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Gregor84CDN

Emotional and Psychological effects of Acne

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There is alot of disagreement about whether or not Accutane causes depression or not.

I found a link to a medical journal that positively show changes in brain functioning:

21% reduction of orbiofrontal metabolism

changes in dopamine levels and functioning

reduction of neurogenesis in the hippocampus

All three of these are implicated heavily in mood/emotions

ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/162/5/983#SEC3

I have suffered depression over the past five years (I'm 24) Because of this I never went on Accutane and Because of the fact I've never been on it I still have horrible (and no not like omg a zit like half the ppl here but cystic SCARRING acne)

PS I've been on antidepressants - 2yrs they don't work - they exasperate the problem

Has anyone else been caught in this vicious cycle, or has felt hopeless for years?

Edited by Gregor84CDN

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Hi Gregor,

I have depression and low self-esteem, but I am lucky to be quite optimistic. I have had moderate acne for about six years and then severe cystic acne and folliculitis for two years. Acne has changed my life and has directly affected almost all of my decisions. I feel better when my acne is under control. At the moment I am using Dan's cleanser, BP, moisturiser and AHA. I also use Eryacne (after applying BP - once it has dried). When I get a breakout though, I have large cysts sometimes the size of half a golf ball, I won't even begin to describe what's inside and how painful they are - I am sure you know :( I used to use Oxy face wash with Benzamycin Gel and some Aloe Vera Vaseline (not all at once!) - used it for about six years and I had almost no acne - I was free. I was chained to that regimen, but I was happy. Now I spend about three or four hours a day washing and applying all these creams, with no guarantees of success. Life is tough, each day is a struggle, and sometimes I just can't be bothered putting all my creams on. I don't let anyone touch my face, I change my pillow case and towels every day - all because I am terrified of a break out. I started feeling better recently because things have been quite stable - no spots for a while. I put it down to Eryacne (which is an erythromycin 4% alcohol gel) mainly, and Dan's BP. They (Shwarz Pharma) stopped manufacturing Benzamycin for distribution in the UK about two years ago, I went onto Duac as a result, and that's when I started looking like the elephant man. I hope you can relate to some of what I have said. I know my mental health is directly linked to my acne, so if I can fix that, I will be much better mentally. Other people, unfortunately, can fix their acne, but have serious depression to deal with too. I was depressed before acne, but nowhere near as bad as I am now! I hope you can find some products or regimens to suit you here. It has taken me a year and a half of clueless doctors, confused dermatologists and tons of trial and error (and tears and blood) to get to a reasonably stable state. I hope this website can help you avoid too much trial and error. Are you on the regimen at the moment? I was offered Roaccutane (or Accutane as they call it in the USA), but declined it. Like you, I was just too concerned about my mental health and possible permanent physical side effects. I know people who have taken it and are cured without any problems. It is a gamble either way, but if I took Roaccutane, had side effects, and had break outs after the course of treatment, I'd probably end my life. I admire people who take Roaccutane and understand why they do it, and I think there are a lot of posts about how bad it is. The main thing is to read the manufacturer's paperwork about possible side effects and government issued warnings about the drug. I have asked my dermatologist directly for some figures on how likely side effects are, he couldn't answer me. One dermatologist was convinced I would suffer emotionally. It is such a shame that as acne sufferers we have to do all the hard work in trying to guess the right treatment for us, I am just another guy who won't play any guessing games with Roaccutane. If you are ever down PM me, I log on every week at least, I hope I've helped in some way.

Best wishes,

Me.

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If you're at the bottom of the barrel take accutane. What to you have to lose? Seriously.

Agreed. Acne took a big slurp of all my serotonin... Accutane can try to make me depressed, but there's nothing left to put me down with.

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If you're at the bottom of the barrel take accutane. What to you have to lose? Seriously.

Agreed. Acne took a big slurp of all my serotonin... Accutane can try to make me depressed, but there's nothing left to put me down with.

I completely agree - when considering the psychological side effects, it is hard to get lower (but I know I can). It's the physical side effects that would devastate me: imagine not being able to exercise (I'm in my twenties after all), because my joints give way like an arthritic old man? No thanks.

