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i dont know what to say other than those around you should not have given up on you and that you need professional help. you can try everything under the sun and more it might not work however it doesnt mean you become a recluse for the rest of your life. we live with this every day for the rest of our lives so you have to make do wit the best you have. I know this is just a vague ramble however there is not much i personally can say in this situation and i will not feed you pity to fuel your vicious cycle of emotions. you need proffessional help.

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First off, welcome to the forums and I'm glad you decided to post!

Sometimes acne can be such an embarrassment that it completely destroys your confidence, but I assure you things can get better. I've reached rock bottom a few times in my struggle with acne, where I felt exactly what you described. But you know what, I've always bounced back and got my skin back in order. You just need to find the treatments that work for you and stick to them. Not everyone in life is blessed with perfect skin that requires nothing but a splash of water here and there. Don't feel bad about having acne. Find out what your specific issues are and work on them. If you can't see a derm, do research online.

The one piece of advice I must stress though is you need to stop picking your face!

This is the most important. Believe me, I know all about this from personal experience. When you pick your skin and it bleeds, you're introducing even more bacteria underneath the surface and this leads to more acne in the future. Try as much as you can to keep the surface of your skin unbroken. Your face is always healing itself naturally, but you don't give it that opportunity when you keep digging new wounds into it. Let your acne run its course and you may find your face looking much more even toned.

Good luck!

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Welcome to the board!

Reading your post its clear there are a lot of powerful emotions coming forth, but it's quite hard to discern what you see as the main issue for going out and enjoying life- is its acne specifically? Or more general feelings of negative body image via BDD? The only thing I can suggest at this stage that you might find useful is to set yourself small goals each week that you want to accomplish. Perhaps you can try and walk around your local park once a week in order to get exercise and fresh air, or try some light exercise such as jogging or cycling? I also think reflecting on what is good about your life is really important- this can be anything from family to interests that you have, it's easy to get trapped in a self perpetuating cycle of negative emotions and the only thing that can really break it is by re-organising your perspective about yourself and your life. That's much easier said than done of course and it'll probably take a while for you to get where you want to be. But so long as you do set yourself a goal and work towards achieving it then that is the main thing!

Oh I also like your quote from Sartre, I'm a philosophy major and studied Being and nothingness for one of my papers. Have you read any existential psychoanalysis? I've read some and found it useful to a degree, I tried to apply some techniques when I went through a particularly bad period of negative self-image.

Edited by ledzep
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When you think professional you dont have to associate a guy with a fancy tie and clip board. You are going to benefit more from someone that is just professionally trained in this field that is more personal (like a social worker coming to visit you) than you going to an impersonal meeting with a guy that has a ph.d in some type of science that only cares about the money you give him per hr.

Basically you need a close person to talk for your therapy because you've had a life time exposure and done everything you can but obviously it hasnt helped. Sorry is all i can say. Glad to hear you have someone to come visit you.

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I'm sorry you've been going through this for so long. I also have BDD, but I guess you could call me a functioning one as I get through day to day life except for the fact that sometimes I feel so depressed inside about myself. I'm obsessing currently about a new flaw I have, and it's driving me crazy. I feel disfigured.

I agree with the no picking. Don't do it! I had this problem too, and you just feel worse after with the damage you've caused yourself, especially if it leaves permanent scarring. Avoid standing in the mirror for an extended amount of time or only let yourself see yourself from a distance away in mirror, no close ups. Cover the mirrors if you have to. Wear gloves. Picking is just not going to help.

Have you tried Accutane?

Sorry just saw about the Accutane. Diet is definitely possible. Maybe you can look more into that? And hormones are a HUGE factor. Have you had your levels tested?

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Regarding breaking out around that time, have you read about people who have tried taking Aleve a few days or a week before your period? I've read some people have good results with that. Maybe google more about it. It's an anti-inflammatory so perhaps it can help prevent inflammation? I'm pregnant myself and my skin has calmed down after having a few massive pimples, but a cortisone shot left me with this crater in my skin from atrophy so that's been causing me a lot of anxiety. And that is because of my BDD...I should have just let the pimple be instead of needing to treat it and make it go away so fast because I freak out anytime I get a pimple. I was told its temporary but who knows.

I have kids so I definitely have to go on with my day to day life no matter what. Before I had them, I did work full time too and that kind of structure helps. Is there any way you could look into a part time job? That would help ease you into getting out more and being around people. For me, when I'm out, whether it was working or just being out around family or friends, that's what helps me forget about (at least temporarily) my insecurities. Your mind needs to be preoccupied or else you go crazy if you have too much time to think. It's when I'm alone and checking my reflection in the mirror that I feel my worst. Just something worth looking into. When I worked, I wasn't exactly very social, but I was good at what I did and efficient so that was something I felt good about.

