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Sam D

Every Single One Of You, Please Answer These Questions:

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How often/how much do you stress and worry about your acne? How much anxiety does it give you, and how much depression? How often do you think about your acne? How often do you scrutinize your skin in the mirror? How much does acne control your life, psychologically?

Please answer using a scale of 0-100, 0 being that acne does not at all affect you negatively emotionally or psychologically, and 100 being that you are totally depressed, hopeless, anxiety-ridden, full of stress, ALWAYS thinking about your skin, checking yourself in the mirror tons and tons of times per day, etc.

Please first answer using that scale. And if you'd like to add anything else, please do.

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..acne rules my life...sometimes i feel about worrying so much, sometimes i feel there is no point in even trying....so, 80 would be my score..

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Okay.

The reason I'm asking is because I'm becoming more and more convinced that acne is incredibly worsened by the anxiety and stress that comes along with it. And I mean, the specific skin-related anxiety and stress.

I have had severe anxiety issues on and off for about ten years now. About ten years ago, and then again five years ago, I spent every waking moment worrying and being anxious about developing MS. After a couple months of nonstop anxiety and monitoring symptoms and such, I developed symptoms. I truly developed symptoms of MS. And, when, for whatever reason, that severe anxiety went away, so too did my MS symptoms.

A couple of years ago, my anxiety relapsed again, this time in the form of serious skin anxiety. It began with a couple pimples on a nearly perfect face. I'm not exaggerating. Maybe a clogged pore or two. I became freaked out, squeezed them, and the squeezing habit that I have had for a long, long time became SUPER SEVERE. I would squeeze 'pimples' until my face was covered in red blotches, and I was in tears because I couldn't control it. And I would scrutinize my face in the mirror. I mean, incredibly up close, in all types of lighting, any time I was alone.

A couple of months went by, and I developed SEVERE acne that lasted about two years. I found out that something I was eating (flaxseed) was the main cause of my severe acne, and when I found this out and stopped eating flax, my acne finally started to subside. After two years of very severe acne, mild acne didn't bother me. I was actually happy to have it, and I was happy with my skin, and my skin-related anxiety went away. And then I lived with wonderfully clear skin for about eight months.

Then, about two months ago, I got a couple mild pimples, and so began again my skin-obsession. There are no mirrors where I work, and I found myself looking in the reflections of metal objects, and looking at my reflection through my iPhone. Constantly. During this time, my skin gradually got worse. Over the past two weeks, the skin obsession became full-blown again; I've rediscovered that feeling of total doom and hopelessness and full-blown anxiety that comes along with having big, noticeable red zits. I developed a cyst near my eyebrow, and just the other day, a big red zit on my nose. My chin has a dozen+ red, pus-filled zits, with more coming everyday.

My point is this: Over the past two months, my skin-obsession had slowly returned. And exactly two weeks ago, it became a full-blown awful anxiety. My skin wasn't that bad two weeks ago, but because I am so terrified of my face erupting in cystic acne like it did a couple years ago, my skin-obsession went through-the-roof severe. I've been looking in the mirror every chance I get, and I mean, staring at my skin and at my zits. I don't even see my face. I just see zits. Over the past two weeks, my skin has gotten so bad, so fast, that I can barely believe it. I do not believe it is because of my diet, I do not believe it is because of my skin care. There really is nothing that I can attribute this break out to, other than my own total obsession with my skin.

I am beginning to strongly believe that the incredibly negative mental energy flowing through my body is affecting my skin. The anxiety is 100% geared toward my skin. All of this negativity is going to my skin, because that's where my brain and energy is focused. I am wondering how many of you spend a lot of energy obsessing about your skin, because I really think this is one of the main reasons why some of our acne exists. I know I have mild acne, and acne-prone skin, and I break out with dairy and with flax, and with bad skin products. But no matter what kind of diet I do, no matter how great I sleep or how diligently I exercise, or what I use on my skin, I still get really bad breakouts. But I've never gotten a really severe breakout during a time when I wasn't thinking about my skin. And I've never been obsessed with my skin for a prolonged period of time without having then undergone a severe breakout!

