Well... I'm going to be quite honest with you, I've had this horrible problem for about half a year, and it has ruined my life completely. It has made me drop out of school, and basically avoid anything social. When I get nervous my face gets all stiff, it almost feels like my face is a mask, most of the problem is in my head, because I only look weird and have awkward facial expressions when I think about it, but once I start thinking about it, I can't stop... leaving me looking, well... weird. It kinda feels like I have a really stiff upper lip.
Friends have noticed it, and only my best friend I talk to it about, he knows I'm "crazy". When I get in public, I start to overthink it, and then my face gets all tense, especially on the left side of my face, I look awkward, and get laughed at. I can't even smile in public when my face gets tense because I have an awkward smile as well. As I said above I'm going to be honest, with that said, I've experimented with cocaine, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy. I hardly do any drugs now besides marijuana, but the thing is, when I'm high on marijuana, my facial tenseness gets even worse...
I have school in about 7 days, and I know i'm probably going to look weird and get laughed at. If this continues to go on, I don't know what I'm going to do, I've thought about a bullet through the brain to just stop all the emotional pain. It's almost as if, in the back of my brain I'm telling myself to tighten up my face, and I can't tell myself to stop. Please also note that I have ADHD. I'm only 17, please I want my life back... help me

edit: just now.. from thinking about it, my face is stiff at the moment, and I'm not even in public. And please don't give me a short answer.
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First Helper Psychology1
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replied March 25th, 2009
no help huh?
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replied March 29th, 2009
my advice is to try and not think about your self or your face. I suppose if you keep your mind off of the problem while talking to others it should not bother you. I use to have social anxiety growing up and it seemed to fade as i got older. One thing that has helped me was to not think of how im feeling while talking to others but what was going around me and the people i was interacting with. If you feel your face tense up them just try to relax and keep busy.
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replied April 14th, 2009
I know the answer
Listen, I know exactly what you are talking about. I had that exact problem, and I cured it after long practice -- and you can too.

The reason you are tense is due to anxiety from being in public, it's catch 22. You get anxious from being in public, so your face tightens, your face tightens so you get more anxious, etc.

All you have to do is relax those muscles (for me, I had horrible eyebrow tension, and lip tension, and eye tension, I had it all...my face looked messed up). I first learned to stop my eyebrows from being tense first, then came the other muscles in my face.

Sometimes i'd only be able to hold the relaxed posed for several seconds before a muscle in my face twitched, but I would relax again, and after a while I realized I can relax it at will, and then I started to practice more in public. It started to work, and suddenly I felt more confident then ever....

Relaxation is the key man. It's very very hard to be relaxed in public, but through excerises and what not, I was able to rid myself of most of bodily tension (I had tension all over my body, an marijuanna only amplified the feeling. When i moved i felt stiff, and awkward...) but now I move better from being relaxed.

You can do it too man, don't ever think about commiting suicde. Work on concentrated relaxation, and you will realize that it translates to public as well (after practice)...

you can do it!
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Users who thank Sulldemort85 for this post: kingdevon 

replied May 6th, 2009
same
dude i have the same problem. im so mad at myself, its messing up my life. the muscles in my face actually are starting to hurt and i cant stop them from hurting. I really need help but i dont no where to look for it. its like right by my chin and mouth, i cant even smile in public. sometimes even alone i can hardly smile.
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replied August 13th, 2009
This happens to me too!! I don't smoke pot though or do any drugs, except I do drink alcohol sometimes, but rarely and when I do that's the only time my face is relaxed. But this stiffness totally controls me out in public, I can't set with people behind me cause that only makes it worse. I wish I could get rid of this, it's ruining my life, I know that's a bit dramatic but it truly holds me back from a lot of things, like public speaking.
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replied August 13th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
First off, stop using drugs and booze. All it is doing is aggravating the problems. You are spending too much time dwelling on your anxiety in public. While people are talking to you, you are probably not even listening, but rather worrying about your face. You need to tell yourself you don't care what others think of you, that you are a pretty cool person. The more you tell yourself things that boost your self-confidence, the more you will learn to believe it, and the anxiety will go away, Don't put too much stock in what you think others are thinking of you, because surprise...they really aren't too worried about you...each and every one of us has something we are self-conscious about, and we are all preoccupied with our own thoughts of what others think of US too! Stop and think about this...If you saw a 500 pound man walking down the street, exactly how much time would you REALLY spend worrying about HIM? Not too much, is my guess! Once you see him, think to yourself he's fat, then it's on to thinking about something else.

