Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Kristabel

Trapped - Lifelong acne, Dianette, Yasmin, depression

Recommended Posts

Hi guys this is my first ever post on this board and i need help from you kind souls out there. I am a 27 year old female and have had severe acne since age 11. At 19 i started taking dianette after years on and off antibiotics. I have been alternating dianette and yasmin ever since and have been trapped at home with severe depression for the last year. While having therapy for depression i realised i have never really felt right since...you guessed it....age 19.

I have read a lot of stuff about dianette and yasmin causing depression and i am desperate to come off it to see if my depression gets any better. I have tried twice to come off and my face broke out in the most severe cystic acne you ever saw and was very scarring. I know if i try and come off again the same thing will happen and i have just undergone lengthy and painful treatment for the scarring and could not deal with going through it all again. Also, with my depression i dont think i could handle cystic acne as well.

The only alternative i can think of is to switch to antibiotics but i know i have lifelong acne (it runs in my family) and dont really want to screw with my body by taking antibiotics for the rest of my life. This is a really shit situation, my depression is so severe i cant function, does anybody please have any ideas or experience with this i would be so grateful

Kristabel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a somewhat similar situation to you. I have acne for what seems like forever...at least 8-9 years now (I am 23). I went on accutane, which didn't work. I mean, it helped but certainly not like I expected it to. And then after I was off of it for a little while, my acne came back worse than it has ever been in my entire life. Also, I have always been a somewhat anxious person but when I was on accutane, that anxiety turned into depression so my advice is if you have ever struggled with depression, definitely do NOT go on accutane. even if it had cured my acne, which it didn't, i don't think it would have been worth it given the side effects. anyways, i overcame that but then i went on yasmin which actually helped my acne more than the accutane (i was combining it with spironolactone)...but caused a whole host of other problems like cramps and pms which i had never experienced. basically, everything the pill is supposed to help happened to me when i started taking the pill and i also noticed that the depression/anxiety started to get worse again. i went off the pill which significantly helped in alleviating any depression/anxiety i felt but of course my acne came back. i would say that if you are prone to any sort of mental health issues to not bother with these meds that could potentially worsen the problems. i personally just dont think it is worth it. im off everything and just doing laser treatments (isolaz and chemical peels)....while these are certainly not a cure, they definitely help and i still have my sanity! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, if it's the BCP's that are causing the depression and you go off of them then why couldn't you take Accutane?

I am going to start Spiro I think- I have a derm appointment at the end of the month- have you looked into that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try altering your diet, for starters. It can help with your acne AND your depression, as well as exercise.

Harder than it sounds, I know, but it's possible if you really WANT to get better. Honestly, I'd say your mental health is more important than the state of your skin. There are other birth control pills that can help with acne-not just those. Talk to your doctor and dermatologist about it switching. That, and of course if you just stop taking the pills, your hormones will need some time to settle so you won't have perfect skin for a while-you just need to give it time.

I've been there with severe depression and know it isn't easy. However, just remember there are more important things out there than your skin. You can be happy without having a flawless complexion-took me a while to grasp that one, but I finally did. And if your birth control is the cause of it, then I highly suggest you put it down and either pick up a new brand or no brand at all. Your skin may not like it at first, but it'll be worth it.

Depression and stress can also probably make your acne worse, so learn to relax if you stop with the pills that might help as well.

"Find all you need in your mind"

Just remember that at the end of the day, no amount of medication is going to cure you. You have to change your thinking patterns, focus on what you want, and strive to get better. Put your skin on the back burner for now.

Have you ever heard of Modicon?? It's a combination BCP that's supposed to help with acne. It's also good for PMDD or moodiness. You may look into that too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Julianne, ur experience with yasmin sounds the same as mine - i am glad ur depression and anxiety have resolved themselves, sometimes when your in the pit of depression it feels like it will never go. Can i ask how bad ur acne came back when you came off the yasmin and the spiro? Also how long did it take to settle down? When i came off the pill i swear i came out in like 30-40 massive cystic lesions which were painful and very scarring. I still persevered and waited at least 6 months to see if they would go but there was no change at all. I eventually had to go back on the pill as i was desperate, i couldnt handle that kind of acne again and know it runs in my family and is probably for life. I am glad the peels etc are working for you, this would not be an option for me as i have no money for treatments.

