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Acne causes Social Anxiety and Depression Indeed...

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I've had minor acne since I was 16, but it was never severe enough to cause me to feel anti-social, depressed or anxious. Now, I know EXACTLY how that feels.

I didn't get severe acne until after coming off of Yaz birth control (July 2009). About a week after I stopped taking it, my face was covered (forehead, cheeks, chin, upper lip) with papules and postules. I was horrified.

At first, I told myself I wasn't going to let it get to me. My hormones just needed time to balance back, I just had to "stick it out". I thought that the only way I would draw attention to my acne problem is if I acted like it bothered me.

I tried to think of how much worse my situation could be...like having cancer and losing my hair, or being paralyzed from the waist down, unable to walk. Acne doesn't cause any physical limitations, so it shouldn't hinder me from doing anything that I normally do...unless I let it get to my head.

At the time, I was only working part-time because it was still summer. But once September hit, I was back teaching at an elementary school Monday through Friday. Everyday from September till the end of October kids asked me,

"what's wrong with your face!?"

"do you have the chicken pox?"

"you didn't have those dots last year."

"whoa, you have a lot of bumps!"

"how come you have all those pimples?" (snicker snicker)

"excuse me, why is your face so red?"

I was humiliated. Up to this point, I had been trying my best to NOT think and obsess about my acne, but now I realized, EVERYONE notices that I have acne, most adults know better not to say anything, but kids...they just call it like they see it.

I remember sobbing (not just tears, actual loud cries of desperation) a few times in my car on the way home from work. When I had to eat outside of the house, I would go through drive thrus to order food so no one would have to see me. I didn't go to my girlfriend's engagement party, another friend's wedding, a baby shower, and I stopped going to my Bible study group. My fiance called me "hermit" and his "little vampire" during this time. He and my family didn't force me to go anywhere because they saw how deeply this was affecting me. This was without a doubt, a dark time in my life.

No one can truly understand the social impact of acne unless they've experienced it themselves. It's a rough road to be on. When I think back to high school, a time where my acne was very minor, easily covered by makeup, I remember those that had severe acne. There were only a couple that I knew of. One guy was very introverted, kept to himself, didn't get involved in any sports/activities. I can't help but wonder if having acne is what caused him to be this way. On the other hand, there was my boyfriend who was on the football, wrestling team and in band. He was very popular, and won Homecoming King senior year. He had severe acne all over his face, neck and back since he was in the 7th grade, but it never stopped him from being his normal fun, outgoing self. And if it did, I wasn't aware of it.

So the way I see it, YOU are ultimately in control of how you let acne affect your life. For some, they can carry on just fine (or at least act like it), others need to "lay low". I chose to "lay low" when my acne was at it's worst. I chose to be gentle and not force myself to engage in social situations that were unnecessary. There were three places I went to during this time: work, yoga, church. Everywhere else was optional. If I felt up to going to the movies or the grocery store I would, if not, oh well.

Interestingly enough, the three places I did go to helped me tremendously get through this dark time. I love teaching, and being around other teachers and students brought me a lot of joy. Yoga allowed me to calm my mind, and relax my body without feeling judged by others. Going to church, and reading the Bible daily filled me spiritually.

My advice to anyone with acne when it comes to social situations is to be gentle with yourself. Only YOU know what you can and can't handle right now. Why force yourself?

It has been 3 months since I started using the Regimen. My face is completely clear. I still am working on lightening the spots and scars left over from previous acne. Needless to say I am so grateful and pleased with how things are going so far. Please read my other blog posts under Girls/Women with Acne to learn more.

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Good post! I read every word you wrote and thought it was very accurate in capturing the feelings associated with acne.

I also broke out horribly after Yaz. I just since recovered from it using Diane.

Anyway..Some people are better at dealing with acne than others. Like you, I was very self aware and hated every minute of it. I use to stay home a lot as well. I attepted going out with friends until once I wore too much makeup to a party and my little cousin said my face looked like it was going to melt! I booked it an hour later.

I have almost perfect skin (for now) and I don't even wear makeup hardly anymore. It feels great and I'm absolutely terrified to go back. I am so much happier and enjoy life. Not having to worry about putting on makeup or a hoodie to take my dog out. I can go out with friends and have a much better time then I did with ance and makeup. I suffered for years with it and thankfully I have a break. I wish the same for you all.

Your post was very meaningful to me. Take care.

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