PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ACNE
Acne vulgaris, commonly known as acne, is a chronic skin disease that usually affects teenagers who are in one of the most sensitive stages in their life. As acne is oftentimes seen as a mere superficial affliction, its deeper effects are often overlooked. People rarely realize that this skin condition is more than skin deep, as it can also negatively affect the individual holistically, particularly in the psychosocial aspect of one’s life.
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Surprisingly, the severity of acne does not seem to affect the level of anxiety or depression. Individuals who have mild acne suffer as much anxiety or depression felt by those who have more grave cases. Compared to the adolescents, adults tend to feel more of the negative effects of acne in their lives. One reason for this is that their present condition has been resistant to medications and treatment, or probably because the social stigma is greater for adults who have acne.
Signs of depression that should be cautiously observed in individuals with acne problem include depressed mood, significant weight loss or gain of at least 5% than the weight the previous month, sleep pattern disturbances, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, fatigue, psychomotor retardation or agitation, and thoughts of death or suicide. Adolescents who show a significant decline in school performance and exhibit extreme mood and behavior change may also need special attention. Affected adolescents may also be easily annoyed or snappy. In some cases, adolescents turn to alcohol or drug abuse because of depression brought about by acne.
In our society today, vanity plays an important role as appearance is greatly emphasized. Hence, it is typical for individuals with acne problems to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
Acne, most especially when found in the face, provokes cruel scoffs from other individuals. Also, acne sufferers may have a difficult time in building new relationships, particularly with the opposite gender. Consequently, such individuals will lack more confidence to meet new acquaintances and create bonds. They would even find it difficult to establish eye contact when communicating. They become introverted and withdrawn from the society.
In severe cases, they may develop social phobia. Also, acne can influence decision making in everyday life, like that when friends invite them for a swim but declines the invitation because of the fear that his back acne might only embarrass him.
SEEK FOR EARLY TREATMENT OR HELP
Acne affects not only the skin, but the quality of a person’s entire life as well. Other people may find it difficult to understand how acne greatly influences a person’s self-confidence, self-esteem, and viewpoint in life. Early acne treatment should be done before the self-esteem of the individual is damaged. Improvements of the acne may likewise improve one’s self-esteem, as well as the quality of life.
Help from a dermatologist is essential to have the acne problem treated accordingly. Individuals with chronic and long-lasting acne possibly endure more psychological implications. In such situations, psychological counseling could be a great help. Lastly, support systems can also be helpful in driving out feelings of hopelessness and isolation for individuals who are suffering from acne.