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How acne ruined my life AFTER I was clear

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Preface: Hey folks, take this post as a warning tale. I’m going to be very personal and very vulnerable here in hopes it helps someone sooner. Please seek treatment. Get on accutane. Get on the offense and beat this disease! The impact it has lasts way longer than the breakouts.

 

I had relatively severe acne throughout my teenage years and chose not to do anything about it. For the most part, I didn’t let it affect me. Took life head on and excelled. To the point, any normal person perceived me as extremely confident. Deep inside, I was extremely insecure however.

 

High school: Heavy acne. Ranked 3rd in the graduating class. Won state level science Olympiad medals. Graduated with honors.

UC Berkeley: Severe acne. Graduated with a 3.96 GPA from Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (highest honors) and a minor in Chemistry. Job offer at Google, Amazon, NASA.

Google: Relatively clear though psychologically affected (without really comprehending it!!). Did extremely well first 2 years. However, I had developed an anxiety disorder due to my acne that caught up with me. I dropped out without understanding the consequences of such a decision.

Now: Job less. I’m extremely traumatized from throwing away my career. Tried to commit suicide multiple times. Ended up in psychological ward. Suffering from severe depression.

I’m on my phone and will elaborate later but the point of this post is: acne has psychological affects way beyond the breakouts. I lived with an anxiety disorder that dictated my life. I would constantly check the mirror, be afraid to look people in the eyes, developed addictions such as gyming and getting haircuts. To the point that I threw away my career over it.

 

DO NOT LET SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. SEEK TREATMENT.

 

 

 

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I had something very similar. I didn't care about my acne, but in order to get rid of it (without taking Accutane, cause many told me this is very bad drug with irreversible consequences), I have changed my eating and probably got sort of eating disorder (I only eat from very short whitelist). After it didn't work perfectly, I had started mega dosing A, C, E, zinc (only recently started mega dosing A from 10k->50k).

I somehow feel I got "sober" (some strange FOMO feelings) and really see how my scars are "worse" (I classify them rationally as mild, but because of my depression they feel really severe). I was thinking before that wanting good skin is "shallow" wish, and one should appreciate things like wisdom and not spending time on these things. But somehow there was some shift (probably hormonal changes?) and now this is the only thing that I think is important.

I got suicidal thoughts and more problems (like major obsession about acne), and I wish I had known that clear skin affects you mentally in some deeper level of perception/subconscious. Currently it only causes me to procrastinate badly and "study from home", but when I have depression outbreak (which can last weeks) I have all the other usual social anxiety acne problems (can't bear people see me, can't got out to anywhere, can't think of anything else but acne related, over doing acne treatments, etc).

I hope your condition (acne & depression) will get better, as well mine.

(Sorry if my English is bad as I'm not a native speaker)

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Guest

Really? You quit a high paying job at google because of acne?

I'm sorry to hear that.

I know anxiety and acne are awful, I'm just surprised. I hope you get the help you need.

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I am in similar situation. Got through almost same life with your story about high school, college and early stage of career except I haven't quit my job yet.

 

A good salary doesn't compensate for pain that came from severe acne/scarring. If I haven't suffered from severe scarring, my life would be very close to ordinary people's definition of "success." For a recent year, I've managed not to think about skin at work, or at any place that I hang around a group of people. However whenever I stand alone in front of mirror, see someone face-to-face or join a new group, I can't help but head down. Suffering from the skin issues for long years left me traumatic mental disorder either.

 

Anyway thank you for sharing your story. I have sympathy for you truly. I hope you stay strong.

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You have my sincerest sympathies... I was just about to start a thread about exactly the same thing.

 

The skin on my face is very clear but my body acne still seems to wax and wane, but only ever low-level stuff. My perfectionist teenage self would have seriously dreamt of this day but, honestly, the anxiety and depression I've felt over the years is terrible.