Heather thanks for ur reply, my depression has many causes not just bcp, i just think the bcps make it a lot worse. Even without the bcp it would be too dangerous for me to take accutane with my history. Good luck with the spiro hun, hope it works. I am not from the states so i am not sure i can get spiro here. Mentioned it to my derm but he didnt seem to know much about it.

Maria, thanks for ur advice. I do all the diet and exercise stuff, i am not sure if it helps but i could well be worse off if i didnt do it. I agree completely with you, mental health is the important thing here and trust me severe depression is probably as bad as it gets. Its not about not having flawless skin, its how my skin goes totally crazy when i am not on the pill, and scars me like you wouldnt believe. Even without the bcp i think my mental health would suffer if i was badly disfigured which is how bad the acne is. I am glad you overcame the depression, you sound like you have a real handle on your emotions too and i envy that. I have never heard of Modicon but i will check it out, i am in the UK so i am not sure if i can get it here. Thanks so much for ur help darling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honestly, I'd say your mental health is more important than the state of your skin. There are other birth control pills that can help with acne-not just those. Talk to your doctor and dermatologist about it switching.

Agreed. Just about every birth control pill has the potential to clear your skin. They add estrogen-like chemicals to your body, which in turn, makes your skin look more awesome.

Dianette is hardcore. It is not available in the US because of the risk of severe side effects. Since you are depressed on Dianette, I recommend that you speak with your doctor about a new pill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didnt know there were other pills that help with acne, i thought only dianette and yasmin did. Do all pills which help with acne also have depression as a side effect? For severe acne, are there any alternatives to taking the pill, apart from accutane and antibiotics?

From what i have learned accutane, bcps and antibiotics are all things that really screw with your body. Its looking like you either put up with acne and do nothing about it and risk the social alienation and low self esteem that result from that or you do something about it that may help ur acne but mess with you in some other way. Sorry to sound so negative, i think this is my depression talking :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kristabel,

There are also laser/light treatments to treat acne if you are concerned about what medications do to your body. I have severe cystic, resistant acne. I have taken five courses of accutane. I am now being treated with Isolaz. There is also photodynamic therapy and also just plain Blu-U treatments. If you use realself.com you can find the doctors which use these treatments. For Isolaz you might need to go to their website to find a practitioner. Isolaz is made by Aesthera.

Also, have you tried antidepressants for the depression?

And spironolactone is also a hormonal treatment. It is a very safe blood pressure medication which also happens to be a weak androgen blocker, which helps with the acne. If you doctor doesn't know about spironolactone, I'd recommend finding a different doctor just because this medication is extremely well known.

Hope that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree about the Spironolactone. It is highly effective for women who suffer with hormonal acne which it sounds like you may. Much less side effects than acutane, the only thing is you can't get pregnant while on it or until 3 months after you stop taking it. BUT if you plan on staying on BCP this is not an issue anyway. It is often prescribed to women to work in combination with BCP.

I used it several years ago and it cleared my cysts, lessened oil production, and kept me relatively clear. The only thing I recall is it did give me bad headaches and spotty periods. BUT if you can live with that in exchange for clear skin I highly recommend.

I just started up back on the spiro again last week due to bad hormonal breakouts. They say it takes a full 2 months to really start working but I see a difference after only 1 week. I'm less oily, less new breakouts, and the few pimples I have had do not get big, red, or painful, and they don't last as long.

You can read reviews on the medication here: http://www.acne.org/spironolactone-reviews/305/page1.html

Good luck with whatever course of action you try....I know how crippling and depressed acne can make you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I didnt know there were other pills that help with acne, i thought only dianette and yasmin did. Do all pills which help with acne also have depression as a side effect?

Anything with an estrogen in it could help clear acne. There is a risk of depression for every birth control pill, but this doesn't mean that any particular pill would make you depressed. The presence of side effects depend on your body. Every pill could have different side effects from the next, if you get side effects at all.

You may have to try a few different pills before finding one that works for you, which is okay because there are hundreds of them. When I was taking oral contraceptives, I went through 5 or so brands of birth control pills before I found one that had no side effects for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody know if spironolactone has ever been known to cause or aggravate depression? What i need to do is find out how much my depression is being caused by yasmin and how much is being caused by other things so i am wary of other bcps in case they dont completely eliminate that cause for me? However if i have no other alternative i will change bcp and hopefully it will alleviate the symptoms to an extent. It was a while ago i asked my derm about spiro and i think they said something like it is used for other things than acne and they dont think it would do much for my severe acne, i also got the impression its not really used for acne here in the uk.

