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AI3forever

How do you deal with anxiety from scars?

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I feel very depressed and anxious all the time due to facial scars. Having scars is bad enough, but the psychological torture is another thing.

I avoid eye contact when speaking with people. I started feeling people are talking bad about me when they talk when they probably aren't. I used to be a sociable charismatic and confident guy but now I am the total opposite. Although I try socializing, I still can't be "me" and it feels I'm trying to force it and I feel out of place.

Also no one ever sympathesizes or understand the situation. If you are an amputee or something they are still able to understand why you are more withdrawn in social places. But for acne scars sufferers people judge us same as normal people.

Not saying being an amputee is better, it is clearly not. But acne scars is somewhat glanced over as nothing serious matter when the impact to the sufferer is life changing.

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Have you posted for treatment recommendations or spoke to BA over pm? Treat the scarring. That's what has helped me most in a practical sense. Even if we will never look like the average person we can still look better than where we started. That increases confidence with every ounce of improvement. I've been relentless with working on the scarring. Skin care + diet (I'm plant based/vegan) + procedures

I practice meditation and explore spirituality, personally. Buddhism can be a secular practice used to reduce attachment and calm the mind, if you're not into metaphysics. A lot of great concepts to help you move forward, but I understand it's not something everyone would want to pursue.

I watch youtubers with scarring. Brian Turner, Cassandra Bankson, Brielle Farmer, Chubbyemu all have mild to moderate scarring. It helps to watch people with scarring pursue their dreams and live life to the fullest regardless. I actually watch people with more severe deformities as well. Special Books by Speak Kids features a lot of adults dealing with deformities in a positive manner. There's that ted talk by Robert Hoge. Lizzie Velasquez is wonderful. Lots of good material to move forward.

Here's some potentially controversial advice but don't make as much eye contact to be honest. I've had to completely adjust my eye contact communication because I can feel people uncomfortable and I start to get uncomfortable as their eyes wander. Make brief eye contact, look away and speak your truth. It's better to speak openly and without nerves than to be SO focused on the eye contact part of communication. A lot of people look elsewhere as they communicate. It's not normal to stare deeply as you talk anyway, and it's better to speak openly without nerves than to get caught up in eye contact. I don't know if people will disagree with that idea but it's worked for me. It's taken me a long time to get over this. I'm still learning, specially when someone has glasses. That messes with me to this day but my best option is to look off and speak well than to keep looking and getting more nerved up. 

The world doesn't understand but we understand here on this forum. I come here often. I find comfort here, you're not alone. I get you 100%. You can get better. We're fighting a uniquely difficult battle but you can see through it. You're worth a lot, don't let skin deceive you.

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actually my scarring is worse on my sides than my front so I look directly at people right in their eyes when I talk as so they can't see my sides XD

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10 hours ago, AI3forever said:

I feel very depressed and anxious all the time due to facial scars. Having scars is bad enough, but the psychological torture is another thing.

I avoid eye contact when speaking with people. I started feeling people are talking bad about me when they talk when they probably aren't. I used to be a sociable charismatic and confident guy but now I am the total opposite. Although I try socializing, I still can't be "me" and it feels I'm trying to force it and I feel out of place.

Also no one ever sympathesizes or understand the situation. If you are an amputee or something they are still able to understand why you are more withdrawn in social places. But for acne scars sufferers people judge us same as normal people.

Not saying being an amputee is better, it is clearly not. But acne scars is somewhat glanced over as nothing serious matter when the impact to the sufferer is life changing.

You’re not alone, I have the same thoughts every day. I often wonder what I would be like if I had clear skin. I know I would be a different person. I have a good life but there is a missing part of the puzzle. I wish I knew what it was like to have good skin, even for a moment. I couldn’t even imagine that. 
 

There is always improvement and there is always hope. 
 

I try and concentrate on other things. The good things in life. I go the gym and work full time. 

Edited by shei514

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Could be worse, you could be dealing with scarring AND active acne at the same time. That's what i went thru for many yrs, and it was awful. Now that i've finally managed to clear up the cystic acne, dealing with scar repair seems like a peice of cake.

Edited by Vidrar

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There's good and bad days. When I'm focused on bettering myself in other aspects besides my physical, I tend to be more productive and feel better. I look forward to improvement in all areas of my life, not just my face. However, I have hope that one day my scarring will be trivial to me and I hope that everyone here dealing with it finds peace and lives a fulfilling life. So you essentially could deduce hope and betterment as my coping method, if you will.

Edited by Wobbywob

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Yup, I've been going through this stuff that passed 3 years when the scars have become more noticeable. I feel that when I have a lot of downtime and not busy is the worst for me and I start looking up random stuff on the web. Especially with this girl I really liked recently who I believe kept me in the friend zone because of the scars worsening. I just said screw it over the summer and stopped being afraid of looking in the mirror up close. Just want to face it no matter how bad I think it is, even though everyone doesn't think it's noticeable.

I keep myself busy, have done volunteer work, help out with former classmates, help my parents with whatever they need, exercise, read, watch my sports, etc. It's easier said then done, but you have to remember that you have many people on your side. We all want to make visual improvements, but your well-being is most important.

8 hours ago, joeysk said:

actually my scarring is worse on my sides than my front so I look directly at people right in their eyes when I talk as so they can't see my sides XD

LOL same here, mainly the left side. 

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Your feelings are shared by many people with facial scarring.  Every time I think I made progress in caring less about what people think, an incident will pull me right back to feel totally insecure and down.  @Kay24 made a really interesting point about eye contact.  What I've noticed is that I get two types of reactions.  The a-holes who stare at me and make comments to their friends within earshot of me (thinking I can't hear, or purposefully saying it knowing I'd hear).   The other type are people who won't make any eye contact with me because they get uncomfortable having to see scars.  Both reactions can make me frustrated and depressed honestly.   I notice this all the time with cashiers, who will greet other people and look them in the eye.  With me they will ring me up and not look at me, which is strange when you have to hand something to me.  They might be trying to not look at me because of disgust or not wanting to make me feel bad.  But I know why they're doing that.

Dating seems like an insurmountable challenge sometimes.  Everyone wants to put up pictures on dating apps that are attractive, but when I put up pictures I can't help but feel like a fraud.  I would say my scars are moderately bad (used to be severe before treatment).  Not nearly as bad as some cases we've seen, but certainly enough for people to comment on.  But they don't necessarily show up well in pictures.  In the end I get anxiety about actually meeting people in real life and potentially having bad reactions.   It would honestly be too painful because I know exactly what it's about.  I get a decent amount of interest, but I am too nervous to follow through.   Sometimes I will run across a profile of someone with noticeable acne scarring.  Almost as if they're saying, this is me take it or leave it.  I wish I could be that brave and put myself out there like that. 

As for practical advice, I think maximizing other aspects about you can help.  Even with the scars, I noticed that I got more positive reactions when I lifted weights and put on muscle and looked more fit.  Getting a good haircut or buying a nice outfit are nice little things to make me feel more attractive.  

Edited by dazzed

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I given up to the fact that I will be doing fillers 2-3 times a year sculptra or HA for the rest of my life. I think it should solve a lot of my problems. XD

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Most people who have acne scars don't even look that bad. Most people who post here barely have scars. Like Cassandra Bankson is mentioned here, no one outside of this forum would even register her scars. If you have scars like her and you're deeply affected by that, you need psychological help.

With severe scars I find that time helps with the mental side of it. It's like grief, really, in time it will still hurt, but you'll get used to it and learn how to deal with it better. 

Edited by freshman

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