Are you afraid to leave your facemask? You could have ’empty face syndrome’


MAZATLAN.- Without a doubt, the Covid-19 pandemic brought with it great changes in the way we related to each other. Our normality disappeared and in its place came the new normality, that of wearing a mask all the time. This alteration caused deep psychological and emotional consequences in people.  

But now the world began to leave some health protocols behind, and even massive concerts began to be held, which at the time was unimaginable and completely prohibited.  

Among the efforts to recover our old normality, the mandatory use of the mask also disappeared, but there are many people who adopted this article as an element of protection beyond health and now that the obligation is gone, they feel afraid to use it.  

Luis Ángel Salinas Guidiño, a member of the Mazatlán College of Psychiatrists, explained that this feeling is known as ‘The empty face syndrome’, children characterized by the feeling of insecurity that is generated in the person by exposing the face, in this case, due to the removal of the masks.  

This syndrome, also known as ‘mask fishing’, can have two different origins: the fear of showing oneself to others or the fear of being infected. 

“It is being called empty face syndrome, obviously here in Sinaloa it is new, but there are other states where it first began to make the mask non-mandatory, so now some people are already experiencing it because it has become a symbol of security before the infections and people got used to wearing this accessory and now that most of them no longer have to wear it, they feel unprotected,” Salinas Guidiño said. 

The expert indicated that the syndrome causes shortness of breath, nervousness, agitation and constant fear, symptoms that are derived from anxiety.  

Face mask

“If they don’t use it, they start with anxiety systems, fear and passing to physiological symptoms, for example, they present features of agitation, shortness of breath, nervousness, these are derived from anxiety. People took the mask as a symbol of protection and even if they wear the cheapest one, they feel safe.” 

Take your time, says the expert 

Salinas Gudiño made it clear that although the use of the mask is no longer mandatory (only in hospitals) it does not mean that all people should no longer use it, but rather that it is about making the decision and if the person still does not If you feel ready, you can do it gradually and stop using it until you feel comfortable and safe with yourself.


The Mazatlan Post