Put An End To Negative Feelings About Acne
Robin Chapman of Clarity Health Coaching has graciously put this blog post together for us today. In it she will talk about how you can deal with all those negative feelings that can come up when acne is your reality.
Shame. Unworthiness. Unloved. Self-consciousness. Does any of this sound familiar? I can definitely relate to this and more! When I had severe acne, I avoided social situations like the plague. And in those situations that I couldn’t avoid, I worried endlessly about what my companions were thinking about my face and how I looked. There would be a tightness in my chest as my mind went through all the horrible things they must be thinking of me. But there is hope.
With a little bit of work, it IS possible to turn negative self-perceptions into positive ones. To help you out with this, there’s a special gift for you at the end of this post: two free beauty affirmations! Ohhhh OK! Download your beauty affirmations using this button, if you simply can’t wait to get them:
And now on to Robin’s blog post!
Dealing With The Emotional Side Of Acne
For anyone who has suffered with acne, you know how physically painful it can be, how frustrating the treatment process can be, and how it can affect you emotionally. The truth is, for severe acne, any treatment that you use can take six to eight weeks to start taking effect, which can seem like a lifetime.
And you’ve likely heard from your doctor or dermatologist to “try not to have stress in your life because stress can exacerbate and make your acne worse”. Well that is easier said than done. It is easy for someone to tell you not to stress, to have patience and trust the process….easy because they don’t know what it feels like to look in the mirror and want to cry.
Acne & Young Adults
Sadly, acne tends to affect teens and young adults the most. It is the most visible skin disease in adolescents and comes at one of the most vulnerable times in a person’s life.
Adolescence is filled with angst, pressure, and is the time when people are trying to find themselves, trying to fit in, and the fear of being judged is at an all-time high. Walking the halls in high school when you are suffering from acne can make you feel like you are on display, like everyone is staring at you, like you don’t fit in, like no one will ever date you and you will never be accepted.
Acne Later In Life
Adults can also face the effects of acne, and acne can progress or even begin in adult hood. Similarly to adolescents, adults who suffer from acne feel like they are on display. They feel like everyone is staring at them and is judging them.
Adults face different kinds of stresses than adolescents. They worry about going to a job interview and having the employer stare at their face the whole time. They worry about dropping their kids off at school and having the other parents keep their distance. If they are single, they worry about never finding someone who will love them, and if they are married they wonder if their partner still finds them attractive.
The Emotions Within
So how does it really feel? In speaking with people who have suffered from acne, the emotional toll it takes can often be worse than the physical pain. Many sufferers will withdraw or isolate from family and friends because they don’t feel worthy or they feel like they will be stared at or judged. They report feeling ashamed, dirty, embarrassed and unattractive.
Acne patients state that they have problems with self-image and self-esteem. They report not being able or open to relationships and friendships, because they do not feel worthy of love and attention. This can lead to social anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.
Many patients report feeling like they are out of control, because they are dependent on treatment. There is nothing they can do to speed up the process and there is nothing they can do to take the acne away.
The Truth About Body Image
Although this blog focuses on taking care of the skin and acne itself, the truth is, suffering from acne can also affect people deeply on an emotional level. Body image and self-esteem seem to be one of the most reported emotional side effects.
Eating disorders have also been reported amongst acne sufferers and can stem from poor body image, self-esteem, depression, anxiety and self-harm. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and require treatment by a professional team. With all of the pressures in today’s society and the focus on perfection and image, it is no wonder why eating disorder rates are increasing each day.
Let’s Face It…
…the majority of today’s society is materialistic. We focus so much on outside appearances, that the inner beauty that is present in someone can be totally overlooked if they don’t fit into the perfect mould we have created. Many people judge success as someone having a nice car, a big home, two kids, a dog and a white picket fence. Although we have come a long way, we still have further to go.
We tend to judge people on their appearance. If a hair is out of place, or we have acne on our face, we are somehow deemed less than perfect. And, honestly, many of us are perfectionists and want to look the part, want to fit in and want to be accepted. This is true in all stages of life and doesn’t seem to get any easier with age.
It’s sad to say, but many people judge you before they know you. They see what’s on the outside and decide if they want to get to know the real you based on that.
What Can You Do?
You may be feeling hopeless, like you are going to have acne forever, like nothing will help, nothing will make it go away and no one will ever love you.
Let me just say, I understand how you feel. I understand what it feels like to be stared at, when you think that people are judging you, when you feel totally out of control and when you just want to be loved. I understand what it feels like to be totally misunderstood because of your appearance. Let me just say…you ARE in control. You ARE worthy. You ARE loved and YOU DO matter.
Try Something New
I know this is not what you want to hear, but you need to trust the treatment process. It takes time and it won’t happen overnight. However, in the meantime this does not mean you have to sit back and wait. You do NOT need to isolate and hide yourself and you do NOT need to feel like you don’t matter.
Take control of your treatment. If you are not happy with the results thus far, or want to add to the care you are receiving, try a natural route. Seek out the support of a naturopath and/or a nutritionist. There are many ways that acne can be treated and they all work differently on everyone.
Sometimes you need a combination of traditional medicinal treatments and natural routes to see long term effects. For some people, treatment is trial and error until you find something that works and something you like. Try as many different options as you can.
Seek Professional Help
It is OK to ask for help! Dealing with acne is difficult and the emotions that you are dealing with are complex and difficult to work through on your own. Seeking help from a professional coach or counselor can make a big difference in your treatment.
While you are working on the physical effects of acne, as mentioned above, it is fair to say that the emotional side needs as much attention. A professional can help you focus on self-esteem and body image issues. They can help you focus on your strengths, your worthiness and your happiness.
While you are receiving treatment for acne, it is important that you do things that make you happy, that ease your anxiety and decrease your stress. Focus on YOU. What makes YOU happy? What do YOU enjoy doing? Make a list of things you like to do.
Each day, chose one thing you are going to do and make it a priority. Make it a part of your daily routine. Don’t waver. No excuses. You are worthy of having some “me” time and some down time to focus solely on you.
Understand that you are more than your acne. You have so much to offer and you should not hide it. Be confident. Be aware of your strengths. Focus on your talents.
Focus on the positive. And know that in time, your acne will be treated. Don’t allow it to take control now. Don’t allow it to get the best of you. Live life to its fullest and take it day by day. And…ask for help.
This amazing post was written by Robin Chapman of Clarity Health Coaching. She’s a health coach, with a B.A. in psychology, specializing in nutrition for improved mental health. She also works with women who struggle with eating disorders and emotional eating, to help transform their relationship with food. Robin helps them to address the underlying causes and triggers, providing insight into how they can effectively manage these eating patterns. Her goal with this blog post is to help those struggling with acne to feel happy in their own skin and to inspire emotional awareness, self-care and self-love. Check out Robin’s programs and contact her today for a FREE discovery call!
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Disclaimer: The information contained within this document is for educational and informational purposes only. It is meant to empower, inspire and motivate readers to make healthy choices and is intended for general well-being, education and information. This website is not intended to be used or interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical services. I, the author of Date With Your Plate, am not a medical professional and none of the statements on this website are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, heal or prevent any disease. A qualified health care or medical professional should always be consulted before beginning any health related diet, exercise, supplementation or other regimen plan or program.