Stubborn - thanks for the info on laser and light treatments, i would love these to work for me as i want to stop using things that invade my body. Do you or does anyone know if any of these treatments are affordable? I am unemployed due to my depression. Anyone use a light box? Stubborn, could you let me know ur experiences with these treatments hun? You guys are so helpful x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anybody know if spironolactone has ever been known to cause or aggravate depression? What i need to do is find out how much my depression is being caused by yasmin and how much is being caused by other things so i am wary of other bcps in case they dont completely eliminate that cause for me? However if i have no other alternative i will change bcp and hopefully it will alleviate the symptoms to an extent. It was a while ago i asked my derm about spiro and i think they said something like it is used for other things than acne and they dont think it would do much for my severe acne, i also got the impression its not really used for acne here in the uk.

A gynecologist might know more about bcp's and spiro than a dermatologist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Try altering your diet, for starters. It can help with your acne AND your depression, as well as exercise.

Yes. My skin cleared within two months of drinking my last coke and starting diet changes.

And off the top of my head, Omega 3 supplements, especially fish oil, is good for mood. And I think vitamin D, so even better would be cod liver oil which would have D, and omega 3 and A, all of which are also good for skin.

Exercise, sleep, and a little sunlight also help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello!

I too suffered depression at the hands of birth control--I haven't tried Yasmin, since I would experience heavy swings in mood while taking the BCP (Ortho-Tricyclin), but I continued to take it, for both preventative measures and to help my acne, which it never truly did. About a year ago, I had a bit of a pregnancy scare, and decided to switch to Nuvaring instead, and I absolutely love it. You still have to deal with periods, but without the massive dose of estrogen from Yasmin, and without the up-and-down depression that I had with the BCP. Best of all, my acne cleared almost completely. I had some moderate cystic acne, but I flare up only before I'm due for my period, and even then, I get a small blemish (maybe a cyst or two if I'm really stressed) which is much more favorable (and easier to deal with) than the fully blown acne that I had before.

In short, Nuvaring helped get rid of my acne, and that nagging BC-related depression that was debilitating when coupled with the humiliation of having a severe skin problem.

Hope this helps! If you have more questions about it let me know--their website is great, but I can at least give you a firsthand experience with it :]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would experience heavy swings in mood while taking the BCP (Ortho-Tricyclin), but I continued to take it, for both preventative measures and to help my acne, which it never truly did.

In short, Nuvaring helped get rid of my acne, and that nagging BC-related depression that was debilitating when coupled with the humiliation of having a severe skin problem.

Nuvaring doesn't have an estrogen, so technically it doesn't help clear acne.

I tried Ortho-Tricyclin too. About 10 years ago, it was heavily advertised in the US to clear acne. I gave it a go and had mood swings.

Most BCPs I've tried just gave me nausea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am unemployed due to my depression. Anyone use a light box?

I use a light box. I can't say for sure if it helps clear acne. I have noticed that my skin heals faster when I use it though.

When I feel depressed, I go to the tanning salon. To hell with cancer! For some odd reason, it lifts my mood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nuvaring doesn't have an estrogen, so technically it doesn't help clear acne.

Estrogen isn't the only thing that helps. Some people are deficient in progesterone. Although BCs have a synthetic form which is why they are called progestins, and they may or may not help. There are creams made from bioidentical progesterone from plants that some have benefited.

And some people are estrogen dominant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Accutane might not be the best thing for you...I've been on 3 treatments and I still have acne, cystic acne. AND I now suffer with depression because of the accutane. So, please...reconsider. Your mental health is so much more important than your complexion but I do understand. Been there, done that...and still there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zits5036 your right, there is no way i would consider accutane at this stage honey, i am already going crazy with depression so it would be the last thing i would do. I am sorry to hear your going through it too, hopefully ur depression will go when the last of the accutane leaves ur system?

Spiro question - does it cause a bad return of acne when you stop taking it, like bcps do? Also does anyone know if it has been known to cause or aggravate depression?

Those who have come off bcp and broke out badly, do you just break out for a few months as ur body adjusts to the hormones or do you just have acne indefinitely unless you go back on the pill?

Hope you all enjoyed the holidays

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am unemployed due to my depression. Anyone use a light box?

