At the end of the rope

I'm a 28-year-old male suffering from chronic acne and severe scarring on the face. I've been struggling with this for 10 years and have spiralled into clinical depression as a result. Nothing has really changed, despite attempts at plastic surgery, psychiatric and psychological treatment. I don't know what to do anymore. I'm not even sure why I'm writing here. I guess I'd like to connect with someone who knows what I'm talking about. I feel broken and lonely.

9 Replies

  • Hi: I really feel for you as I've been there. its so painful. As you are male, it should be an easier time for you and I'm sure you'll find love. You're beautiful anyway, but society is how it is and so unfortunately judges people-who God sees as beautiful-by their "cover".God see you beautiful and a good person will see that about you as well.

  • I am very sorry to hear of your plight, please do not give up on yourself and understand that slowly but surely, you can get over this mental state. When you are feeling down, your confidence goes, if you can, it is important to try and begin to feel good about yourself because that allows others to see you for the person you are inside and not see the scarring on the outside. Do not let your appearance prevent you from living your life to the full. Without giving patronizing advice, if you can distract your mind from your appearance and attempt to carry out a project, community voluntary work can be very good for this type of therapy, then it can help with self-improvement, self-worth and confidence. Good luck.

  • Federico

    I really understand what you are going through. The toughest thing is to come to terms with the situation and try to concentrate on the positive aspects of your life. Don't waste it on self pity

    . You have youth on your side, get yourself down the gym and work that body of yours, try to get an enviable physique that will deflect the attention from your face to a die for body. Get to some voluntary work with some less privileged group, get involved in something worthwhile, you will soon find that they will start appreciating you for the person that you are rather than your appearance. Get your mind in good shape too, take an interest of what is going on around you, listen to the news and pay less attention to the vapid celebs lifestyle, they are inane and superficial

    . Read the papers, educate yourself so that you have a good conversation trend, you will find that if you have something interesting and worthwhile to say your physical aspect will be less relevant.

    Get yourself groomed, a good hair cut on a regular basis, some nice pieces of clothing so that when you look in the mirror you go wow at your reflection. For the acne revisit your diet, are you eating too much processed comfort food...cakes, chocolate, chips, fried food or crisps. Summer is here, gorge on the beautiful fruit and green salads with lots of grilled fish, barbecued meat with not so much sauces, chicken. Have lots of smoothies. Ditch the pizzas and burgers, keep away from the processed meat like salami, chorizo anything with lots of preservatives is harmful to our digestive system and it reflect on the outside of our body, you will see a real difference with the condition of your skin...try a sauna to clean your pores down your leisure centre.

    These are practical solutions, there is no magic solution it will have to start by you wanting to improve yourself, nobody else can do it for you, you will need support from your friends and your immediate surrounding though to get your self esteem on a rising path.

    I have been down there, I have seen my beautiful face changed from elfin to Quasimodo overnight due to Bell's palsy, it took me two years to rebuild my confidence. It was only my strength of character that kept me going. I lost my job, got some new training, got involved with a charity who helps people to rebuild their lives by doing some voluntary training. My motives at the time may have been selfish but it soon take my mind off my face.

    I hope I have not sounded too patronising but it will be a shame if your youth is marred by our society who pays too much attention by the way we is too short.

    Best wishes

  • Kassandra, Visage1, and Chantev, thank you very much for your kind words and precious advice, it was so nice of you to take the time to reply to my post. I'll keep your words in mind and try to follow your suggestions, I only wish it were a bit easier for me to take action right now, with this depression and all. If I weren't living with my parents, I'm not even sure I'd bother to feed myself properly, that's how bad it gets. Maybe I should consider giving antidepressants another try, unfortunately they seem to make me break out even more, which obviously creates a vicious circle. I'll try and so my best, thank you so much for the encouragement.

  • Hi Federico

    I'm Ali from the Support Service at Changing Faces. We offer individual emotional support over the phone and face-to-face from our offices in London and Sheffield.

    It sounds like you're having a tough time living with how you feel about your acne. You are certainly not alone if that's the case. It's a condition that many people find has an impact on mood and self-esteem. As you can see from the replies you've received, people with all kinds of conditions that effect appearance can experience difficult feelings including depression and loneliness.

    If you ever want to find out more about the services we offer at Changing Faces and how we might help you then email or call 02073 919 282. You might also want to check out our self-help guides online

  • Thank you very much Ali. Having a condition that affects your appearance can indeed be a lonely experience, and getting in touch with people who have similar issues does help. Bless you all for the work you do for this charity, I wish there were something like it here in Italy. I'll definitely check out the link you provided.

  • Hi I have just seen your post and I so much emphasise with you. I had severe acne as a teenager and it has left me with permanent scars and pits in my skin. Fortunately I was able to access dermabrasion on the NHS, twice, but it isn't available on there now only privately. It has been replaced now anyway with laser but again it is not funded by the NHS. My skin improved a lot with it but still have some damage. It does knock your self confidence doesn't it? I have had some nasty comments over the years especially since I am female and most men seem to judge women by their appearance. You are lucky that you are male as most women don't judge men by the same criteria.

    I presume you are in the UK? You might be able to access laser treatment under the NHS if you can prove psychological distress and as you are suffering from severe depression go for it. Go and see you doctor and ask him/her to put you forward. Emphasise how much it is destroying your life and you can't move on because of it. Good luck with it and let us know how you get on. Take care. x

  • coughalot2, I'm so sorry you've been through the same. I'm glad your skin has improved, I hope you're not so self-conscious about it anymore. I've already done two rounds of laser treatment, and my skin has got better too, but you can only do so much. It's horrible that you've received nasty comments, I've got a few of those as well. I hope you haven't let them get you down too much, people who make them are not worth it anyway. Thank you very much for the kind words and advice. I hope you're well.

  • I feel your pain. My life is ruined because of a bad facial scar I got from an accident. I'm so depressed I can't take care of myself anymore. I'm making my mother sick and suffer too.

    I am at a loss and have accepted that my life is a living hell. Perhaps those of us that suffer so much get an automatic ticket into heaven.

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