looking up eye surgery or getting a doctor to drain this fluid I can feel around the muscle.

I guess we've got to treat the cause not the effect...
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post #31 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 03:40 PM
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Wow. It's great to realize that I'm not alone in something I thought was just some random problem I had when talking to specific people. I guess it's more about where I'm holding the tension in my body. The main issue I usually have to deal is that I don't exactly know what to do with my mouth. It's feels almost silly; when I'm not talking, just listening, I have trouble just holding my face still, especially my lips. It's like I'm almost quivering above a smile, and the more I notice it, the worse it gets.

Thanks, friends, for the facial exercises and warm-up ideas; I'll put them into practice next time I feel the social situation requires it--probably soon.
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post #32 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 03:41 PM
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I hate it, I get in the eyebrow muscles :\
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post #33 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 05:10 PM
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I twitch the left side of my face, and sometimes open my eyes a little wider than they should be, but neither lasts for more than one second. It's so annoying. I do this when I'm alone and around people.
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post #34 of 83 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 03:38 PM
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Yes! I know!


I get the same problem with the twitching. It's almost always in my mouth. I don't get it while talking to all people- it's usually when I see someone I haven't seen in a while or someone I don't know too well who I haven't seen in a while. It's the worst when the person acts really excited or surprised to see me. When there's a level of intensity, I get uptight .Alcohol helps alot. I don't have a problem with my social anxiety at all after a couple drinks.

I also get the twitching thing when I'm getting my picture taken and I'm expected to smile, especially for several pictures. The longer I'm expected to hold a smile, the more uptight I feel, and my mouth twitches. That never looks good in the picture, lol. I always have a weird, half, fake-looking smile when I feel this way.

It's so comforting to see so many people have the same strange problem I do!
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post #35 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 01:29 AM
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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

i do the same
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post #36 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 05:34 AM
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Hey man. Try EFT. http://www.garythink.com/eft/
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post #37 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 06:37 PM
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I've had this problem for about 6 years now, but off and on. It happend once when I was 15 and I met my new neighbours (cute girls next door) then again when I was 17 and came home to visit friends after not seeing them for a year. It didnt happen again until I was 20 and it really got bad. Im now 22 and this is driving me crazy. But I think I may have found a solution...

I found a website where you pay $60 to ask a question to a professional, so I asked a neurologist about this problem. He said its called Ephaptic Transmission, and its when the protective coating around your nerves wear thin and they touch each other and the nerve signals transfer between nerves, kind of like an electric shock. He told me there wasnt much I could do besides facial stretchs, botox, anxiety meds and he even suggested tonic water with the ingredient quinine since quinine is used to relax muscles. I drank a 12 pack and didnt notice any difference. But then I did more research and found out there are ways to thicken your nerve coatings (called myelin sheath) there are even supplements called mylein sheath growth (or something like that) thats meant to thicken it. I only found it online and havent tried it yet. I read that omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seed oil and evening primrose oil can thicken it. and B12 vitamins and vatamin D helps too.

They say it takes about 4 months to see a difference and 1 year to make a full recovery, Ive been taking omega 3-6-9, evening primrose oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, B complex and magnesium for about 2 months and havent seen a difference yet.

I dont know if this is the solution but its hope.

I also read on another thread that someone cured themselfs of this problem by taking high amounts of magnesium, they said 1200mg a day fixed it almost instantly. i read this 2 days ago and started doubling my dose since. But you have to be careful you dont take too much.

Hope this helps, please let us all know if you have any suggestions for this problem.
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post #38 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 05:25 PM
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Hi everyone,

I thought I'd google 'panic smile mouth fear social' - and this forum thread came up. Reading the posts, it's exactly the same thing that has made my life such a misery, so I thought I'd sign up and share my experience.

I first discovered I had this problem in school when I was required to give a presentation. I've always been a nervous person and when I stood up in front of everyone and started it, I thought I had it all under control.

