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How Acne and Accutane Destroyed My Life

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I am 26 years old. I just recently had yet another outbreak of cystic acne which left more craters and scars on my cheeks, forehead, chin, neck and back. I have been dealing with acne since just before my 13th birthday. I started getting really bad cysts and pimples that left scars all over my face that were small and large. I am gay and was constantly picked on at school for my androgynous looks and rather effete manner. Then I turned into a pimply mutant freak.

People at school used to call me 'nasty,", "gross", etc., as well as faggot, queer blahblahblah!!!

So my mother said you'll grow out of it.

Well I'm 26 freaking years old, and i'm still getting it!

I'd rather get melanoma and die.

At least that's a real medical condition that you don't have to feel guilty and ashamed about!

So for years I endured one painful cyst after another. I lost all self-confidence, i became ashamed and embarrassed, and withdrew socially. i pretended i didn't care how I looked and always kept my head down and tried to cover as much of my face as possible.

my mother didn't take me to a doctor until I was 15 and a half, after I broke down sobbing in front of her begging her to take me to a doctor because of all the scars I was getting! I would never let my child suffer like that! And we always had insurance, but she was too fucking stupid to help me!

So I went on accutane for the first of six or seven times--I have lost count--and it cleared my acne but I felt so BAD INSIDE all the time. I ate a bottle of muscle relaxers.

This was back before people knew accutane could cause depression or suicidal thoughts.

So I constantly constantly had suicidal thoughts and felt total despair, so I ate the muscle relaxers. i had no idea the accutane was causing my already depressed state to deteriorate so much.

When I was 18 I went on it again because it had flared up again with cysts blahblahblah onandon

Thanksgiving day i ate a bottle of pills again because I just couldn't stand feeling so bad anymore.

My skin broke out in cysts again just a few months later. i went on the accutane again. I felt like everything inside me died. i was like a zombie. i could barely stop myself from crying.

The accutane made me allergic to latex, when I had sex I would get rashes from the latex and it made gay sex unbearably painful to do with a condom. When my bf and I had sex, I would cry from the pain.

So i stopped using condoms when I had sex. I was so depressed anyways protecting myself didn't seem to matter since all i could think about was death and suicide. At 19 and a hal I got the biggest cysts ever in my life on my cheeks. huge ghastly cysts that left huge rolling scars. i had a nervous breakdown and dropped out of college. i went on accutane again. it worked for a while. I stopped taking it. Then the acne would come back.

Obviously I am cursed my God. maybe he hates me because I am gay. My stepfather hated me and threatened to shoot me at my brother's high school graduation party when I told my family I was gay.

i tried going back to school after another course of accutane, but I just felt so BAD all the time I couldn't stand it. I ended up in a psych hospital for the second time.

I've been on and off it since then. I started having unprotected sex because the condoms caused horrible rashes and now I have HIV.

I finally realized the accutane had caused my depression to worsen so I've avoided taking it for the last four years, hoping surely I would outgrow it. I did Dan's regimen, among a million other things, and Dan's regimen actually worked for a few years, but then it completely failed.

And the cystic acne is back! and the other patients with HIV don't have acne, so it has nothing to do with that.

So accutane and acne disfigured my face, my body, my mind, and contributed to my bad decision not to protect myself during sex. I am 26 years old and I am still getting cystic acne, the doctor put me back on accutane even though they know I just recently got out of the psych hospital again.

I feel like I am living in hell. I cannot wait for this fucking nightmare to be over.

Oh and the HIV meds I'm on have destroyed my memory and worsened my depression as well.

I have nothing left inside.

This is not a suicide letter. I am not planning to kill myself. I just want to share my story with people to know to BEWARE what accutane can do to your mind if you already suffer from depression.

And ALWAYS protect yourself when you're having sex! Don't end up like me with your life over at 22!

I wish you all clear skin and clear minds and inner peace.

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Holy shit! I thought I had been through bad times.

Maybe you should try an holistic apporach. Check for allergies, change the way you eat etc.

I hope your life will turn around for the better...

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Christ on a bike that was tough reading. I really don't know what to say to help you out, it's an understatement to say you've had it rough.

Trying to condemn this to the past is all I can think of really. Your coping and living with HIV which is somewhat of a modern miracle, acne can only be secondary. If you push on, use all your experience to fuel your future perhaps you can find some better quality of life. Best of luck.

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Indeed...that was some hard reading right there.

Like others have said, keep your hope alive...never give up...HIV is not a death sentence and neither is acne. You're still very young and the future WILL be brighter.

I'd reccommend...

Doxycycline: this will definitely improve your skin but maybe not by that much. Either way, there will be an improvement.

8 glasses of water per day: again, this won't clear up your face, but an improvement (albeit minor) is certain.

Good luck man.

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Oh man.....

I'm on accutane and it makes me feel like a vegetable, I couldn't imagine if I took it while I was depressed :silenced:

I think I learned from you to always use protection.

Wow that whole thing was hard to read >.>



It's so hard to read.

oh my god

I hope things get better for you.

I'd stop the accutane first, that's gonna only make things worse for you mentally.

You gotta start eating healthy and exercising, maybe a holistic acne battle approach?

