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Guest Bloom55

Will My Anxiety Ever Go Away?

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Guest Bloom55

Looking back on when I was this vibrant young girl who practically lived to perform on stage and in front of a crowd, I can't believe I have turned into this 18 year old who has completely wasted her summer because she is too nervous to leave the house. I have developed this horrible case of social anxiety. It is completely crippling my social life. I know this began when my acne started to get worse, specifically when I started scarring. I completely freaked out because it seemed so permanent and I started to push people away. I've always get this horrible feeling that my friends think that I just don't like them anymore and often I just want to blurt out the truth, "I'm insecure about my acne!" I never do that of course because I feel it may bring more attention to my skin, as my friends will now be concerned about me and what I'm going through. I always expected that my anxiety issues would be solved when my face got clearer and smoother. I've worked on my skin really hard these past few months and my skin has improved greatly and I even managed to get rid of my scar-like enlarged pores, however, though I know in my head that I look so much better, I still chicken out when it comes to actually going out. I decided to ask advice and get help because today I blew off my friend with some lame excuse for the millionth time after planning to go out with her. I don't want her to get annoyed with me. I recently moved to a new country and she is one of the very few friends I have made here.

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Hey there. I completely can relate and understand what you're going through. I have suffered from severe Body Dysmorphic Disorder and OCD for most of my childhood and now into my adulthood. I'm 18 years old, like you, and have completely wasted my summer hiding in my room because I'm so painfully insecure about my skin. I'm so sorry to hear that you're suffering with this insecurity, but I can promise you that you are the only one who thinks your skin is "that bad". Meaning that whatever you see is probably 100000000x worse than the reality of the situation. The best thing you can do for yourself is to confront the problem and take the leap to go out with your new friend! Maybe if you had a short talk with her about what's going on for you, she would understand if you needed to leave early, or cancel from time to time.

I know exactly how you feel about drawing attention to your skin by bringing up the topic, but odds are that no one will notice anything different than before you mentioned it. What I try to remember is that before my insecurity and skin problems, I NEVER examined anyone's face/skin. It was never relevant to me whether or not a person had acne or large pores or uneven skin tone. It's your brain messing with you, don't let that ruin what could be a great summer in a new country! I'm sure that all your friends would try to be supportive even if they didn't understand the extent of your pain, or why you feel the way you do. I took that step and got immense support from all my friends, and even some understanding from my friends who also have acne.

I wish you the best of luck! I hope things improve for you soon Xo

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Yeah definitely don't stay in anymore on account of your skin. Especially since its better now, I've found that most people don't think it's a big deal at all even when it's really bad. It won't be easy at first but it's so much better than hiding away somewhere all alone. Maybe go out at night at first and you'll see that nobody will treat you any differently because of your skin. You'll be fine. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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Guest Bloom55

Thank you guys. I guess I knew all along what you both are saying but it's different to actually get the support. After thinking even more about it I wondered if the fact that I moved to a much bigger country and cut all my hair just before the move has something to do with it. I mean it was pretty empowering cutting my hair at the time, but now I realize how much I used it to hide behind my acne. Also, I moved from a small island where you get to know people pretty well. I guess now, seeing so many new people is intimidating and I want them to have the best first impression of me. I'm going to make a change and force myself to go out without makeup ( I can never make it work right anyway). Thanks again :)

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Just remember you're not alone when it comes to anxiety and acne... they generally seem to go hand in hand, at least for a period of time. If you truly want to go out and have fun with friends in a new place, go ahead! Live a little! If you feel your face looks better and more presentable, go socialize if that's truly what you want to do.

I've had a similar experience where I dealt with skin problems through high school and 2-3 years of college. Anxiety truly went along with my acne, as I skipped out on joining organizations, going to events, speking up in class, etc. and dug myself into a hole, which I see now but didn't see then. Once I finally found a method that worked for me (aka once I started going balls-to-the-wall trying to get rid of the problem), I was still anxious socially even though my skin was 100x better than over the last 7 years or so. But, I worked on the anxiety and made a lot of great strides socially. The first step is the hardest.

It takes a little bit of time to get out of that habitual anxious behavior. Don't worry! Just like anything worth having, it takes sacrifice and time to get to where you want to be. Hope you like your new country! Wow I'm jealous lol

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