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Real Link Between Bad Skin Depression

For the overwhelming majority of people, bad skin is a major concern in their daily lives, but it is something you deal with, something you treat and something you just try to get by with the best you can. But for a growing number of people, bad skin can weigh much heavier on the mind. A recent study has shown a link between bad skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis and severe depression and even suicidal feelings.

This feeling is especially common with teenagers and young adults who feel an overwhelming pressure to be accepted socially, and whether their skin condition actually ostracizes them from their peers or whether they only believe it does, the result is a growing population of young people battling life-threatening cases of depression.

A study from a group of Toronto-based scientists showed a clear link between skin conditions and teenagers and young adults perceived self worth. The study showed that an overwhelming number of teens deal with skin problems (over 85%) and of that group, a majority had feelings ranging from mild depression to severe.

A finding that many of the scientists did not expect to find, however, was that feelings of depression were found even with those that were suffering from the most mild forms of acne and other skin conditions. Most experts had felt that only those teens that suffered from debilitating acne and other skin conditions were prone to bouts of severe depression.

And it is not just one study that is claiming these results. A 2006 study published in New Zealand revealed the most startling results yet. According to the study, an astonishing 33 percent of all teenagers who suffer from acne or other serious skin conditions have suicidal thoughts at one point or another and more than ten percent of all teenagers with acne have at least tried to kill themselves because they felt ostracized because of their condition.

The doctors involved with the study admitted that many teenagers felt that their acne was much more severe than the actual classification said it was and that they felt that this led to more severe cases of depression and more cases of suicide than they expected to find.

To say that these numbers are alarming is a drastic understatement. But the suicidal feelings are not just coming from their peers, they might be coming from the common drugs teens and young adults use to treat their skin conditions, too. A popular drug that has been on the market since 1982 has been linked to suicide among the people who are taking it.

The drug Accutane, which also goes by the name isotretinoin, has been linked to over 170 cases of suicide, and unknown numbers of unsuccessful attempts. These statistics, provided by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, are thought to be extremely low because they are self reported, and it is believed that the overwhelming majority of suicides and suicide attempts go unreported due to the stigma surrounding those that either attempt or succeed.

It is unknown how many cases of depression and suicide can be linked directly to socially ostracizing skin conditions like acne and eczema. Teenagers and young adults are constantly in the troughs of emotional turmoil and the suicide rates among teenagers are generally higher than those of adults, anyway, but it is safe to say that the psychological impact of acne and skin conditions on young adults and teenagers is much more deeper than most people thought.


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