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stop blaming accutane

it was your choice to take it, you know the risks, and even if you never took accutane you would still be depressed

sorry if i comeoff as an asshole but all these people saying "o i'm so sorry for you" will not help. i know how u feel. i've been at rock bottom. the only way out is to realize that ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS ARE YOUR FAULT, dont blame anyone or anything.

so get up, and be who you wanna be,

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Yes, Timothy, I understand I made bad decisions. I don't blame that on accutane. I was already depressed before I took it. I just mean to say that accutane can worsen depression. And i took the drug for the first time back in the mid-90's, before there was any real discussion of accutane and depression and suicide. The first time I attempted was after being on the accutane. I made bad decisions, and have faced pretty bad consequences because of my choices. I just wanted to try to share my story because it makes me feel like it wasn't all in vain if other people learn from my mistakes. I guess that is pretty pathetic. I don't know anymore. I wish I could go back in time but you can't. If only I didn't have the AIDS, I'd be okay. I just can't deal with it. My boyfriend was afraid of me. I feel like a monster. I feel dirty, polluted, and contaminated. And the fact of the matter is that accutane made me allergic to latex and I did try the plastic condoms, but they were painful as well. The whole thing just sort of snow-balled and I started doing drugs to escape the horrible feelings I felt, but all I did was make things worse. The people on this board have been very kind, but I honestly don't really deserve any of your sympathy. I do think all the courses of accutane made me a little crazy though. But being disfigured will also make one feel that way . . . so you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. I went to an Ivy League college and got so depressed I ended up having a nervous breakdown and being hospitalized. I'm sorry but the accutane pushed me over the edge and the constant breakouts and scarring. When I was clear, guys would consider me attractive and want to date me. One guy said he was in love with me when my skin was clear, then the accutane wore off and I broke out kinda bad, and he lost all interest in me. So whatever.

If I didn't have AIDs, I could deal with it all, but I can't. I don't care anymore. I'm not afraid to go to hell if I kill myself. I feel most of the time I already am in hell. I feel i am dead already. I just want it to end. I cannot go on any longer. I just can't. There's nothing left inside me. It's all dead. It is possible to destroy your life. That is what I have done. There's no way to fix it, and I don't really care anymore. I wish good luck to you all. Protect yourselves. Don't get AIDS. It's still out there, lurking, waiting, and hoping to infect you. The medicines are very toxic and have very awful psychological and physical side effects. It is the slow-death of a thousand cuts. You don't want to go to AIDSland. So be careful and be safe.

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oh my gosh darlin....

i read your story and i feel for you. i'm so sorry for what you are going through and i'm sorry i can't offer any advice or even a hug to help the situation....

honestly when things are at the lowest point and u feel you can't smile anymore... eventually things might get worse but then one day they get better. you will find yourself smiling again. its the last thing you have on your mind right now but it really does happen...

and as far as you being cursed because god hates you because you're gay?

never think that ever for one second!

if god is all forgiving and all loving- why would he create something and hate it?

i understand your frusterations with your parents - i really do! they don't understand unless THEY are the ones waking up and looking in the mirror at their acne faces every day- and the scars- maybe by ignoring it for so long they could pretend either it wasn't reality or that it would go away. at least we know we'd never ever let our children (adopted or otherwise) have to deal with that torture.

and darlin honestly it killed me when i read how your "father" responded to when you told him you were gay. SO WHAT if you are gay. He should embrace you and love you no matter what! WHO CARES who you love? as long as you have that abolity to love and be loved then who cares who that other person is. I respect your strength to be honest and come forward to your parents... it takes a lot. you haven't murdered anyone or stolen from stores.. so who the fuck cares who you love? i don't understand how people can be so cruel.

just know that there are people out there that love and understand. i really really really hope things get better for you. your story broke my heart. take care of yourself and never be ashamed of who you are.... sometimes we are thrown aweful aweful brick walls in our lives... but we grow and learn and find that in the end we are stronger and better for making it through<3

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:comfort: your story touched me profundly :cry:. I hope the best for your future. God loves you much. Sorry that this happened to you my son, just keep your head up and do not despair.
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ay i'm sorry if i came off as trying to put you down, im a blunt person, and i was only trying to motivate you.

believe me when i understand you AID problem, as I have herpes. I got it when i was 14 in the on vacation in the Bahamas . . . .

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dedicate your life to others and you will find happiness

dude you should go to church and find God and get off vicadin

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Serving others is a form of prayer, which is what one does in a church. :)

It's part of why I've been here for over three years now.

And to OP - I'm glad you are here. This kind of sharing is EXACTLY why Dan created this site - it's good to see you utilizing!

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I do not have words to tell you my friend. But what I can offer is an immaterial hug.

My heart goes to you and i truly with you all the best in life.

thank you for sharing your story. You truly have good intentions in mind- you have been through a lot, but you are a good person inside. Let yourself shine, and make yourself of purpose, you already have- you've helped someone already by sharing your story.

More power to you bro.

All the best,


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its only after we have lost everything that we are free to do anything...

To be honest, your life has just begun. Go sky diving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, rock climbing, and buy a motorcycle.

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i'm not trying to be an asshole either, but quit posting about how bad your life sucks. Life is what you make it. I'm 18, my mom died a year ago, my dad's an alcoholic, and the rest of my family hates me too. Whoop-d fucking do! You need to toughen up man. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger and by the looks of it, you could overcome just about anything anybody could throw at you. So quit feeling sorry for yourself, brush you shoulders off, and go listen to tupac cause he's what gets me through the tough times.

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I know probably the last thing you want to hear from people is "I'm sorry", but I can't think of much else to say. Your situation sucks ass, I'm not going to lie, and you are strong as hell for having gone through all that, but never ever blame your homosexuality for anything that has gone wrong in your life, if there is a God (which I doubt), he would be a pretty bad guy for punishing someone for who they love.

Not to sound like a prying asshole, but why didn't you research Accutane before going on it? You would have seen that it can cause suicidal thoughts and depression, and better yet, why didn't your dermatologist tell you any of this? Especially after the trillionth time of using it and after all the bottles of pills you swallowed.

EDIT: You said you have HIV, now you say you have AIDS? I thought it was 2 different things.

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