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Tips for dealing with depression, anxiety and stress

This topic has already been discussed somewhat on other posts, but I felt it deserved its own. Let's all state what we already know; acne and bad skin SUCKS! Whether you have mild, moderate or severe acne, dry, rough skin, or some other type of embarrassing skin condition related to acne, it can be both physically and emotionally draining. Add the fact that most of you in this forum are adults struggling with what a lot of people call a "teenage thing" or "just a part of puberty", and you have a serious problem that emotionally and physiologically damages us. I've personally been through an unimaginable depression where I wouldn't leave my room, cried constantly, had horrible anxiety attacks and even thought of suicide. After much counseling, help from my family, and the support of everyone on this site, I was able to overcome it all. I want to share some things that helped me get through the low spots in my life. Please keep in mind that I myself am in no way a counselor, psychiatrist or medical professional (although I did take a physiology class which I did miserably at!), and that all the advice/information I suggest or discuss is taken from my own experiences. I just want to share the things that helped see me through and hope that some of this might help one of you. I've been to the darkest depths of depression and feel that no one should have to suffer through it like I did.

The hardest thing for me to overcome was the idea that acne is a condition that CAN be treated, and that it doesn't matter what people think of you as long as you think about yourself positively. A great counselor I'm seeing gave me a list of things that no matter what you try to do, you cannot control/change. The list first said you cannot control/change the past. So what's done is done; mistakes, regrets, faults and failings are all behind you and can't be re-done. You can't control/change other people and their thoughts, perceptions, ideas, and actions. Everyone thinks differently and acts differently and cannot be controlled; they can be influenced, but you can't make them think or act differently. You can't control/change the future. You don't know that in a week you'll breakout real bad, or in a month you'll totally clear-up. You can't change what hasn't happened, but you can prevent and stop bad things from occurring like acne. Always tell yourself that you are a real person with thoughts, ideas, opinions, feelings and emotions, and that they and YOU matter. Make a list of all the things that you find good about yourself, like your smile, your eyes, a special talent, good personality, or something else; you'll probably discover like I did that the list of good things about yourself outweighs the list of bad things. Always remember that although it may feel like you're alone in this, you're not! I've been there and I wouldn't be typing all of this if I hadn't. Most importantly remember that even with acne, bad skin, depression and anxiety, you still are a beautiful person who has a lot of great qualities and shouldn't be afraid of what others might think. If you hide in fear, your just letting your problems win.

Here are some helpful things to manage stress and anxiety. I had to learn (the hard way mind you) that there are certain behaviors, or actions that might seem to be helping you cope, but are actually making things worse.

1.Constantly sleeping or wanting to sleep. I thought that by constantly sleeping I wouldn't be awake to consciously think about my problems and that the time would go by faster. I learned quickly that I would become more depressed because nothing would actually change by sleeping and that by constantly sleeping my time away, I would not be accomplishing anything.

2. Ignoring/denying my problems all together. By doing this I let my problems consume me and plummet to levels I never want to see again. Ignoring and denying my issues meant I was basically letting my problems win and control my life. You have to confront your problems by first admitting you HAVE one. By doing this you are taking the first step towards overcoming your issues. You certainly can't ignore it either or it'll just get worse. Most of you wouldn't ignore your acne because you know that it'd get worse or never get better. It's the same with depression or anxiety.

3. Hiding yourself away from others. This wasn't good for me at all; keeping myself secluded and alone from the world was about the worst thing I did. By doing this I was enabling an environment that would encourage negative thoughts and creating a place where they could easily overtake me. Being alone left no one but me and my thoughts, and when your depressed and sad, your thoughts usually consume your mind. When I decided to not hide away but rather surround myself with people I cared about and cared about me, I discovered that their positive feedback and encouragement would lift me up. I wouldn't focus as much on my negative thoughts but rather I would think about them and how they didn't care about what I looked like or that I had skin problems. And when I didn't have anybody around to physically interact with, I would go onto this site and get positive feedback from all of you. The encouragement here was great and made feel ten-times better! So thanks to everyone for their positive words and encouragement you practically saved me!

So what can you do to cheer yourself up a little? Here are some "fun" things I do to cheer myself up, or pass the time. Watch a good movie; I like movies because they transport me for awhile to another world or place where my problems seem to fade away. I can become enveloped in the characters problems and for a short time forget my own. Comedies are great because they make me laugh and smile, and smiling is good to do when your depressed or feeling down. Listen to music or play an instrument if you do that. I play the guitar and I find music to be very relaxing and soothing to the mind. I listen to songs that have lyrics that relate to me and my current issues, and that connection can be both calming and inspiring. Spend time with a pet if you can. I own a dog and I love him because he's always happy and playful and I know that he won't judge me or criticize me at all. He will always be there to play and make me smile, and never make fun of me or hurt me. Spend time with family and friends. Most everyone has some person in their life that makes them feel good. Like I discussed before being with people that encourage and support you will in-turn help you support yourself. I find that exercising is a great stress reliever as well. Engaging in a physical activity is not only good for your body and overall health, but releases endorphins in the brain that relaxes and positively stimulates brain functions. I personally like to hit a punching bag or go to the batting cages. These aggressive physical activities allow me to take out some of my frustration and feelings on something and not SOMEONE. There are so many ways to cheer yourself up and relieve stress; these are just a few of things that I like to do. I suggest you do whatever makes you happy.

I know that emotional factors from acne such as depression and anxiety can be just as bad or even worse than the acne itself. These types of problems cannot be solved overnight and a lot of serious cases like mine might require professional help from a counselor or medical professional. Just keep telling yourself that there are solutions out there that work, and there are a lot of people who know and like you for who you are and not what you look like. Good luck to all; stay strong and keep moving forward, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it's a lot closer that you think.

Edited by Indiana

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Okay so FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK! My mom just won't take me to the dermatologist! I hate her so much. I've been telling her for years now about how insecure I am about my acne and all this SHIT that appears onm y face and all that BITCH says that it'll be gone soon but WHAT THE FUCKING HELL it's been two FUCKING years!!!! Don't you see that I've already been washing my face and doing everything you told me which you probably made up in your IGNORANT mind and look BITXH there's still SHIT on my face! And you say that going to the dermatologist doesn't work and only makes it worse?!?? FUCK YOU BITCH YOU DON'T KNOW HOW BAD THIS MAKES ME FUCKING FEEL. YOU DON'T KNOW HOW BAD IT FEELS TO BE STARED AR BECAUSE OF YOUR PIMPLES AND TO BE TALKED ABOUT BEHIND YOUR BACK AND BEING SEEN AS A DIRTY PERSON OR SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T WASHT THEIR FACE!!!! Like seriously, you don't know what I'm going through!! I am the ugky ducking in my group of friends and family as well. I am so mad that they spent like 65 dollars a month on my sisters facial care product and their STUPID ASSES wont even take me to the dermatologist like WHAT THE FUCK CAN'T YOU SEE HOW FEPRESSED I AM ABOUT THIS?!?! ARE YOU REALLY THAT FUCKING INSENSITIVE!!! YA'LL ARE STUPID LIKE WHAT THE FUCK YOU NEVER EVEN STUDIED DERMATOLOGY SO HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO TO GET RID OF THIS? EVERYONE S FACE TYOE IS DIFFERENT!!!! 
I am sorry for all the cussing but this is just how I really feel about my mom right now like she is just really mean to me and doesnt even hear me out like what the fuck sometime's i wish i had someone else's mother! Someone who would be more understanding than this bitch is

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Exercise and healthy lifestyle is great, also talking to friends, spending lots of time outside. I am lucky to live by the beach so I  try to go there as much as I can. 

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