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down.but.not.out

self-esteem down the drain, humbled, frustrated...

Hello to everyone. I'm very glad to have come across this site and forum last night and I have been going through so many topics in the today. It was a sort of relief to know that I'm not alone struggling with the state of my skin. I'll try and briefly introduce myself.

This acne has taken over my life starting at the end of 2005. I had been pretty much clear up until I turned 19 last year. I began to break out along my jawline (during my teenage years I only had the occasional zit on the forehead). It spread all over jawline, neck, cheeks, forehead, and all over my scalp. I don't think I've heard of any people with acne in their scalp. My head was so itchy, painful, irritating - imagine trying to sleep at night; it's something I wouldn't even wish upon my worse enemy. It has been almost a year now, I'm 20 years old and the scalp situation has subsided for the most part. My face is still a mess.

It's been such a rough year for me. It seems like my family has been cursed or something. So many relatives going through their problems and then my mother coming down with cancer. Combine all that stress at home, with my own problems, challenging school year, and I hit the lowest point possible. Depressed, confidence and self-esteem gone, and even wanting to end it all is where I've been this year. A couple months ago I found myself in the hospital with a lung infection and stayed there for a week. On top of that, neck, back, knees, ankle pain. I don't even know how I survived sophomore year.

As for the acne, I've been seeing my family doctor numerous times. According to the dermatologist I saw recently, my doc prescribed pretty much every possible medicine. I've tried all the oral antibiotics, topical creams/gels, washes, cosmetic products. Everything except accutane - I'm afraid of the side effects and my parents won't support it either.

Now I'm pretty much locking myself in and isolating myself completely. I can't look people in the face anymore, refuse to look in a mirror, and I'm just hoping that one day I'll get through it all.

The frustration is from the medicines not working and herbal remedies having little effect. I've been following a very healthy diet for many years, exercise regularly, rarely drink, never smoke. It just sucks when I've done so much to keep myself healthy and to see myself where I am today. Most friends probably would have no clue of what I'm going through if they talked to me or when I see them occasionally, but inside, my self-esteem has been destroyed and shattered.

I have no idea what's going on anymore.

My apologies for saying so much, but I really had to get it off my chest.

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If you've hit bottom barrel you need to understand Accutane needs to be looked at. While the side effects can suck, most people don't have them after the medicine. I'm one of the few that does have a few of the side effects. You need to understand the longer you allow your face to break out, the worse it'll be after your acne has subsided and you're left with scars.

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Hang in there.

Why do you feel that you need your parents to approve you taking the meds? You are an adult...unless you need them to pay for them, I don't see why they even have to know you are taking them (if they are that unsupportive).

I would guess that they are afraid for your health? You need to be honest with them, about how much your acne affects you emotionally.

I finally decided to take the meds, after months of considering it. It is scary, but I have a great derm, who put a lot of my fears to rest. He assured me that the scary side effects that you hear about are really rare, and that most of his patients have chapped lips, and minor aches and pains. Go to his site, www.drsteinman.com and read about what he says about accutane. And then, look at his credentials...this man knows his stuff.

Stress can make you sick...it sounds like you have had your fair share of it. My mom died from breast cancer when I was 18, so I know what an illness in the family can do. Is your mom going to be okay?

I went through really bad depression after she died. Counseling can work wonders...you might want to consider it.

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I'm sorry it's been so rough for you lately.

It's good to do your research on Accutane before being scared away. If you've really tried everything, and it's affecting your life this much, it's something you should look into. I remember when I first came to this site...I thought almost no one took Accutane, but then I realized there is a ridiculous number of normal people, even going through college, who go on it. Maybe I lucked out, but the only side effect I've had is some manageable dryness.

Anyway, best of luck with everything. Don't be afraid to be honest about your feelings.

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I'm sorry it's been so rough for you lately.

It's good to do your research on Accutane before being scared away. If you've really tried everything, and it's affecting your life this much, it's something you should look into. I remember when I first came to this site...I thought almost no one took Accutane, but then I realized there is a ridiculous number of normal people, even going through college, who go on it. Maybe I lucked out, but the only side effect I've had is some manageable dryness.

Anyway, best of luck with everything. Don't be afraid to be honest about your feelings.

I appreciate the comments. Right now, on the advice of my aunt, I've been on Acneed (Chinese medicine supplement ordered online), which is something that improved her adult acne recently. My scalp is better and my face isn't as red as it once was, but I'm still breaking out around chin, neck, and forehead. Its slightly improving but very slowly so I'm going to see where it goes. I don't have health insurance to cover accutane and neither does my dad. If I'm still breaking out like this when I'm through school, I'm going to definitely consider accutane. I am hesitant because of the side effects.

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