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jlmb

Adult Acne and Depression

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Hello,

I am new to this site and message boards in general and admire the courage of all my fellow acne sufferers.

I am a 28 year old female who is struggling with adult acne and depression. I had pimples here and there during my teen years but it was never so bad that it affected me emotionally. I was on the pill from the age 18 until August of '10 and my skin has been getting progressively worse. I suppose it is due to hormonal changes and I'm sure stress doesn't help but the real issue here is what the acne is doing to my psyche. I really am miserable and have very poor self esteem. I have become a recluse and my husband is ready to throw me out a window.

Ironically, I hate not only the way I look but I hate myself for being down about my skin because I am blessed and feel like I am a vain spoiled brat. I joined this site hoping to learn some coping strategies because I can no longer let my acne and depression control my life. I truly wish there was a cure for acne and empathize with everyone on this site because acne really can destroy one's self image. I hope we all can find relief. Thank you very much for listening.

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Hi Jlmb,

Wow... I could have written your post myself... I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time. I can definitely relate to your feelings. I am a 32 year old female, married to the most wonderful man on earth and I have 3 beautiful children... yet for the past few months I have been so depressed about the state of my skin that I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Every day has been a struggle... even the days where my skin is relatively okay I spend so much time worrying and agonizing over every little real and imagined bump that I can see/feel growing into something awful ( this is my problem - I don't get a ton of spots, but I get huge ones that are scarring). My husband has been very supportive up until this last month. He has finally "had it" with my obsessing and is starting to react to my constant skin obsession with anger. I don't blame him at all. I know I'm being irrational and yet it's so hard to stop. I've really been concentrating lately on keeping busy. I find when I'm in my house (I'm on mat leave still until September) it's way too easy to spend too much time sitting staring into my little mirror finding every flaw. I've been trying to get out as much as possible, even though I feel like everyone is looking at my pimply, scarred face. I guess we have to keep in mind that people are so worried about their own issues that they usually don't notice the things we are so self consious about.

Have you been to a dermotologist? I have been going recently... I've been prescribed some things (tretonoin, minocycline and clindoxyl). I've been taking the minocycline and using the clindoxyl but I just got the tretonoin after initially being prescribed Differin. I'm really really scared to use it because of the dreaded initial breakout that so many people talk about. I'm easing into it - just putting it on for an hour a night and then washing it off. I'll gradually lead up to longer and longer.I know it will take a lot more time for it to really work this way, and who knows if it will really help with the IB but my anxiety is just too high to jump into it. It does give me some comfort that I am doing something about it and hopefully it will help.

I really hope things get better for you soon. Just knowing that there are others out there that can relate and share their experiences has been helpful for me. Sending you love and light.

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Hey jlmb and jelly,

I completely empathize with your situations...except that I'm not married and worry that I may never find someone to love me with this horrible skin condition. I have horribly low self-esteem too, and have suffered from chronic depression almost my whole life. Even so, I've somehow managed to separate my acne from my ability to function and enjoy life at least somewhat. I would strongly recommend therapy to help with this, specifically cognitive therapy. The root of this issue is mental, and that's where professional help is needed to address it. There's no shame in getting help, and your life will improve significantly, and there's no risk of an initial breakout! :) at least not in acne form ;) But you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to get help.

Also, I recommend experimenting with natural remedies that get at the root causes of acne. That's what I'm working on now, and I've found that a lot of these remedies also help our overall health, including mental health. Things like increasing Omega 3 intake, improving digestion, addressing candida if you have it, all of these have been known to address depression too. I think for those of us with severe chronic acne, the problem is buried deep in our bodies and is affecting so much more. It's worth the difficulties of trial and error to find the root cause and obliterate it. I've been shifting the way I think about acne into something more positive - I think it shows me that there's something off in my health and that once I address it, I'll lead a fuller life. Symptoms are a Good thing! Other people who get no acne and abuse their bodies will suffer later, but through acne we have the extra motivation to fix our bodies Now. Be brave, Good luck!

