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Noolan

Social Anxiety as a result of acne.

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Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged and criticized by others.

Web MD

So prior to about two weeks ago, I was pretty much acne free. I was out in the sun a lot this summer and a base tan seemed to keep my clear. About a month ago I started dating a girl and this is a first time, for a long time and it was finally someone I could see having a relationship with and not just a good time.

Roughly two weeks ago, my first breakouts occurred and at first, I dealt with in in terms of denial, it was just a few zits and I would clear up again. Well, that didn't happen and I became an emotional wreck. This time last week, I had my first anxiety attack of my life. Fueled largely because of my fear my current relationship would be negatively effected, as well my appearance to the outside world. If you have ever experienced anxiety, an anxiety attack can be very overwhelming. I didn't go to school and paced around my home for roughly and hour, unable to sit, just worrying about things I had no control over. After a little research about my symptoms, I realized my depression and anxiety was a result of acne, was irrational fears of social perception. In plain terms, my normal care free, take nothing too seriously attitude was gone as a result of a bad breakout. THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE.

This week has been up and down, but largely positive, I went to class and focused on school, rather then others looking at me. I went to work and did my job, without worrying about a few people seeing zits on my face. Frankly living in shame about something I have no control over is not something I will do. As I said, it has been up and down, part of me doesn't want to go to the movies tonight, because I have a little break out, but really, What is there to fear? Odds our, I might get looked at funny or at worse case scenario, maybe a comment. I'd rather go to the movies, with a girl I like,then worry about what others think. The other fear I have is maybe, my acne will turn her off and I will be single again, while that would hurt, I personally am not going to be in a relationship with someone who is so shallow.

Now, I am lucky, my acne is not severe(I get really big red bumps), but I am still going to live my life. "Get busy living or get busy dying"

Thanks,

Nolan

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I think i became anxious because of my 3rd grade teacher, he literaly sent me to the office because i wrote my name wrong on a assignment. I mean back then i barely know any english!?!

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You ARE lucky your acne is not severe. My acne started very similar to yours, a few pimples here and there but I still felt under control. Word of advice, be very careful what you put on your face when You see you're getting sudden break outs. Using Murad to try to control it was probably one of my biggest mistakes and as a result I have moderate/severe acne. You're brave for not letting it take over your life because it has swallowed me whole.

Stay strong because it's an inspiration to those who don't feel so strong.

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You ARE lucky your acne is not severe. My acne started very similar to yours, a few pimples here and there but I still felt under control. Word of advice, be very careful what you put on your face when You see you're getting sudden break outs. Using Murad to try to control it was probably one of my biggest mistakes and as a result I have moderate/severe acne. You're brave for not letting it take over your life because it has swallowed me whole.

Stay strong because it's an inspiration to those who don't feel so strong.

What is murad?

My approach has been pretty simple, back on the regimen full-time and eat better diet, with less processed foods. I know I am in for a month or two of break outs, before my skin starts taking to the regimen again.

I am staying as strong as possible, I mean last night was great, dinner, movie and such. There were parts of me that didn't want to go because of my acne, but I'm not going to live my life around my skin, so I went and had a blast. Tonight I am going to the bar for my friend's 21st and I know right before I go out, those feelings will be coming back. Earlier this week I was trying to think of ways to get out of, even though I want to go, but I have some irrational fear. I AM GOING and if my worse fears are realized I will deal with it then.

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hey,

i got this problem. i won't go out when i look crap. don't socialise at all anymore.

so yeh, what's the treatment???

How Is Social Anxiety Disorder Treated?

The most effective therapy currently available is cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). Medication may also be used to help ease the symptoms of social anxiety disorder so that CBT is more effective. Medication may also be used alone.

* Cognitive-behavior therapy : The goal of CBT is to guide the person's thoughts in a more rational direction and help the person stop avoiding situations that once caused anxiety. It teaches people to react differently to the situations that trigger their anxiety symptoms. Therapy may include systematic desensitization or real life exposure to the feared situation. With systematic desensitization, the person imagines the frightening situation and works through his or her fears in a safe and relaxed environment, such as the therapist's office. Real life exposure gradually exposes the person to the situation but with the support of the therapist.

