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self conscious guy

hello, i'm depressed because of acne. . .

Well, the title says it all really, but this is my first post here so let me introduce myself a bit (for those who care) and fill you in on my struggles with acne.

I'm a 22 year old male from california, been dealing with mild/moderate/bordeline severe papular and cystic acne for about 9 years now and I think that the emotional and psychological effects of it are finally culminating at this point in my life. . .It's strange, i've definitely been fully aware of my acne since 8th grade (because I remember that's when I first began noticing it and getting teased about it) but I can honestly say that it never really affected me. I never even really cared about it - if my face was fully broken out, i'd still go outside without a care in the world, exerting full confidence for all to see; and much of my confidence and outgoing personality people began to associate with me and people knew me as a charming and outgoing guy in general.

Well i'd say probably beginning in college things changed psychologically and I have become increasingly self-concsious about my acne and in the past year especially i've become truly depressed. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have at least 5-10 clearly visible zits on my face, not to mention the tens of redmarks and icepick scars.

I've been roaming around on this website and was actually relieved to see this forum about depression, it's good for people to vent and for everyone to know that they aren't alone. I was also surprised to read some of the posts only to find that people were feeling exactly how I do and doing some of the same depressed pathetic things that I do.

For example, I haven't really been outside of my house for 2 and a half weeks now, havent even been attending class, just very sullen and unmotivated. I feel now that going out to encounter people all day is rigorous and torterous in itself. I hate being up close talking to people and watching their eyes wander to all of your pimples, marks, and scars. I hate getting stares and looks that people really can't help but give. Most of all I hate the incomfortable, tense, nervous feeling I get now when i am in the presense of ANYONE at all. I am such a recluse now, all of my friends wonder what has happened to me, my parents are truly worried and want to get me on anti-depression pills. None of my usual hobbies, escapes are working for me anymore and now I feel very empty and hopeless. . .which essentially I am because I realize i cannot hide from the depression any longer. I will honestly NEVER be happy with this acne on my face.

just thought i'd share my feelings and vent a little.

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I'll assume you're seeing a dermatologist and following his recommendations exactly?

I also have acne at 22, I've always been self-conscious about it... now the simple fact that I must pay my own way through life is making me overcome that. I find that the least time you spend worrying about it, the more effective your treatment is. Let your every effort towards it be in the form of a well-managed and informed attempt to treat it. The psychotic ends many people on these forums go to... (the grapefruit/enema diets still make me chuckle) are what you need to avoid. And when you ARENT treating your acne, then do the karma thing. Eat well, live well, and try to enjoy the things that make you happy.

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I'll assume you're seeing a dermatologist and following his recommendations exactly?

i've seen a derm in the past, but nothing has helped me. I of course first started out trying everything over the counter to no avail, went on tetracycline and now on doxy, doesn't seem to be helping.

accutane is my next drastic measure i suppose. . .regardless of seeing a derm, it's still depressing, what's your point?

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how long? all things take time.

i know that SUCKS to hear. hell i hate it.

but just think if you dont act/keep up with it now.. so three months from now u'll have clear skin.... 6 motnhs from now could've been the three.

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yes, natalie, I always try to stay optimistic and hopeful, but then I realize that I've been doing that for years and nothing has changed. I always catch myself saying "oh that zit will clear up soon and i'll be fine in a few days" but in reality it won't clear up for another few weeks and by that time i'll have new ones popped up to worry about. It's a seemingly never-ending cycle, like many people here have noticed. . .

Then i see people in their late 20's and beyond still with acne, and then it becomes even harder to hold on to that shard of hope. . .

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sorry to hear that :( i hope you can find something that works for you. dont turn against yourself though, you will find something that will work and you'll find some peace.

look into accutane for sure, it has helped so many people.

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yes, natalie, I always try to stay optimistic and hopeful, but then I realize that I've been doing that for years and nothing has changed. I always catch myself saying "oh that zit will clear up soon and i'll be fine in a few days" but in reality it won't clear up for another few weeks and by that time i'll have new ones popped up to worry about. It's a seemingly never-ending cycle, like many people here have noticed. . .

Then i see people in their late 20's and beyond still with acne, and then it becomes even harder to hold on to that shard of hope. . .

i'm sorry. but i know what u mean ... i've yet to find a "cure" .. (no such thing)

but i agree with rosie... just keep searching.... one day.. one day.

untill then do things you love, spend time w/ those you love . . . do all you can do to gain back that confidence you used to have.

b/c i dont have that.

and i think confidence is worth more to me now.

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yes, natalie, I always try to stay optimistic and hopeful, but then I realize that I've been doing that for years and nothing has changed. I always catch myself saying "oh that zit will clear up soon and i'll be fine in a few days" but in reality it won't clear up for another few weeks and by that time i'll have new ones popped up to worry about. It's a seemingly never-ending cycle, like many people here have noticed. . .

Then i see people in their late 20's and beyond still with acne, and then it becomes even harder to hold on to that shard of hope. . .

hey, i know what you're going through. hell i'm 23 and i am breaking out as i am typing :wall: personally, i think accutane is probably the only way to go. i am currently on my 3rd session and i am totally scared sh!t on whats going to happen, because my derm told me this would be my last session he will hold - if it doesn't work he said, than thats pretty much it! no cure! acne for life :(

i totally know how you feel about the whole staring stuff - i am always so self conscious of it around my co-workers, and i think it hurts my working performances.

sometimes you just gotta stick through it and hope for the best ya know?

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I know that feeling. I was reading your post and it sounded like me exactly. My friends are probably wondering what's wrong with me and my mom suggested I get help because she's never seen me so down. Also, accutane is the only thing I haven't tried. I've had some other health problems recently so that's kept me from going on it. I'm going to wait until the end of this school year and if there's no improvement I'll resort to accutane. Emotionally and psychologically, it's constantly up and down. Every once in a while, I feel like I've hit rock bottom and I don't want to go on. Waking up each day with new bumps on my face just wears on me a lot. Other days I'm able to not think about it. I'm in college too and class is the only thing I manage to go out for. It's pretty much the only thing that keeps me going so I try and stay focused on the books. Today's been one of those rare good days for me - got 2 of my tests back and aced them. Hopefully I can ride this high for a while. Anyway, keep your head up man. I got respect for you since you've battled acne for a lot longer than I have. I see so many people who have had worst acne than me and have struggled with it much longer than I have; in a way it's like I look up to those people and they help me to go on with my life.

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I can definitely sympathize with you.

I've become a recluse for many weeks now because of my acne. I know that my friends don't care about what I look like, but I do not like others to see me like this. It makes me feel ugly and self-conscious. I do know that when my face is clearer, I do feel more confident and I look up more (literally) rather than walking around avoiding people.

May I suggest you carefully observe your body as you flareup and clear up? Do you know what seems to trigger your acne breakouts? I've done that with myself and it seems to be everything under the sun, unfortunately.

Have you tried lifestyle changes? This is what seems to work for me the most, although it is very exhausting. I swear, I think I have the most sensitive body in the world and it always shows up on my face as acne. Drink lots of water, get 8 hours of sleep, sleep on a regular schedule, try not to stress too much, eat lots of vegetables and fruit, (I'm vegetarian so I don't know how meat would affect my face, but I imagine not well), avoid oil (for me this has to be almost 100%, so only raw, steamed, boiled, or soups), junk food, dairy, etc. It's really hard for me to stick to that kind of rigid lifestyle every single day, but I'm trying. Perhaps you can try some of those as well.

Best of luck to you.

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