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Yeah, I definitely agree with river333's suggestion. I have suffered low self-esteem and depression problems all my life, though my acne didn't become part of that until it started getting worse (in my 20's). I have found that treating the depression and low self-esteem is more important than treating the actual acne--as acne will have a way of taking over your whole life if you let it (and you are in the position to let it right now). Plus, once it goes away, you'll just start obsessing about something else, as you'll still be left with the depression and low self-esteem issues (and let me tell you, they can become CRIPPLING if you let them). Don't get down on yourself for your feelings--you are certainly not "vain" or "spoiled" for caring about your skin and for not being able to enjoy your life! You deserve to feel good about yourself and enjoy your life! Everyone deserves that. As river says, there is no shame in asking for help--no therapist is gonna think you're weird or judge you for how you feel. As for your actual skin, see a dermatologist or start Dan's regimen and read the folders pinned at the top of all the forums (they contain tons of useful advice).

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Hello,

I am new to this site and message boards in general and admire the courage of all my fellow acne sufferers.

I am a 28 year old female who is struggling with adult acne and depression. I had pimples here and there during my teen years but it was never so bad that it affected me emotionally. I was on the pill from the age 18 until August of '10 and my skin has been getting progressively worse. I suppose it is due to hormonal changes and I'm sure stress doesn't help but the real issue here is what the acne is doing to my psyche. I really am miserable and have very poor self esteem. I have become a recluse and my husband is ready to throw me out a window.

Ironically, I hate not only the way I look but I hate myself for being down about my skin because I am blessed and feel like I am a vain spoiled brat. I joined this site hoping to learn some coping strategies because I can no longer let my acne and depression control my life. I truly wish there was a cure for acne and empathize with everyone on this site because acne really can destroy one's self image. I hope we all can find relief. Thank you very much for listening.

I understand just how you feel, and don't feel bad for feeling bad either. Its what will keep you going till you find YOUR solution. And thats the thing, most everyone on here has their own solution. For me it was my birthcontrol as well. The people I confide in give me that too, "well why do you let it get to you when there isnt anything you can really do about it?" Ticks me off. Im like thanks, thanks a lot...If you were in my shoes I guarantee youd be depressed too. Its usually always people who have clear skin who dismiss your depression...

What you are feeling is COMPLETELY normal and ok, you arent a spoilt little brat for being at the end of your rope and feeling frustrated over your situation...don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It will keep you searching and trust me it won't last, you will find your "trigger" and eliminate it.

Edited by andromedatpa

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I can totally empathize with you jlmb. What everyone has been sharing here is what I would say too. Acne is so awful and unless you suffer from it you have no idea of what it does to one's psyche. A book that helped me is called "Healing Adult Acne" by Dr Fried. He is a dermatologist and a psychologist. I really recommend it. What made a difference for me was finally getting effective treatment (...the book helped with that too...) and then actually seeing my skin heal. I still suffer from fear that my skin might return to an acne state and I'm sure I have some acne PTSD but overall my stress level and obsessiveness over what my skin looks like has gone way down.

Right now you are at a cross-roads. You're in a degree of emotional pain that is causing you to recognise how obsessed you've become. This is actually a good thing because it will give you the impetus and strength to find and get better treatment. There is no cure for acne but there is effective treatment. Finding a caring derm will help. Counseling helped me. It was incredibly embarrasing to reveal to the therapist how much acne was affecting me but she was instrumental in helping me to get through the depression from it. It helps.

Hang in there. Share the pain...is there a close friend who you can share with? I found it helped to share here and with a close friend instead of my husband who like yours was getting tired of it all.

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Same here girl...

I had acne on and off and I hate myself for the fact that how I feel about myself as aperson can depend on how my skin looks. Its like being punished twice, once by acne and again for feeling shitty about yourself, and the following guilt. WHen you hear of people with cancer or CF and that kind of disease you feel pretty douchy for getting upset over acne. But then again nobody judges people who have those but often we are judged as careless, unlcean or drug-users by ignorant fools who have never had acne.