* Medication: There are several different types of medications used to treat social anxiety disorder, including: antidepressants, like Paxil; tranquilizers (benzodiazepines), such as Xanax, Librium, Valium, and Ativan; beta-blockers, often used to treat heart conditions, may also be used to minimize certain physical symptoms of anxiety, such as shaking and rapid heartbeat.

Counseling to improve self-esteem and social skills, as well as relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, may also help a person deal with social anxiety disorder.

Web MD

For me, it is rationalizing my fears and realizing there are much worse things out there than appearance of skin. I mean, I am not happy my mother' side of the family has passed bad skin on to me, but it could be worse. I could have been born with an awful disease or 6 hands. My point is, acne sucks, plain and simple sucks, but that doesn't mean I have to give it more power then it is due. We are talking about a skin condition, IT SUCKS, but it is just skin. I'm not going to let my skin decide the path in which I walk. This is my life and my time. I mean I missed school and work, because I was too ashamed of my acne. So instead of just biting the bullet and living my life, I was allowing acne to dictate my behavior, in fact giving in more power then it had prior.

Hang in there, it is a struggle, on all ends, but try to remain positive !

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I just recently have been experiencing this too Nolan. It's not that I mind strangers looking at me (in fact, I'm more social than ever with new people at my job, college etc.) However it's my friends who I think I'm subconsciously worried about. We all went off to college a little under a month ago (back before my acne got bad) and I think deep down I'm worried about what they'll think when we meet up again.

But that's not the worst of it...I think somehow my anxiety made itself physical because now I tremble a little bit and my hands won't sit still. It sucks especially when putting in my contact lenses lol...

Now my acne's clearing up (thanks to Dan's regimen) however I'm pretty flaky/dry (was oily before) and some red spots from that bad breakout are still there.

But you can't let this stuff keep you down. Like you said: it's not good to give acne the power it doesn't deserve! Don't let it rule your life. Keep your head up, try new treatments and always be positive.

I know I'll be 100% clear soon, however I'll need to find a way to cope with this anxiety shaking stuff.

Thanks for bringing up this topic (I didn't have the balls to do it) ;)

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Damn, I wish I had read about this treatment a few years ago! Thanks for sharing Nolan! :)

I've skipped sooo many classes in JH and HS just because I felt I couldn't leave the door looking the way I did. I literally fell down on my knees once, bent my back and head down to the floor, feeling so weak and inferior and then started crying hysterically. I don't know, was that an anxiety attack?

A mild anxiety attack yes. Don't worry though, many of us have gone through the same thing albeit with a different response.

I've taken a more calculated response to my social anxiety...avoidance! I don't date and don't go to general social functions. I have a close circle of friends and they are the only ppl I hang out with.

I've resolved to work harder towards clearing up the acne because that's the root of the problem. Social anxiety is simply the by-product.

But you can't let this stuff keep you down. Like you said: it's not good to give acne the power it doesn't deserve! Don't let it rule your life. Keep your head up, try new treatments and always be positive.

Nice but the sad reality is that we dolive in a world where superficial appearances mean a lot. People WILL judge you based on your physical appearance! Retreating to the philosophical "it's all in my head" cocoon is nothing more than the fantasy of psychological escapism.

Like I said, social anxiety is the result of acne. And as such, combating acne is the best way forward. Being positive helps a bit, but it certainly won't solve the problem in the long-term. Sooner or later, you'll feel like an ugly reptile and the anxieties/insecurities will return.

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hey,

i got this problem. i won't go out when i look crap. don't socialise at all anymore.

so yeh, what's the treatment???

Go out. It seems so insurmountable a task at times but if you enjoy yourself with friends you will have no trouble. I would not go booking expensive therapy before you at least try, try and try some more to force yourself out into that big bad world.

Like I said, social anxiety is the result of acne. And as such, combating acne is the best way forward. Being positive helps a bit, but it certainly won't solve the problem in the long-term. Sooner or later, you'll feel like an ugly reptile and the anxieties/insecurities will return.

Not for everybody though. Acne can often be a by product of anxiety from another root. I was shy before acne, had social terror before acne and although the treating of my skin has helped, it hasn't 'fixed' me.

If social anxiety came so frequently from our complexions and physical insecurities, nobody would ever leave the house. Everybody has something they feel makes them appear as an ugly reptile but some people can deal with it whilst others cannot. I seem to recall (though this was at A level standards) when studying psychology acne was listed as a symptom of many, many psychological disorders.

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