Links Between Facial Paralysis and Emotional Health

Often, when people consider communication, they only think of using words and body language.  While these two modes of communication are largely the most important ways to communicate, there are so many other dimensions of communication that people often don’t take into consideration when they are talking to someone.   The role of the facial expressions when communicating is often overlooked.  When you are dealing with facial paralysis, you are no longer able to use all of your facial expressions, and this can contribute to social and emotional strain on relationships due to misunderstanding and lack of ability to fully communicate.

The saying that, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” is true in this situation.  When communicating, most people don’t realize how much they use facial expressions until those expressions can no longer be used.  This can result in a feeling of loss for the communicator, and confusion for the listener.  At times, this may lead to feelings of depression, loneliness, misunderstanding and alienation. 

It’s important to deal with your facial paralysis right up front.  With your family and friends you can remind them that nods and shakes of the head, your position of your arms and legs and gesticulating with the hands are what you will use to help assist you in communicating.   

Getting counsel about your loss due to your facial paralysis is a good idea.  Being proactive is always suggested.  Never be afraid to ask for help.  Sharing your feelings with someone who can help you process your situation is important.  Don’t struggle alone. 

New York Facial Paralysis is here to help you diagnose, treat and listen to your needs related to your facial paralysis. 

 

Posted on behalf of Dr. Teresa O, New York Facial Paralysis Center

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