It went reasonably ok. I reached the end of the talk, my heart was pumping ten to the dozen, and the teacher started discussing the subject with me in front of the class while I was still stood up and I handled that ok too, I thought - but then something happened that I couldn't handle. The conversation became jokey.

The teacher made a quip, and I did what I'd done countless times before when I've been too nervous to smile naturally - I faked it. They say you can always tell in someone's eyes if their smile is fake. It wasn't too much of a problem in this instance because I figured people couldn't spot it from this distance. But still, it took effort. The other giveaway is how quickly the smile vanishes from the face, and I was conscious of that.

The teacher had a reputation as being a bit of an aggressive guy - not physically but mentally. A very smart, very domineering man. And he started laughing and cracking jokes at my expense - banter I suppose most people would call it. To my horror I found that I was too anxious to be able to smile properly.

This was awful because I was desperate for people to not think that I was arrogant and couldn't laugh at myself - so with 50 students all watching, I tried to smile again, and suddenly one side of my face (from the corner of the mouth up to my eye) twitched so violently and unexpectedly that it stunned me. I don't mean a single twitch. I mean it started twitching and kept doing it, and wouldn't stop. It lasted for what felt like minutes. Everyone was sat there watching me, with looks of either bemusement or extreme pity on their faces, some openly laughing.

I knew I couldn't possibly just run out of the room without making it worse, so I forced myself to stay stood there, twitching like a sad pathetic crazy thing, trying harder to smile with them, and twitching more violently as a result. The ******* of a teacher, instead of sensing my discomfort, seemed to ramp up the aggression and it just became worse - my whole face was contorting almost like I was having a fit. I really thought I was going to pass out. Finally, after what felt like an eternity of sheer hell, I was invited to sit back down. I walked to my seat, sat down, and knew that my life had just ended.

Since then, the fear of recurrence has resulted in many awkward moments especially in social situations where banter and humour flies back and forth. I used to have friends who, like most males of a certain age, would show their bonding by ribbing and mocking each other. I know, it's kind of backwards but it's a guy thing isn't it? Anyway often I would be the butt of a concerted mocking episode, and my smile would fail me. I'd be desperate for them not to think I couldn't handle a joke at my expense - but that's how I'd be coming across, like I had no sense of humour. In the end it got so bad that I broke contact and moved away.

That was over 20 years ago and I have never properly recovered from that school experience. If I could sum up the one recurring emotion in my life now, it's embarrassment. Humiliation. A total inability to ever convey dignity and authority. I feel like a boy in a man's body. And wow has it held me back. Also I now blush at everything - even when I'm by myself I can read something and blush with a kind of empathy of what the person I'm reading about might be feeling. I'm a 40 year old man. It's pathetic. I regularly feel suicidal about what kind of adult I've become.

It might be relevant to mention that both my parents suffer from extreme social anxiety (my mother couldn't even attend my brother's wedding, it's that bad), so in terms of genes and upbringing I suppose I had this stacked against me! My brother is also very shy and introverted but not nearly as bad as me.

This is the first time I've ever recounted that day or this problem to anyone - I've never even told my family, but it changed my life forever. I was one of the brightest people at school and offered a place at the country's top university. My zero confidence led me to reject their offer - I know, madness - and I've been on minimum wage jobs ever since. I'm trying to save up enough money to buy some hypnosis sessions with a therapist, hoping that will help. Positive thinking books are also useful. Mostly I just shun social situations and come alive on the internet where I can appear like a fairly regular normal person. Thank god for the internet.

And thank you for reading.
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post #39 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 05:57 PM
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Talk to a doctor/therapist.

Not to sound like a snot or anything but that sounds pretty severe and beyond just "uncomfortable". It might not be shyness.
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post #40 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 06:03 PM
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I think when a person is twitching and clenching they are trying to hide/suppress their REAL emotions. That is why the face starts to contort and do weird stuff because you are trying to smile when the real emotion you are having is something other than a smile.

Just my opinion--that is why I say maybe see a therapist for that.
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