Chill out, practice relaxing and being your own best friend, The rest will follow, and to those who want to bully or razz you, the heck with them! They don't pay your rent!
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replied August 23rd, 2010
The tension and pain inthe face really is a terrible mind trap, it seems to keep happening no matter what. I simply can't conquer it after a whole year of fighting the symptom. It's not that I can't stop thinking about it... It just keeps coming on and gets worse as I notice it, by ten times at school, then I can't even think I'm so consumed. My life, my goals, anything I used to kind of stride for disapears. It's like when you get hurt really bad and all that's on ur mind is the pain. And that's a terrible state to be in all day at school. I can't understand it it seems like unfair and unnecessary suffering ): ): ): I mean they say out of suffering comes wisdom.. I would work without any pay, living of insects , helping kids in Africa all my life if it would mean I could be free of this..why oh why fid this ever happen . Why did my brain glitch once and. Keep tightening my face
time keeps passin, and I can't hold on, can't catch up to the present happening around me, to be myself again
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replied October 9th, 2010
Totally can relate to all, i never use to get anxiety as bad but when my ex broke up with me i suddenly lost myself, now i cant even walk down the road without thinking that people are thinking stuff about me... Its a mental state its are own minds that make this happen... I really want it to stop
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replied October 28th, 2011
Detox & Chelation
Had it as well, terrible issue to deal with. I beleive it is one of the results from toxin heavy-metal accumulation in the body and brain as once I started doing natural detox and chelation the issue went away. No amount of "practicing" or "relaxing" or other nonsense will work. It is real, and it is not something that is controllable at all. Unless someone has experianced this before, they will not understand that. Detox and chelation ASAP. It worked for me. Good luck, do this NOW!!
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replied May 3rd, 2013
when a person sees a ghost, the blood rushes from the persons face and goes pail and stiff
this means your in fear
its simple social anxiety..
im still batteling with the exact same thing right now
iv have the stiff face problem my whole life and just thought it was normal..
so at the moment i have doing social anxiety hypnosis and tapping routines.. also im getting subliminal messages on my computer to give me confidents.
i also have stoped watching porn and masturbating as i have heard to decreases anxiety
but i havent one yet.. but i will continue
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replied January 14th, 2014
...
Ah, I've had troubles like that before. It's a tricky problem that only gets trickier the more you think about it. This probably isn't very helpful but... I found the show Tsuritama inspiring. The main character has the same exact problem where his face tightens up and goes red and I found his thoughts on the situations very relatable. However, he does get better as time goes on. You don't have to watch it but basically the character's symptoms gradually becomes less of a problem as he;

1.) Learns to brave certain situations even though he knows his face will stiffen. He forces himself to go through with things he's uncomfortable with for something more important to him, in this case his friends.
and
2.)He gains confidence by doing something he's good at and enjoys in a social environment.

This sort of problem is of course impossible to solve by mental effort alone, because it is itself a mental problem and it only gets worse the more you think about it. So, without drugs or treatment, I've found the only way to battle it is indirectly. By working on my self confidence and finding things to focus on other than my anxiety(sports, friends, art, goals), my problem has lessened tremendously.
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replied December 26th, 2015
Iam going through the exact same situation have you over come it yet? If you did how?
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replied January 11th, 2016
High self monitoring is what this is called and these thoughts, feedback in a physical loop, which causes muscle activation in the face and other muscles. This is what has ruined my life. I trained as a psychologist and I now know the mechanism which causes the issue. However, I still suffer from this crushing affliction. Just thinking about your face and other's perception of it during face to face situations, is what causes it to come in to being. A thought 'writes' the facial tension in to your face. Think about it like this, when you are unconscious, you have a relaxed face. That shows A. that relaxation is proven to be possible and B. that it is your thoughts that have created it. Zero thoughts, zero problems. Normal people do not have our self-conscious egocentric and very much narcissistic thoughts and hence they aren't even aware that such a thing exists. For us just 'doing nothing' is a thing, for normal people, it is just that, doing nothing. Without any thoughts in your mind, you absolutely must have no facial or anxiety issues. Tension cannot exist without a causal thought to initiate it. When you know that your problems depend entirely on a thought, you then are faced with the biggest challenge of your life, learning to perceive, exist, in the moment, with a completely blank mind. I have been fighting this battle every hour of each day for 15 years. The thoughts=problem solution only came 5 years ago. The issue is that I forget that I shouldn't be thinking and my brain returns to old self-critical and self-monitoring thoughts. As soon as you think, anything relating to social perception of you, you've failed and the symptoms will start. As soon as you regain control and achieve a 'Total blank', the problem vanishes. It is simple in terms of explanation, but takes a strong mind to perpetually remind yourself that self centred thought is not any longer permitted, at all. We are individuals who use their high intelligence to monitor and critisize ourselves. Find an all absorbing passion, 18hrs a day and it will 'crowd out' the facial problems. This is why people who are busy don't generally have time for these types of 'dwell' problems. We make a mistake, to stop and look around too much, when others are actually living their lives.

