I'll preface this by saying this will most likely be my last post ever on this subject. My parents and doc let me down, I absolutely regret having ever taken this. With age and perspective it's clear as day why the product appeals to so many people. The worst part is they're taking advantage of a very vulnerable age group, it was pure vanity on my end and insecurities. I also despise the fact doctors and vested interests 'objectively' present side effects %'s. It isn't you, just go in assuming there's a 50% chance you may have a serious short term or long term reaction to the meds and you'll more times than not make the right decision.
This is purely anecdotal of course. I'm 95% healed and I'm perfectly fine with whatever lingering side effects I have now. I'm not happy with my hair but that's life, I made a decision and in all honesty I'm way better for it. I'm now in charge of my health and I make it a point to act the part of an adult. If you can't take nothing away from this experience please make it that, you are your own caretaker. I'm 100% confident I could have waited it out and fixed my diet.
Some side effects went away with time but the joint+memory+hair issues didn't at least for me. I had a huge break through recently and I honestly can't attribute it to 1 thing so here's a list of things I have done:
Mental clarity and up and down feelings - PM me for that. I can't say here. But what I can say is regularly practicing yoga and meditation have netted huge gains for me.
4L water per day
Cut out all supplements. The biggest running scam there is that people who are looking for any answer succumb to every day. The only things I take supplement wise are ZMA (very noticeable benefits), Vitamin D and Fish oil. No B Vitamins or anything else. The body work as a unit and unless you're super deficient in something you'd probably be better off looking elsewhere.
Stress - I think the one thing everyone on here has in common is we felt like acne was taking a hold of our lives. It's the only reason you'd resort taking the drug willfully ignoring the laundry list of warnings and side effects. If you do suffer from hair loss I think this is one of the biggest reasons it continues to persist. And I'm not talking about traditional worry stress either, if you're suffering from back pain or are sick this can wreck havoc on your system. I don't know what accutane did to our bodies but I suspect it makes us more susceptible to the effects of stress and I've noticed this during exam periods and layoffs.
And I left this for last as I did reference a 'huge personal breakthrough.' For years I made a conscious decision to avoid all Vitamin A rich foods and I suspect that was a huge mistake. Over the past 6 months I've cleaned up my diet and start adding more plant based foods and juicing and the effect have been tremendous. Why should any of us avoid eating plant based foods? I was an idiot for ever doing so. If anything avoid eating over processed garbage and consume everything else in moderation.
How significant? Dry skin and brittle hair are a thing of the past. Even the joint issues! I sometimes wake up with my face as oily as it was during my teenage years.
Night and day difference my friends. I can't attribute my recovery to one thing but I can tell you doctors and DM's were a complete and colossal waste of time. And frankly they didn't care. They had no problem prescribing me this poison and did nothing to help me when I needed it.
I guess I'll stick around to answer any PM's but this is it for me. I'd like to thank oli girl and anyone else who who was compassionate enough to talk to me and try and help me out during my early years.
Am I jaded towards the medical community? A bit but at the end of the day this experience taught me to subscribe to self blame and self accountability first. It's something most adults lack in general as they're comfortable displacing blame and shifting the decision making process onto outside parties be it their significant other or doc.
Should you really get back surgery if you weren't in car crash?
Are the risks of chemo worth it?
Should you jump on thyroid medication if you're someone who already leads a very unhealthy lifestyle?
Don't jump to the first thing you're presented with in life. Take a deep breath and take some time.
You're allowed to be skeptical of what's going in your body and I hope Accutane has taught all of us that. There's obviously a time and place to seek professional help, but please take the time out to listen to your own body. It's what I did and it's worked wonders. It is after all your body and the changes are tangible, you'll know.
I got nothing but love for all of you and I hope you guys all the best in all of your future endeavors. If anyone ever wants to talk or shoot the shit PM me. I'm a very different mental space and it would be rude to not give back to a community that tried it's best to help me out when I felt hopeless.
Edit: I also posted this because it would be easy to not come back now that I'm recovered. There aren't too many feel good stories posted on here. I also debated making this post into a thread and fielding Q&A for a short period.
I also had some blood done work recently and all of my levels are not only in the normal range but at the top. Confusing but I'll take it. Especially my hormones+thyroid, they tanked right after I took accutane and stayed suppressed for years. There is hope and I think 'm one of the lone success stories.
It was a complete lifestyle change. That's my take home message.