13/07/2012 10:09 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Say Son's Chronic Blushing Led To Suicide

Uncontrollable Blushing Drove Brandon Thomas to Suicide

A mum and dad have spoken out after their student son killed himself after suffering with chronic blushing for years.

Brandon Thomas, 20, jumped from his Seattle dorm room on the 11th floor at the University of Washington.

He left a suicide note talking about his problem with blushing, saying:
"It is exhausting to wake up every day and have to find little ways to avoid blushing situations."

Chronic blushing is a reaction caused by an overactive nervous system. It is estimated to affect between five and seven per cent of the population. Brandon had suffered from the condition since he was 15.

Brandon's parents Dawn and Steve, along with his twin Devin, are speaking out about the condition in a bid to raise awareness, as requested in Brandon's suicide note.

"I've had people come up to me, even at his service, and say 'I know, I blush, too, when I'm in public'," said Dawn. "That is not what this is about. One of the reasons he took his life is that if he took this drastic measure, it would raise awareness. He wanted his death to have an impact."

Watch the video above for an interview with Brandon's family.