Best of luck, our struggle continues. Nick.
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replied October 3rd, 2016
Face Tingling, Tightening Due to Anxiety

Perhaps my story will help many to find answers for these symptoms (face tingling, face tightening) that are really un-nerving and almost no beneficial information is out there on the internet.
One day my left upper eyelid started twitching (it was random, but not noticeable to others), and very next day the left part of my face became tightened and would not go away. I started to google the info on the web-site— as it is always the case - I got paranoid reading that some people had been fighting with the symptoms for years, it could have been MS, TMJ and etc.
MY ADVICE - IT IS WRONG TO ASSUME THAT YOU HAVE EXACTLY WHAT OTHERS HAVE ! Millions may have a similar case, but yours may be absolutely different, because you are different from them. They may have it for years, but yours may go away in days. DO NOT FREAK OUT like I did! CALM DOWN!
Face tingling, tightening is due to anxiety or it may be due to lack of minerals (Mostly Vitamins B, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron). THE TRUTH IS THAT THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT! It will go away, all it needs the body to strengthen the immune system. I would check and take supplements. TAKE LOTS OF WATER daily, it helps a lot to detox the body - that may also be the cause. In any case, it shall go away in weeks. If it persists, you can help the body by ACUPUNCTURE ( I tried and it helped me in 3 weeks), also CLASSICAL HOMEOPATHY is guaranteed to help 100%.
My advise would be not to take any anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medicine (in general, I would stay away from these medication). My mistake was to accept the neurologist’s prescription for Buspar to calm down my anxiety. Though I took it only for 3 days, I almost died due to side effects. I quit and then suffered from insomnia, panic attacks for 2 weeks. It was a bad mistake to ever accept anti-anxiety pills.
I also took MRI—which (unless you have other symptoms) is highly unnecessary and waste of money.
All you need is to calm down, enrich your body with vitamins and minerals, do not eat junk food, and if you know a classical homeopathic doctor, give him a ring. DO NOT WORRY!
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replied October 4th, 2016
I've just lost 30 minutes of a reply, I love the internet.

Basically anxiety can only exist with the negative thought. If you learn to have a blank mind, you indirectly deprive social anxiety of its destructive mechanism. Please don't just skip through this post as if it is just another piece of useless self help advice. Healthy normal people are completely devoid of your negative pre-empting of social situations. That voice which says'they hate me, that laugh 40 yards away is about me, they're whispering about me when I walk away'. All these things are the cause, even just directing your attention to the your lip and then saying 'is it tingling' then sooner or later you find some sensation, then you try to control it and then you tense up. None of this stuff is normal, get that in to your head as a matter of urgency. Normal people don't monitor their eyelids, they just don't. By having the thought, you start a downward spiral of negative self criticism and physical tension which marks you out as abnormal. People are hard wired to stare at abnormal people because in the past, people who acted odd were a threat and those that reacted and watched, were more likely to survive and then pass on their genes. If you don't have any thoughts, you don't have any anxiety. Then and only then will people not look at you. People look at you, because you think that they might be looking at you and then you start look odd, shifty, nervous and abnormal. It is mad to think that people shouldn't look at odd people, crazy people, psychos, are often nervous, shifty and also liars are shifty and nervous. These odd behaviours are good, reliable warning signs that people for thousands of years have used to keep out of danger's way. When you pay extreme, abnormal attention to your body and other people, you are doing something that marks you out. Learn to stop paying attention to your body and all the other stuff that normal people ignore and you will be normal. At any time in the future that you permit a negative thought, don't blame anyone but yourself, because you have permitted the tools that social anxiety uses to mess you up. I know, because it has ruined my life and I've battled it for 20 years+. I know the cure, but stopping those thoughts is a full time job, until that is, you forget and become normal. Uncontrolled thinking is our downfall, but you must first realise that thoughts become things. A thought about a facial muscle, will in some small way, have an effect on that muscle. If you want to prove this to yourself, focus on a finger, just pay pure attention to a specific finger. You will start to sense various feelings that were totally out of your consciousness beforehand. That is what you do. You think of your face and it becomes tense as a consequence of your attention. Remove your attention and you will cure yourself.
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Users who thank Psychology1 for this post: Vespillo 

replied July 8th, 2017
Hi everyone,
I suffered from muscle tension and swelling in my upper lip. I didn't know why it was keep changing. Then I started my first full time job. I forgot about it... then suddenly I found myself able to shave again without getting swollen or irritated. The shape of my face completely changed even people were telling me you have changed.i didn't know how the problem was solved. After 6 years I got the same problem and I am suffering from it till now. Almost 5 years now I am under stress and my upper lip is swollen like hell. I didn't realise that this is caused by stress until I start taking bromazepam and noticed that the swelling is going down. I am not cured yet. I stopped the medication bcs it's not a good way to cure. Finding a full time job helped me again and I am sure that I will be cured. As psychology1 mentioned it's in our head and we need to stop looking at our face and think about the swelling. I know it's hard but it's our only way out. Good luck for all of us
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