Hi beauties! Today’s post is going to get pretty real and personal. As I’ve mentioned in my ‘about me’ section, acne has always been an issue for me, causing me to have low self esteem for a very big part of my life. What most people (even I didn’t know this until about a year and a half ago) is that I’ve also struggled with OCD/Anxiety.
About three years ago I started to notice that my anxiety was worsening. Being a psych major, I ignored it. Plus it’s happened before and then it would go away so ignoring it was the best idea in my mind. A year later I began experiencing panic attacks at least once every two days for about 6-8 months. One day on my way to work, I had such a bad anxiety attack that I considered committing myself to mental health facility. My life during this time period was very stressful. I had a demanding job, I was living completely on my own for the first time and I was insanely confused about what I wanted in life. To me everything was a mess, so queue the anxiety. At this point, when I couldn’t take it anymore, I decided to seek help and spoke to my PCP about it. She was wildly supportive and such an amazing guide through it all that I can’t thank her enough. She referred me to a great psychologist who helped diagnose me with a specific type of anxiety— OCD. We found that this has been an issue that dates back to when I was just 6 years old!
Let’s fast forward to my early teen years when my face broke out and I couldn’t control what was happening. I would get so sad about my appearance and would develop rituals that I thought would help my skin clear up; washing my face a specific amount of times per day, eating specific foods, also washing my face every time I would come home from being outside, to name a few. After 2 years of working so hard and being so insanely neurotic, my skin cleared up! But it’s always in the back of my mind, that I had acne, and that at any moment my skin can revert.
Now, my skin doesn’t break out the way it did when I was in HS, but I do get break outs. Recently after moving I kept getting zit after zit, and back in January as well. Every time I broke out I would freak out and then over do it with the face products. Now, we all know that stress can make acne worse, so having OCD/Anxiety really doesn’t help. Thankfully, after many therapy sessions and medication, (yes I take medication prescribed for this; I will not be ashamed to say I take anything that my doctor has given me to help me be better), I am able to take a breath and focus on the best skin care regiment for my breakout. I am able to give myself the opportunity to relax and think clearly rather than throwing on ALL my skin care products and stressing, which can lead to dry skin and/or more acne.
The truth is, I may never fully have control over my hormones, acne, or whatever, but seeking guidance for my mental health issues has helped me so much with my skin and with my life. I went into treatment expecting to be fully judged and not feel better, but I came out a new person, someone proud and happy. I was proud for having had the courage to ask for help. Proud for talking to others and helping them understand how it is ok to have these feelings, and that they are not alone, because truthfully that was the worst part of it all.
For anyone out there who struggles with anxiety, depression or any other mental health issue, just know that you are not alone. There are many of us out there willing to support you and stand with you. At the end of the day, the best skin care advice I can give someone is to be at peace with themselves and to make sure they take care of themselves mentally, and physically.
I truly hope this post is useful, I know I didn’t mention any products but honestly, stable mental health is the best acne fighter out there.
Until next post beauties! ♥♥
PS: Presently, I’ve been happy, at peace (even when my skin gets cray) and I have my OCD/Anxiety under control. 🙂