Changing Faces
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Lip vitiligo, anxiety/depression/suicial thoughts from the many stares I get, people who look away from my face & bite theirs in concern

SUMMARY: Big pink spot on my otherwise darker lower lip caused by sun damage and trauma. I used to be a stud but now I'm a wreck because because more people react negatively than not. I don't really know how to deal with that. I've almost forgotten how to smile; instead I compulsively make strange faces to try and hide it. I used to be so happy and now I don't love myself, I've developed BDD, depression, and suicidal thoughts. How do I deal with stares, look-aways, and reactions of disgust????? I need therapy and support.

FULL: It's not too severe (to me), just have a bright pink splotch across the upper part of my otherwise brownish lower lip. I think I'm a handsome guy otherwise and don't mind it too much but everywhere I go I get stared at. People stare at my mouth when I talk and remind me how unusual I look, then try to get a closer glimpse when I'm not looking. Even worse, they lick or bite their lip as if it's something awful they could catch if theirs got too dry or something. Some are just too uncomfortable and look away as they talk to me. I'd just accept it as a quirk if it didn't affect every single encounter I have.

I've almost forgotten how to smile which reveals it entirely. It's given me BDD which I can ignore some days until someone gets uncomfortable, then I get uncomfortable, and start making weird faces to hide it. My self love and confidence have both hit an unbelievable low since it developed in college. I think I was a knockout before but now I am a visible wreck in most social settings. I need therapy and support but I'm broke and my parents argue there's no way people stare, they're very used to it.

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Hi, sorry to hear that you are feeling unhappy with your life.

If you read other people's comments and input on this site, you'll realise that it can be a difficult journey to get to a place where you feel you can handle the reactions of others in a better way. At first it can be crushing. I can relate to the stares, the touching of the very feature that relates to your disfigurement in that persons face, the awkwardness, the wondering when they are going to notice, knowing that they are looking at you even though they think you haven't clocked it. All very upsetting. Have you had any treatment for the vitiligo? Although that isn't the nature of my disfigurement, I thought there were a few options in the treatment of vitiligo?

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Thank you so much for relating. It is a lot better most days. I have been reading and watching a lot of self love material. It is still very hard some days. Today was rough. So many people were staring at work that I had to zone out of reality. Not a good feeling. Regardless, I'm doing well most days. Thank you for your support.

Also treatment of vitiligo is hit or miss. I tried a medical tattoo on my lip which made it better in some ways and worse in some ways. Surgeons for the procedure that would help me most are very rare but I'll get to one one day.

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That's great! You sound more positive about things already. For days when you feel you are being stared at a lot, try to have a mechanism (or mantra) that allows you to diffuse any negative thoughts that are produced. Something that restores the equilibrium.

Ultimately you have to see things from the "starers" vantage point. Before I got my disfigurement, I would probably have done exactly what staring people do when they see a difference. STARE! Just acknowledging that at one point THAT WAS ME softens any frustration that arises.

That said, I do understand the challenges and difficulties my friend so don't think I'm trying to trivialise any of the distressing moments you experience. For that reason alone I do hope you find a way through it, even if that comes in the form of consulting a specialist surgeon. Good luck!

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Thank you!! I mentioned you in a comment below :)

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" the touching of the very feature that relates to your disfigurement in that persons face"

I have been told its all in my mind but people always rub their face when they speak to me..makes me very self conscious.

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This is a strange thing. People will stare into the distance and move their hands over their lips. I wonder what is on their minds. In any sense I'm working on accepting it more and more every day. Pain comes from resistance, right? So if they feel the need to cringe or rub their lips I'm working on accepting it as a part of reality; not my favorite part of reality but also not the end of the world. 99% of the time the same person who reacts will end up accepting me, loving me, going out for date, etc.

^ That has more or less been my mantra lately and I seem to be slowly spiraling upwards into a better mindset. Thanks for the kind words everyone. Getting in touch with my spirituality, energies, and well being also helps. Reading about self acceptance and the power of the mind has helped too. "Taking care of yourself boosts self love and people who love themselves take care of themselves." I still have a long way to go but thanks for your help in getting me started.

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^In reply to PLK and also the other encouraging people here.

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I have facial disfigurement and still catch myself that I exactly do this when I'm too concentrated on what the person is saying. And I have no bad intentions, it's totally subconscious. I think that it must be something wired in our brains.

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I hear that. I bet you that half of the time it is just in my head haha. Still my brain is wired to look for these tiny movements so I over analyze even when it has nothing to do with me. I'm working on saying "they're probably just thinking about something else." or "that's just something they do anyways. nothing to do with me." sometimes this is true. Sometimes it isn't.

Kids are very obvious about their lip touches, face touches, lip bites, stares, etc. Some people seem to rub their whole face like an allergic reaction. It rarely happens in the dark or at night. Just have to accept it. "They're having a reaction and that's just fine. I'm still alive and nothing is wrong with me. Maybe I'll go say hi."

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Hi I just wanted to reply that I saw a video on YouTube about a girl with vitiligo and she was really pretty and personality just shined. I understand the reactions from people hurt but maybe this can bring you to a new level spiritually. its ok to have vitiligo and get stares, tell your parents to stop denying it they may need to relax, tell them it's ok you have vitiligo, people stare it's ok... Society is ignorant but people do react to anything different. It doesnt mean you are bad or wrong

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Yes, exactly. The pain from this has kind of sling shot me into a higher level of spirituality. I've been reading and meditating to cope but it is actually resulting in growth and deeper healing. At times the cringes still feel like a quick slash to the heart but it is bothering me less and less as I become more grounded and comfortable in myself. I was cheering ecstatically for myself yesterday while driving home from work because I did not have a cloud of heaviness lingering over me. I could barely remember people's reactions. In one instance a little girl was turning to smile at me but quickly focused on my uneven lips and avoided me like the plague. That one stuck with me haha. Hopefully one day the slashes to the heart will feel more like little needle pricks. Thanks for listening.

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youtube.com/ watch?v=FeZabUO4E6Q&t=876s

Dealing with staring. Do recommend.

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Thank you : )

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thank you so much for sharing this!

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Hi.have you consulted a skin surgeon to get advice?skin specialist?plastic surgeon?

Lips are delicate and I have had lip surgeries as damage from accident.and an over zealous surgeon did damage.

Maybe there is no possible procedure or surgery to allow lip to be more natural looking. Please discuss.

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