Im 28 too. I have had some success on the regimen and avoiding certain foods (sugar! chocolate! all the good stuff :-(...but when I slip up and have them I hate myself for doing it and for not just being able to "be normal". WHY cant I eat loads of bad stuff and not break out like some other peopel I know?

Anyhow A LOT of people on this website feel ya. I hope you feel better soon, I am much better than a few years ago. Maybe try antibiotics just to see some instant improvement, enough to get you out of this haze of misery, the go from there.And hang out here it will definately make you feel youre not alone.

best luck!

A

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Guest davidtheskinking

for sharing this, sometimes the best thing to do is to just vent and release emotions that you have been holding onto.

Acne is tough, it can cause you to become sad when you look at it but I have to say what I believe here and it's from the bottom of my heart and I know it will help some people so here goes.

Acne is a symptom, something that show's up on your skin and the world may (or may not) perceive you differently.

You have a choice whether you let acne effect you on an emotional state or not. It is harder to have to deal with acne on a daily basis! especially severe acne but you shouldn't let this get you down.

When you are frustrated and depressed because of acne it actually make's your skin worse and it's just a spiral downward from there. When you are depressed your immune system doesn't work as fast as it normally does when you are not depressed.

Depression affects your hormones (in a bad way) and slows the immune system which fights infections and foreign toxins in the body which cause more breakouts or the sustaining of them.

So, I recommend releasing the negativity and finding time to laugh, watch some comedy, smile and learn to live in joy and gratitude. If your emotional state is healthy your mental and physical state will follow which will lead to you clearing up your skin.

If you can focus on improving your mental, physical and emotional state all at the same time your acne will clear up even quicker.

Just my 2 cents from the people who I've seen clear up their acne, including me!

Hope this helps,

David

P.S. Smile, laugh and be thankful! A positive emotional state and state of being only leads to more good in your life.

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I am a 29 year old female myself and I most definitely relate to how you feel. Feel free to read my log on the accutane forum for a little more background on my acne history if you would like.

Just as many others on this site, I have done and tried everything over the years. I have tried many Perscriptions and over the counter meds/skin care products. I even have went the all natural route to no avail. Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe in eating organic, eating less processed foods, eliminating high fructose syrup, preservatives and food coloring and any kind of chemicals. I have eaten that way for many years now and I will continue to do so. I have and still do see a naturalpathic doctor and have done everything under the sun to holistically get rid of my acne. Undortunantely, nothing has worked and I have gotten to the point where I am choosing not to live this way anymore.

As contradicting as this may seem, I also do believe in accutane. My thinking is, I have done everything in my power and so I feel it is okay for me to now take accutane. I understand that many people may feel that this is an unwise decision and I respect their beliefs. I on the other hand believe that the benefits out weigh the side effects. Nobone can make this extremely hard decision for you, only you can. Go see a dermatologist and learn your options and what's right for you.

Life is just too short to be miserable! In whatever decision you choose, I wish you the beat of luck. I hope I have helped you some. ;)

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HI, I too thought I was over the adolescent whole pimply ordeal and now at 38 I find myself not using aging creams but monocyclin and differin. Luckily where I live, in Portugal these medications aren´t as expensive as I have seen them online here. However there is a down side to this, because of the low price we are tempted to try something better and more adequate, whatever that may be. I just went to another derm and he took me off Differin and suggested BIODERMA SEBIUM AI ACNE PRONE SKIN 30ML and Bioderma Serum. I have it on now but must say it burns a little, hope this means something good, Differin never burnt however wasn´t doing anything, and some pimples showed up from small to larger and redder with it. I´m not discouraging the use, every case is different. But I can relate to the whole upsetting state in which it leaves us and yes my husband also says how lucky I am to have a car, house and children. But I tell him I´d rather take a bike to work and get off it graciously. Hopefully soon I can feel like that, but at the moment I finally have longer hair but can´t stand it touching my face so I have to tie it up and yes smile with a zitty face. Ugh! When will there be a Biggest Loser for Acne? Good luck to all!