I use a light box. I can't say for sure if it helps clear acne. I have noticed that my skin heals faster when I use it though.

When I feel depressed, I go to the tanning salon. To hell with cancer! For some odd reason, it lifts my mood.

The reason is not odd, it's quite simple. Sunlight, and tanning lights that mimic sunlight, boost levels of serotonin (which is the neurotransmitter that is in deficient in those who suffer from depression).

Kristabel, I have also suffered from moderate to severe clinical depression since my teens. I also happened to go on bcp at age 15... however I don't think the bcp caused the depression in any way. I hope you aren't banking on this being the answer to it all for you... I'm afraid you may be very disappointed, especially if you suffer from terrible acne from the transition.

I know what it's like when you're at the worst of it. The sheer consuming helplessness... you watch other people go about their lives and you just don't understand how they do it. How do they just get out of bed and go to school or work like it's nothing? How do they just "do it" when it seems like you have to use every ounce of strength you have just to get out of bed and take a shower...

I hope you really are watching your diet and making sure you get 15-30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, preferably in the sunlight as this really can help. You haven't yet answered if you have tried anti-depressants... I understand if you are hesitant to try them, but I was definitely helped by Cymbalta when my depression reached such levels it threatened my life.

If you aren't taking anti-depressants, you might consider supplementing St. John's Wort and 5-HTP. This combination can greatly increase the amount of serotonin in your brain. Check out this link for dosage info:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_take_St_...t_the_same_time

One caution, St. Johns Wort has been found to interact with bcp...

Coming off the bcp is going to be hard on you. Definitely talk with your GYN about your options. I was forced to come off Seasonique (the 4 periods a year pill) when I experienced heavy bleeding for 6 weeks straight. I wish I could tell you that my skin only freaked out momentarily... but that's not the case. I went through six months of bad "post bcp" skin before I got pregnant and then my skin REALLY went nuts! Now I can't take or even apply much of anything to help it either. *sigh*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bluedove, my depression has a ton of causes behind it but i really believe my pill use is one of them. When i think back to the times when i wasnt taking the pill i wasnt always crying at the drop of a hat like when i am taking the pill. I feel that if i eliminate that cause it will not make my depression disappear but it could weaken it and at this stage i need to do everything i can to weaken it as i am doing this without antidepressants.

I am determined to beat this without antidepressants and am trying all the other alternatives, diet, exercise, supplements, therapy etc.

I dont really want to just change to another bcp as i am sick of bcps but its gradually looking like there is no way to make the transition to a bcp-free life without getting the severe acne and there is no way i can deal with that again.

Anyone have any luck with holistic treatments, acupuncture, chinese medicine etc? Are these ever an option for severe, post bcp acne?

Bluedove, how is ur depression now? Are you taking medication for it? Also is ur skin still bad? How long has it been since you took ur last bcp? thanks for sharing ur story hun.

Also, i have no gynaecologist - is it better to see a derm or a gyn for this kind of issue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand that. Even when I knew Cymbalta was helping me, I hated the idea that I might be on it for life. My illness is chemical imbalance. Circumstances can aggravate my depression, such as when my father passed away, but even when I have very "light" emotional baggage, I struggle to accomplish daily tasks. My depression typically manifests as lethargy, fatigue, inability to focus, complete lack of motivation, disconnected emotional state, self-loathing mind chatter, withdrawal from all social contact, etc. I am much more likely to feel "nothing" than I am to be truly sad.

Right now I am in a good place, really. I'm in a good, stable, healthy relationship and have been for nearly 2 years. This pregnancy was planned and we are happy about it. I have gone off ALL meds... including my Cymbalta, which makes my shrink incredibly nervous... but I have not had suicidal thoughts since my early 20's so I feel "safe" in relying on myself through the pregnancy... I may even stay off the Cymbalta if things continue like this after the baby comes.

My face is an issue... but I think it may be starting to improve now that I'm about half-way through this pregnancy. I went off Seasonique back in April (2008), I think. My hormones are in constant flux right now, so I don't think my experience will really be helpful. I would expect a minimum adjustment period to be about 6mos... but it could take longer.

The GYN will have more knowledge of types of BC, but I suppose a Derm will also be well versed in the pill since it is so often helpful in managing acne in females. I hope you find some relief soon. If I find the holy grail for hormonal acne, I'll be sure to let you know. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes

×