I've been dealing with SAD since I was about 11 and I'm about 3x that age now. I have no idea how it came about but it's something I've been ashamed of and have been dealing with privately for about 20 years. It's affected all aspects of my life including work and social situations. The worst part is the ridicule and the people talking about you as if you are weak or inept or whatever. If they only knew what we suffer through!
I blush badly under certain social situations (including when I'm talking to someone and another person next to them is looking at me or talking to new people) and I also have trouble breathing and accelerated heart rate.
So I've been reading the forums and I've been looking for a solution as I just started a new job and it makes me face my fears almost daily. Here's what I've tried:
(DISCLAIMER: I don't recommend taking any of these products, as everyone is different. These are just my experiences. Of course seek advice from a medical professional before using any products)
-Tiny pills that you're supposed to suck on that supposedly "Reduces facial redness and flushing". Not sure if it works, as I mention below. About $40.
-I don't recommend this and the manufacturer warns against using this on your face. If it gets in your eyes you could have permanent damage. I tried it and don't think it worked.
Aloette Redness Reduction Calming Creme
-Bought this instead of the Hemorrhoid Creme and other then the strong smell, it's like lotion. Not sure. (see below) About $35.
-This has helped me when I'm having trouble breathing when nervous, as these pills provide a euphoric feeling. I've read that they can be harmful, but so far so good.
-I was never good with taking things daily and none of the SAD drugs really did anything for me, except give bad side effects including trouble sleeping and accelerated heart rate.
-Started with downloadable cds and then just had my first session today and it took a few minutes to get comfortable, but was a good session. I have another one next week. Put aside the stigma of someone controlling you or the Hollywood mumbo jumbo. This is a bit pricey, but from what I've read this can be a good non-medicine/surgery solution. A few things I picked up from the hypnotist was that we have 2 states: Conscious and Unconscious. In our conscious state we try to rationalize things and find solutions by thinking things through. I think most of you can attest that this isn't something you can solve just by being positive or saying you will overcome. Some of you I'm sure have. I'll follow up with my results, if people show interest in this thread.
As far as the products above, it's hard to say if they work unless you have a mirror on you when you're blushing since some of these products might mask/reduce your blushing, so you'd still feel like you are.
Lastly I have to say that it is great to know that there are others out there who go through the same thing I go through daily. This forum and others like it are great. I hope you all can find little victories everyday and one day overcome this! I've often feel terrible and full of bad thoughts after an "episode", but tomorrow is a new day. Really this isn't the end of the world and this is coming from a guy who's dealt with this for 20 years strong.