No doubt what's causing our acne is many-fold, but seriously, seriously, seriously, being obsessed with it has got to be one of the main reasons it exists. No skin-stress-free person I know has acne. My boyfriend is the most stress- and anxiety-free person, and his skin is perfect. He eats junk food sometimes and he drinks too much sometimes, but he doesn't give a single thought to his skin. He glances in the mirror to make sure his hair doesn't look stupid, or whatever. Never does he look at his skin. He just doesn't. My mom, too. While she gets stress from work, she doesn't give a crap about her skin. She doesn't think about her skin. If she gets a pimple, she's like, "oh, a pimple," and then forgets about it. And she eats anything and everything, drinks too much, smokes, doesn't exercise, you name it. And I want to mention that I've been stressed about other things many times in my life and didn't get any significant acne from it. It's only when I FOCUS on my acne and on my skin and get skin-related stress and anxiety, that my skin seems to become 5000 times worse.

You guys, your mental energy is incredibly powerful. I thought I had MS for about a year of my life, and I actually developed symptoms. They went away when my mental state stabilized. And when I obsess about my skin and my acne, it gets worse and doesn't go away until I stop caring. And stop caring means barely looking in the mirror, not even thinking about the fact that I even have skin. I swear, mental energy is incredibly powerful.

I could go on for a long time, but I think you get it. Please, please, please, don't obsess over your skin. Don't let acne rule your life! The fact that you are letting acne rule your life might be the reason it is there in the first place.

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not just acne, my skins being overall but yes includes effects from acne ofc so yea..
think/worry: very often...no WAY TOO OFTEN! 97%
awareness of face 24/7
time in mirror..whenever i can. in my room its beside me allways. if i go out i take mirror with me wherever i go. 70-90%
acne/skin life control..100%
psychologically affect..100%

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I also believe the stress of being to focused on your acne makes it worse, but how are you supposed to ignore it when it is so ugly!

I think it affects me 100%.

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"Energy follows thought". If you are constantly focusing on and thinking about how bad your acne is then that's where your mental energy will be directed towards, then turning it to physical energy (looking in mirrors/wanting to take action and switch products, yadda yadda). So yeah, stress and anxiety about it will definitely make it worse. It did for me. I kept feeling like my acne was so horrible when in reality people didn't even notice a damn thing...until I thought it got so bad that people were noticing it. It only got bad because I thought the acne on my face was as bad as I was picturing it in my head, which it then manifested into what I imagined, the worst that I could picture (bc that's what it really felt like).

We are powerful beings that possess the ability to manifest whatever we focus on, I don't think many people realize that. So that's why if you have bad acne, the first step is to start imaging yourself having clear skin when you're not in front of a mirror. Feel that you are beautiful as you are in who you are and the beauty will take care of itself from the inside out :)

Like you said, your mind is powerful. It's all in your head. Just gotta forget about it and focus on the good things you have or else you're gonna miss out on them bc you're too focused on something that no one else really doesn't care about....Kinda makes you feel like a crazy obsessed person, eh?

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How often/how much do you stress and worry about your acne?

90 - it's pretty much a constant concern

How much anxiety does it give you, and how much depression?

90- I wouldn't say that I suffer from depression, but acne ABSOLUTELY makes me very upset. I feel constantly down and antisocial. It also makes me very anxious in social situations, which is horrible now that I'm trying to find a job and have to deal with face-to-face interviews.

How often do you think about your acne?

100 - ALL THE TIME

How often do you scrutinize your skin in the mirror?

100 - Constantly!! To check how much worse my spots are. Plus, as a female I HEAVILY rely on thick, heavy make-up so I'm constantly checking in the mirror to see if I need to re-apply.

How much does acne control your life, psychologically?

100 - it basically affects every aspects of my life. It often stops me going out with friends and meeting new people. I dread to think of all the opportunities for new things/experiences/people that I've missed due to acne.

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When I had acne , I would say it effected me A LOT - especially when you can see someone directly starting at one huge pimple .

Anyway , I'm trying to help as many people as I can .

Read this :

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Wow. All I can say is wow because this is my life right now.

This is me to a T. And my skin has progressively gotten worse the past month because of all the things mentioned. I am solo anxious about it and struggle sleeping because of my skin.

But how do I stop caring like you suggested? How can I get over it and believe that I'm beautiful and that my skin isn't going to get worse?