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I suffered and still do many illnesses on top of my acne and throughout my life I found that staying inside the house and not going outside was the best option. Although less extreme is my case I only stayed inside for 2years in a room without going outside I can relate to your problem. I was harassed and insulted because of my skin a lot but as you grow older (I am 33 now) you learn that life is not about how we look but about what we do and how we do it. I did chose a solitary life but I did it my way- I indulge myself in writing, painting and doing all sort of crafts and I enjoyed it so much, I read a lot of books. I did not need to see and meet people to do that. My family let me drop out of uni because of my acne and stay inside for as long as I needed so that was great. You can be happy in solitude and as you find peace with it you find yourself and life transforms. It is ok to be alone and feel sad but it is even better when you do it your way....create something. You do not need anyone to be able to create. Draw, paint, write, make random lines on paper, take pictures with camera. I used to write letters to my "imaginary" friends on a regular basis, haha and it did help. Life is for living which ever way you find possible. Do look for beautiful things around, world is not about pretty faces. Reinvent your life, we are more than what we look like. It will get better with time, solution will find you. I finished my uni much later in life, I did find friends and life did get better. I wish you success and I hope you never stop fighting. It comes from someone who tried to commit suicide on several occasions but failed because was saved. Let the challenge you have bring out the best in you. xxx:)

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I have been lurking for a while, reading various threads on the acne.org message boards and decided that after reading the posts on this thread, it is as good a place as any to make my first post.

I am in my late thirties and to differing degrees, I have suffered from acne on and off since the age of 12 or 13.

At school, I had severe cystic acne and was bullied mercilessly due to the condition of my skin. On one occasion, I was held down physically and had my "spots" squeezed. The physical pain did not last too long but psychologically, the assault left me feeling repulsive, dirty and disgusting - feelings that I still have to this day whenever I have even a mild breakout.

Having acne has caused me to miss out on so much in life - I dropped out of sixth form college and missed out on going to University. I have only ever had two long-term relationships. The second relationship ended largely due to the fact that I was so insecure about myself and my skin in particular. Although I am fortunate enough to have a job, it is a dead-end job and I`m convinced that I could have done so much better for myself had I not had such an obsession with my skin.

Over the years, my acne has cleared up and apart from the odd outbreak of mild folliculitis on my scalp and in the beard area, most people would probably say that my skin is ok. However, it is not the condition of my skin but the psychological impact that even one or two spots has on me. If I think my skin is clear, I feel perfectly happy and content. However, if I wake up in the morning to find that I have even a couple of spots, my heart sinks and I automatically revert to feeling hideous, ugly and vile. In addition to this, I am obsessive about diet to the extent that I refuse to eat refined sugar, bread or diary products. I am also obsessive about looking in the mirror and will very often study myself in the mirror for hours on end - picking fault with even the most minute blemish.

A few weeks ago, I finally decided that enough is enough and went to see my GP. I have been referred for cognitive behavioural therapy and have an initial assessment this coming Friday. For too long, I have let the condition of my skin and more importantly, the psychological aspect affect my quality of life and I want it to end.

Having suffered for years with the torment of feeling horrible due to my skin and acne, I can fully empathise with anyone who suffers in the same way that I have over the years. I am probably a lot older than a lot of people who post on these message boards - my advice to you would be to if you are able to, try to seek help as soon as possible. Don`t make the same mistakes that I have made and miss out on life like I have.

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I can't say I have BDD or severe anxiety like you, but I suffered from selective mutism when I was younger and I have been half-diagnosed with a dissociative personality disorder, which makes me feel distant from normal people in a way that I can't explain. Therefore, I often avoid social situations, however not to the point where I lock myself away from the world.

My advice is going to be plain and simple.

Your acne isn't the reason why you shut yourself in your room. The reason is that little persistent voice in your head that keeps telling you you're ugly and disfigured. You have to stop listening to that voice because it's not helping you to get on in this world.

Start small. Start getting dressed every day, no matter what. Shower, make a routine for yourself, it doesn't matter if it's simple, the point is that it's a routine. Routine's help establish a sense of stability in one's self.

Start interacting with your family again, even if it's just small-talk, gradually, start making proper conversation. You don't have to share your problems with them if you don't want to, just talk about every day stuff.

Start going outside. Do you have a dog? If not, it's time to adopt one from the shelter! If you like animals that is. Animals are great at comforting their owners. If you don't want/don't like dogs, then just get another pet, doesn't matter what. The reason I recommend a dog is because a dog will literally force you to go outside.

Once you go outside, with your dog or without, you can start exercising, even if it's just a 10 minute walk every day or so. First you can go to areas where there aren't many people, like a field or a forest. Then, when you feel ready, walk in busy areas.

Start applying for jobs, short-term or temporary, doesn't matter, as long as it's a job. I know the job situation is dire at the moment, being recently unemployed myself, but don't let that put you off.

In the meantime, start interacting with people outside your family. Like the cashier at the grocery shop, I'm not saying you have to start making deep and complicated relationships with people straight away.

Take it slow, there's no hurry. I thought the four walls of my room could protect me, but they can't. It's not your room that's keeping you prisoner and 'safe', it's your mind.

Edited by armadillo
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