Acne & I : An anonymous submission
During my teenage years I was hounded by skin problems. From the age of about eleven my face had a cycle of going through bad to very bad acne. At the beginning friends and siblings made fun of me, called me names and said I was unhealthy, but as the years went by everyone my age experienced something like this and had a bit more understanding. I never stopped feeling self- conscious about it though and sometimes I went to extreme lengths to try and get rid of it. My aunt suggests rubbing my face really hard with a sponge, which made me look as if I had scraped my head against the wall. Another friend suggested putting toothpaste on the affected areas, which really dried my skin out and probably, wasn’t the healthiest solution. Eventually I just accepted it as one of those inevitable problems of youth. It made me feel unattractive and disgusting, but I settled into it.
When I was 16 I hit a pretty bad patch of depression. I imagine my skin problem was apart of it, I had this horrible perception of myself that wouldn’t really budge. When my panic attacks began I decided, very quietly, to visit the doctor. It is important to tell a professional, see it like a physical problem. Anyway, I went to the doctor and he instantly saw the link between my skin and emotional problems. He gave me a range of options and methods to treat my acne. He prescribed me some pills that worked very well, I mean they didn’t completely get rid of it, but the cycles changed to good to less good.
My mental health did improve after this, of course my depression didn’t just disappear but I did feel better. These things take time, today, at the age of 25, depression and anxiety attacks still come and go as they do for a lot of people. But by focusing on your breathing, and taking control of your mind, you can observe, apply logic, and accept it as a part of life that will eventually pass. Talking to people also helps, even if you do not have anyone you can really speak to there are plenty of organisations, such as the Samaritans, who will listen to you.