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If you're at the bottom of the barrel take accutane. What to you have to lose? Seriously.

There's always something to lose. Often times when people truly think there's nothing to lose, they become suicidal or homicidal. I don't know if you meant the above quote literally, but people should understand there's always something to lose. Some are too self-absorbed to realize that, that "something" may just be outside of them (like family, friends, etc.).

Depression also isn't something to self-diagnose. If you're clinically depressed, talk to your psychiatrist about accutane. He/she will surely have better (and I mean more professional, data-supported) advice.

Gregor, if your antidepressants aren't working then tell your psychiatrist. Please don't tell me you've been on the same medication for the past two years with no positive affects. If your psychiatrist is adamant about the specific prescription, get a second opinion.

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ha ha, trust me...there's always something left to lose.

I'd say people should stay away from accutane...unless they have comfortable lives already.

If you are already stressed and also then take the tane, then you greatly increase chances of depression. Try to focus on your work or pets, etc. People may be grossed out by acne, but I found that one can still charm people effectively, or gather sympathy from them. If people are mean about it, then you are hanging with the wrong crowd. Also, one can make people focus on the body rather than the face.

I think no matter how people look, if they respect themselves, and others, they can be accepted socially. A person is not just a face, but a body, with boobs, legs...and a brain...hair...all this stuff makes an impact. If people tell you you are not good enough...leave them. or ignore them.

A pretty face is NO GUARANTEE for ANYTHING.

Evil, mean and superficial people will never change, regardless of how you make yourself look for them.

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I took it - it did cause depression - now it's a chicken/egg suitation because of the emotional v.s. acne stuff.

But I did notice a deeper sense of drowning in emotion than before, my face was BETTER yet my mood was WORSE!

It took a few years and lots of exercise to get out of that place, but, I don't know if I could recommend it to anyone, or.. not recommend it.

It's a choice - sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease, sometimes you need that life line..

Sure drug companies want to make money, maybe there are other solutions, but Roche didn't give anyone acne just so they could charge huge amounts to fix it? (WAKE UP SHEEPLE!)

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If you're at the bottom of the barrel take accutane. What to you have to lose? Seriously.

There's always something to lose. Often times when people truly think there's nothing to lose, they become suicidal or homicidal. I don't know if you meant the above quote literally, but people should understand there's always something to lose. Some are too self-absorbed to realize that, that "something" may just be outside of them (like family, friends, etc.).

Depression also isn't something to self-diagnose. If you're clinically depressed, talk to your psychiatrist about accutane. He/she will surely have better (and I mean more professional, data-supported) advice.

Gregor, if your antidepressants aren't working then tell your psychiatrist. Please don't tell me you've been on the same medication for the past two years with no positive affects. If your psychiatrist is adamant about the specific prescription, get a second opinion.

Hey endersshadow, take note! I am going to agree with you on something here! ;)

You do have something to lose. Be careful and by all means see a doc and psychiatrist regulary.

I had to spend a long time finding the right doses and prescriptions of antidepressants and it wasn't fun. But if your's isn't working for you, TALK to your psychiatrist or medical professional. There is help for you. One antidepressant gave me horrible severe acne and I had to go off of it. Find the side affects and find what works for you and if you don't feel like you can do tane with everything else, then don't. Don't push yourself farther than you think you can go when it comes to depression!! But find the help that is there for you! Hang tight man!

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Just an update guys, when I said I took antidepressants for two years I guess I wasn't clear in that I was off them for a year, and was doing a lot better than when I was on them or before I was. I don't suffer from depression anymore. I did try accutane shortly after this post I wont say exactly what happened but that it was pretty serious and I had to stop, and even though it was working can't ever take it again. I still have cystic acne at 26 and it sucks, but I'm doing all I can and my face only has an occasional cyst and easily fixable whiteheads, its my back and neck/shoulders that are still the problem.

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Well, Accutane is the last resort for me. If my acne doesn't go away by January, I'm starting Accutane in January. Nothing has worked for my acne and my acne never goes away. Like someone else says, I have nothing to lose with Accutane. Sure, it may have some side effects, but I want it for what it will do for my skin : Make it clear again. I've heard most people who go on Accutane have great results.

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