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@MissSac17:

How can we get over it? I don't know. I'm trying to figure that out now. I know for sure that not allowing myself to look in the mirror helps with the surge of negativity I get when I do look in the mirror and see that my skin looks gross. If I don't look in the mirror the majority of the day, I find that I feel happier and less concerned about my skin. I still think about it, and I think thinking about it in general is really bad, but at least I don't seem to care about it quite as much. I keep telling myself to wash my face at night and after I do so, to just go to sleep and not look in the mirror, but I've failed at that a lot recently. I'm trying to focus on what's happening in my life every moment, actually focus on THAT. I don't know. It's really hard. It's a terrible cycle. It's a mental disorder. Acne sucks, it sucks horribly, but I honestly don't think the actual acne sucks as bad as my mental and emotional reaction to it. I know I have a problem that isn't the physical problem of acne, and I know this problem aggravates my skin. I feel mentally and emotionally trapped, forever plagued by thoughts of my skin. I am currently really trying to break out of this mental prison. I'm really trying to keep in mind that no one gives a crap about my acne. At least, not to any extent that would actually affect my life one way or another. I'm just trying to keep it in mind that I care more, much, much, much more, than anyone else, and that by caring so much, my quality of life is drastically lowered. Trying to live mindfully, living in each moment, appreciating each moment, because it's all we have...I'm trying to remember this. Acne rules my life, which is absolutely ridiculous. I hate that I let that be true.

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Acne used to 100% control my life, I'd spend literally an hour throughout the entire day looking at my face and analyzing the acne/red marks. Wouldn't go outside, thought I looked like a monster, wouldn't go out with friends or family.

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Yeah, not looking in the mirror is kind of helping me too. Although I have been out in the sun lately (rare for Scotland!!) and I feel a bit mentally better for it you know?

Your response there Sam D really hit me hard, because I am certain A LOT of people feel exactly like what you say about how WE let our acne rule our lives. It truly does suck.

I hate the fact that the majority of my own acne is gone, the worst of it, and yet even though my skin is like 80% clear with some non-inflammatory clogged pores/blackheads and shit..I am still not as happy. I think I have to try an appreciate it for what it is now though, and maybe that will help. Learning gratitude.

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Thanks for posting this. I just realized how big of a problem I have. I wake up and look straight into the mirror to count my acne. I refuse to go out in public without some kind of makeup on, and I'm panicking because the Regimen appears to be giving me more acne. I seriously need to throw away all my mirrors.

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@jenjen182: Throw away all your mirrors! Or at least try really hard to tell yourself NO when you feel the urge to look in the mirror. Yesterday, I didn't pick up my little mirror one time. Not even once! All days prior to that, I picked it up and scrutinized my skin at least 20 times. One day of success down, day 2 in the process...

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@jezzabella114 - Try and not, I know it is soo hard to not touch to just "see" how it feels, but it isn't going to help and if you keep touching and DO feel like there are more you are just gonna stress yourself out thinking about it constantly. Just busy your mind with something else.

I have been not stressing the past few days and I feel MENTALLY a lot better. I have been at the gym (which I have been avoiding) and nothing has changed at all, people are still my friend and still want to talk to me and ask what I have been upto...I had this SILLY fear that people would judge me negatively because I have a breakout you know? That they would not even look at me never mind talk to me!

But it was fine, it was all just fine. Life is good again..for now at least. I have also not been looking at myself in my mobile phone reflection, I used to do this ALL the time and in different lighting too and at different angles...but I have stopped and it feels good.

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10, or maybe less even. I want mine GONE, of course, but I know that I'm more than my acne, that it doesn't stop me from achieving what I want in life, and that people think I'm pretty even when I think my face looks like someone threw bolegnese all over it (as evidenced by a new boyfriend this month when my acne is the worst it's been in my entire life). I'd still like to have lovely smooth skin, but I won't let acne control my life. It's just one tiny part of me, and the rest is pretty great.

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How often/how much do you stress and worry about your acne? 100

How much anxiety does it give you, and how much depression? 80, only when I am outside. I do use BB cream to cover it up as much as possible

How often do you think about your acne? How often do you scrutinize your skin in the mirror? 100 - always researching on new solutions

How much does acne control your life, psychologically? 75

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