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manus38

About To Ask Derm For Accutane - Thoughts And Feelings

So I am 22M, my acne isn't actually that bad most of the time but it is kind of a constant battle to keep it that way. I've been seeing a dermatologist since I was around 15 and have tried a wide variety of antibiotics and treatments. What I have found works best has been taking an oral antibiotic along with 2.5% BP and moisturising (so basically the Regimen). For some reason my skin doesn't tend to scar that much and I don't have too many if any indentations. My mom says my skin is probably around 80% clear.

But, even though my acne isn't that bad, the psychological effects of my acne have had a serious effect on me and my social development, possibly more than I would like to admit. I often don't like to leave the house - when I do I feel self-conscious about my skin and slightly anxious, I don't really like to approach people and I feel like they are judging me when I talk to them. I have moderate back acne and don't really take my shirt off except to shower.

Basically, I don't feel like I am living life to the fullest and I feel that my acne is holding me back. It might be a self-imposed and psychological restraint, but it is a restraint nonetheless. I do have a few good friends and a good social network so I am lucky in that regard, but my life is not how I would like it to be. I have been feeling mentally fragile lately and often feel like I don't have the psychological strength to continue with my skin the way it is.

So I am at the point now where I am ready to ask my derm for Accutane. He doesn't think my skin is that bad, and he himself was on oral antibiotics for quite a few years, but said he is willing to consider prescribing Accutane. In the past I had avoided the question of Accutane because the side effects were off-putting, but I have reached the point now where I feel it is now or never - there is no point continuing like this. It's time to go all in. I am sick of spending all my money on buying products from the drug store and all my time applying them.

I am heading toward the end of my first of three years of grad school. I often miss class and stay in my room just because I can't face the day. Surprisingly my grades are very good (I got the top mark for one of my subjects), but I don't feel like I am having the experience I deserve, in terms of social interactions or general involvement. The status quo isn't good enough. Next year is where I start applying for internships and associate positions, after which I will hopefully go into full time work. The thought of having to deal with all of this in a few years is too much to bear. I have come to the conclusion that my skin is not going to magically get better and I am not going to 'grow out of it' unless I take Accutane. I feel like I have a lot of potential, but I feel like I won't reach it unless I can overcome my acne. This might sound somewhat fatalistic, but this is how I feel.

I have 3 months off over December/January/February which would be the ideal time for me to start my course. I am seriously happy to sit in my room for this period, wait it out and deal with the side effects - watch movies, read books, write my blog - it's basically what I do already. Since my acne is mild I hope that this will be enough to get over the worst of it, but I won't be surprised if it doesn't.

And here is where I am having some disagreement with my parents - I am considering taking a leave of absence from college next year. I would only have to make my mind up in March or so, but basically I don't think I will be able to face doing a full subject load, part time work, interviews, research etc. while also dealing with what I expect to be tiredness, joint pain, bad skin. If I wanted to do this I probably could, but I am younger than most of my peers, and I feel that life is not a rush, so I don't see why I should put myself through an unnecessary burden. My plan would be to get a job for the first part of the year and maybe go travelling in the second part. Hopefully by the end of the year my acne will be gone and most of the scarring/redness will have gone down.

My parents aren't opposed to me taking a year off, but they don't see what this has to do with taking Accutane. I explained that while it isn't strictly necessary, I don't want to go through what will be the most academically taxing year of my life with what will also be an emotionally/physically taxing year.

This might all seem like an intense overreaction to what is a mild case of acne, and I might just be in a bad mood, but I also feel a sense of clarity in coming to the realisation that I am not happy with the way things are and unless I take Accutane, things are going to stay the same.

I know this isn't a log or anything but I just wanted to put my thoughts down here for therapeutic purposes and to see what other people have to say.

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