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for sharing this, sometimes the best thing to do is to just vent and release emotions that you have been holding onto.

Acne is tough, it can cause you to become sad when you look at it but I have to say what I believe here and it's from the bottom of my heart and I know it will help some people so here goes.

Acne is a symptom, something that show's up on your skin and the world may (or may not) perceive you differently.

You have a choice whether you let acne effect you on an emotional state or not. It is harder to have to deal with acne on a daily basis! especially severe acne but you shouldn't let this get you down.

When you are frustrated and depressed because of acne it actually make's your skin worse and it's just a spiral downward from there. When you are depressed your immune system doesn't work as fast as it normally does when you are not depressed.

Depression affects your hormones (in a bad way) and slows the immune system which fights infections and foreign toxins in the body which cause more breakouts or the sustaining of them.

So, I recommend releasing the negativity and finding time to laugh, watch some comedy, smile and learn to live in joy and gratitude. If your emotional state is healthy your mental and physical state will follow which will lead to you clearing up your skin.

If you can focus on improving your mental, physical and emotional state all at the same time your acne will clear up even quicker.

Just my 2 cents from the people who I've seen clear up their acne, including me!

Hope this helps,

David

P.S. Smile, laugh and be thankful! A positive emotional state and state of being only leads to more good in your life.

This is interesting, I wonder how depression affects hormones or to what extent. I have a history of depression too but have kept on top of this with Citalopram which I now only need 10mg of. I wouldnt say I have major depression anymore, I am ok, but still have this really pessimistic attitude about everything from 'im going to fail my exams, people don't really like me, im fat & ugly with bad skin, the people I want wont fancy me back, im no good at this, that or the other'.

I do believe CBT is a useful therapy for anyone else who gets stuck in this rut, as it is a hard one to get out of when you have felt & thought in a particular way for so many years.

I do hope we can all find a way to get through our depression & our battle with acne. They say it makes you a better person & stronger, but my social skills are lacking from hiding away for too long!

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Haven't been on here for a while but came across your post. As you can see you are not alone. I'm 31 now but when I was 25 I had really bad acne that only got worse as I got older.

Hormonal birth control has side effects (depression especially) long after you stop taking them & the damage is far reaching. I have no doubt that because of the changes the BC made in your body, you are depressed & your acne has gotten worse.

Go on low-dose accutane, get a copper IUD, and if the depression persists then seek to go on other medications (anti-d or other). When on the accutane & your acne starts to go away, you WILL feel better I can tell you that for sure! :)

Attached is me a few weeks ago, hopefully the size is big enough.... I'm on 10mg a day of accutane (used to have horrible cystic acne with at least 20 active spots) - I dare you to find a spot now ;)

post-41903-1310653354_thumb.jpg

post-41903-1310653354_thumb.jpg

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Wow, your skin is so clear now! That should give people hope! It's the opposite for me, I had clear skin at 25, now mild acne at 31. Though that has to do with being on birth control for so long and going off and getting pregnant. I miss when I was 25 when I could fall asleep with my makeup on and not get a single pimple :/ But hoping this is temporary.

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Thank you all so much for your posts. It is so kind of you all to share your struggles..it makes a big difference knowing I'm not alone, (though it certainly feels that way sometimes). I hope to make many of the changes suggested, especially the ones pertaining to diet because I am a horrendous eater. In terms of treatment for my acne, I've been to a dermatologist but he is limited because my husband and I were thinking of trying for a baby. However, I am starting to think that this may not be the best time because of my worsening depression and anxiety which I am sure would be just as damaging to baby as topical acne treatments (Enter guilt about that, too). Perhaps treating my depression and acne is what I need to do before I think about a baby.

Nevertheless, the kind words received from these boards have certainly made a difference, and I can't thank you all enough. My best wishes and thanks to all! xox

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