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Hey, I'm max and I'm 14. I've had acne since I was about 13 and it has always been pretty mild. I want to know what happening in my mind...

I NEVER look in the mirror and if I do it had to bee from a distance or with very low lighting.

I'm extremely self conscious and when I speak to people they have to be on my right hand side (I have a patch of acne from where I broke out about 6 months ago)

If I miss a dose of my medication I get really nervous and I ALWAYS have to put on benzoyl peroxide at a night

I'm really conscious about getting food on my face ( yes, food) when I'm eating and I don't like to be out in the rain or wind.

When people say or even look at my face I get paranoid and I get really angry and annoyed of people comment on it...

Can someone relate???? Maybe give me advice??? I'm seeing a derm on Thursday. This is what I'm on now:

Erymax 2 morning 2 at night

Epiduo cream BP/ adapelene

Neutrogena moisturiser

And I take the odd zinc from time to time

Please help?

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As I was reading this I noticed there are a lot of similar behavioural traits that you have that I do too. I do feel that your self esteem problems are acne related while mine are related to aspects of my general appearance. For example; I can't stand people looking at me from the side and If I am out with someone I need them to be on my right side otherwise I start panicking. I need to stick to my skin, hair and make-up routine very strictly and if any of this is disturbed (for example staying in a hotel where the lighting and mirror distance might not be what I'm used to) I will get upset and end up feeling ugly. I am also extremely self conscious beyond the realms of regular shyness or social anxiety.

Last year I was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I am in no way a psychiatric professional or are suggesting you have the same problem. But I went for 19 years with friends, families and teachers dismissing my behaviour as simply 'shyness' or the regular self esteem issues that all young women have. No one had any idea of the scale of the hatred I had for the way I looked and the way I had altered my ways of thinking in terms of my appearance. I only realised how odd some of my thinking patterns and thought processes were until I voiced them for the first time with a therapist. I wouldn't want that to happen to someone else, I am 20 now and feel like it wouldn't be as bad if I had help earlier on when I developed these feelings (15).

I noticed an article on this website about Acne Dysmorphia: http://www.acne.org/acne-dysmorphia.html . Which is interesting. Someone who might have one of these disorders might alternatively check a mirror compulsively, or avoid it altogether. There are also a lot of obsessive compulsive behaviours involved like skin picking and having a need to stick to a certain routine.

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