 

It's akin to the fat-person-in-thin-body complex people develop after losing a load of weight. I can never quite convince myself the acne is gone or that I know how to control it, regardless of how much knowledge I accumulate. It feels if I make too many mistakes (wrong foods, stressed etc) it's all going to come crashing down and I won't be able to cope. So I continue to control and worry instead of learning to tolerate the uncertainty.

 

Why? Because I never built self-esteem whilst I had my skin issues. That is, I never really learnt to like myself and think positively of world independent of my skin – as much as I have kidded myself over the years that I have.

 

It's the old monster-in-the-cupboard psychology. Because our 'fix/solution' (e.g. restrictive diets, megadosing supplements, medication and social isolation) simply involves ways of avoiding the perceived negatives of acne we will ALWAYS be fearful at some level – arguably, it gives our fears more power. Only by opening the cupboard in the first place and realising there is no monster – that we can cope as is – do we actually begin to truly move on with our lives.

 

All in all, through battles with various aspects of my health, I strongly believe the biggest wins in life aren't to be had at a physical level, they're on the mental front. Unfortunately, society doesn't teach us that very well and we only realise how true it is through experience.

 

Edited by Mark99

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On 9/17/2019 at 12:05 PM, Mark99 said:

You have my sincerest sympathies... I was just about to start a thread about exactly the same thing.

 

The skin on my face is very clear but my body acne still seems to wax and wane, but only ever low-level stuff. My perfectionist teenage self would have seriously dreamt of this day but, honestly, the anxiety and depression I've felt over the years is terrible.

 

It's akin to the fat-person-in-thin-body complex people develop after losing a load of weight. I can never quite convince myself the acne is gone or that I know how to control it, regardless of how much knowledge I accumulate. It feels if I make too many mistakes (wrong foods, stressed etc) it's all going to come crashing down and I won't be able to cope. So I continue to control and worry instead of learning to tolerate the uncertainty.

 

Why? Because I never built self-esteem whilst I had my skin issues. That is, I never really learnt to like myself and think positively of world independent of my skin – as much as I have kidded myself over the years that I have.

 

It's the old monster-in-the-cupboard psychology. Because our 'fix/solution' (e.g. restrictive diets, megadosing supplements, medication and social isolation) simply involves ways of avoiding the perceived negatives of acne we will ALWAYS be fearful at some level – arguably, it gives our fears more power. Only by opening the cupboard in the first place and realising there is no monster – that we can cope as is – do we actually begin to truly move on with our lives.

 

All in all, through battles with various aspects of my health, I strongly believe the biggest wins in life aren't to be had at a physical level, they're on the mental front. Unfortunately, society doesn't teach us that very well and we only realise how true it is through experience.

 

 

Hey, whatsup.

 

I get it. I know how you felt, and how much it made it impossible for you to build yourself normally, while you see everybody around you being okay and mentally stable.

Now imagine being 25, and after all you described with the traumatizing experience you had with acne, your face never got clear, and you'd be covered with scars and blemishes on your whole face, making you litterally disfigured for life , despite treatments...

Imagine if the nightmare would continue till the end of your life...

That's my life.

 

Anxiety from the past didnt allow me to build myself neither. But when I look in the mirror, I'm recalled it didn't get any better.

 

So, at least it's cool if you went through it. I honnestly think that you have the chance to realize how lucky you are to be clear, while if you didnt suffer from it, you'd just take it for granted and find other things to be depressed about (people suicide because they get dumped by their girlfriends...).

 

I get what you mean. It messed you up. But I just to wanted to make you realize that you're a lucky person...

 

I have no goals in life...I just count the days before my death eventually comes, everyday...

Everybody is full of energy around me, and I'm just a dead man walking...

 

I got a 70 000 euros student loan to refund, for studies I droped out because of my acne...

And now I got to refund it by working everyday for years, doing jobs I don't like. 

Damn, that's terrible...

 

But in your end, I hope you're okay and you finally get to enjoy life.

Edited by mickidepaname

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