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Hello. I am 19. For the past 6 years I've been suffering from a severe form of acne that has left me with very bad scars on my chest, face, back, neck and face. Throughout highschool I,ve also been bullied which has negatively influenced my self-esteem. I just hate the actual state of my skin and I just can't stand looking myself in the mirror. Then comes the bullying memories that make things worse, because I was a coward and I was afraid to confront the bullies. Right now, on a scale from 1 to 10 , my self esteem is at 0. I am still a virgin of course and I am afraid to get intimate with girls since most probably they will be disgusted. I feel so down that I just don't appreciate anything. In social situations I feel very anxious. Also, for the past 4 years I've been addicted to masturbation. I don't think masturbation was a cause of acne because acne started to show up before i was a pmo addict. I don't know but it feels very painful not being able to do what I feel like doing at this age, which is having fun. I currently have a crush on a girl from my class at uni and I'm pretty sure she likes me back but I am too inhibited and shy and stupid to tell her anything. I just feel hopeless and lost. I don't know what to do. I just finished an acne treatment that made things a bit better for the acne but not for the scars. I sometimes feel like things only get worse and worse, even think about suicide. People think that at my age you would only want to drink, get laid and just don't give a , and just having a lot of energy and enjoying life. When I hear that, I'm like " are they talking about? Why am I not like this?" I just don't know where to start from and what to do in order to gain confidence and just be able to live with a bit more joy and have no more regrets, since I already have a few.

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You've been dealt a tough blow, there's no easy way to put it.


BUT there is absolutely no reason for you to not have a GF. You've already noticed a girl who may like you. So that sorts out any fear of not being attractive.


Bullying can leave a lasting effect for sure. I was also an acne covered 13 year old, with glasses, no dress sense etc. I got bullied also, but took up martial arts and beat up one of the main bullies. I was pretty much left alone after that.


I'm not saying you should do the same as such, but working out and/or martial arts can have a dramatic effect on your self esteem and healing. It will also help create a healthy mind and body which is very attractive to women. I really recommend this to you.

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It must be really sad to feel that way. I get from this post that you're a sensitive person, with different goals than "getting drunk and getting laid", maybe a bit of a deeper thinker than people that seem to surround you at your age. Being like that tends to attract bullying no matter how someone looks - bullies will always spot the weak spot of someone - and makes social life and dating difficult. It might be that you suffer not really because you're more imperfect from other people (everyone has imperfections, just we don't always realize it), but because you feel different among them. If this is the case, the only remedy is to surround ourselves with supportive people with common interests and values, choose a few friends that you get along with and who love you for who you are, and spot that special girl who has an eye on you. That's the life of so many people who feel different inside. It may be that the girl you like feels this way too, has her own fights to fight, feels bad about herself in some areas - but you wouldn't know that, because we only get to see our wounded souls. But everyone has wounds. And by finding beautiful things in life we stop thinking that they matter.


I also think that maybe you tend to glue your problems together into one big problem that you cannot handle. That's the wrong approach to things. An approach that triggers black and white thinking about life and sometimes suicidal thoughts too. Treat your problems and sorrow individually, because individually you can overcome them. MASTURBATION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ACNE. Your one problem might be your masturbation habits, but the bigger problem is your shame about it. You didn't do anything bad by masturbating nor caused your acne by it. This is a normal activity for men your age and most of them tend to do that quite often. For you, it might stem from anxiety and your other psychological problems. So maybe that should be your focus first, and not masturbation or porn right now, which probably gives you some mental release to all this inner pain? If it brings you down that you feel addicted to it, try to start to overcome the problem by finding positive solutions - for example sports or martial arts, like Giblesp suggested, or any activity that you like, be it something ourdoorsy, social, creative - some outlet for all that emotions and energy that is not used in a good way. If you have a good psychological condition and a lot of activities to relieve the stress, that might be a good time to fight the porn addiction. It shouldn't be the first problem to start solving, because then you would might just find other random outlet for your stress, perhaps a more destructive one.


Dating is a separate problem. Try to give yourself and that girl a chance. If she likes you, she might be disappointed if you won't pursue her. Your acne and your scars are another problems, medical ones. You seem to be already finding some solutions, so that's great. That's improvement. Your self esteem and your opinion about them is yet another separate. All these problematic areas are absolutely something that can be improved, but you have to consistently make an effort to care for yourself and get psychologically to a better place.


It would be so great if you could find someone to guide you through that process, a therapist, so someone could offer you help while you're taking all these steps towards a happier life, because it's such a difficult job to stay on track and not feel overwhelmed by everything on worse days. Group therapy is also a really great option for people with anxiety, social problems or insecure about their looks. It can offer great improvement for people who feel inadequate to others or are afraid of getting more hurt by people, because when a group of people gets to know each other's utmost fears and sorrows, they tend to realize that others are just as wounded but still worth loving, and that they themselves are loveable with their wounds, accepted by others with things they hate about themselves and even with that hate.


I really hope you will make your life a happier place, even if it might take a few years and some positive life experiences to overcome your self-esteem and anxiety issues.

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I currently have a crush on a girl from my class at uni and I'm pretty sure she likes me back but I am too inhibited and shy and stupid to tell her anything.


Tell her what? It's not necessary to 'confess' a crush to a crush. That's leftover 'I like you' stuff that kids pass on notes in grade school. No need to do that when you can just hang out with her in class, get to know one another a bit, and then ask her if she'd like to take a walk or grab an ice cream or a cup of coffee.


If she says no, then it's not a big deal--it was just a bad time for her to grab an ice cream. That means you can continue the friendship in class, but you've opened the door for her to invite you somewhere if she wants to.


Your tuition covers mental health counseling on campus. You've already paid for the service, so I'd use it. Your growing pains are common, and while that doesn't lessen how they feel for you, it can help to know that everyone suffers insecurities to some degree. Some people are better than others at hiding theirs or growing beyond them. Resilience is a skill that can be learned. You get to decide whether you'll access the help available to you to learn this skill.


Self esteem is something we each need to address in small steps toward building self confidence. This starts with making small goals and working toward those. A counselor can teach you how to do this, but you'll need to decide whether you're open to learning rather than sentencing yourself to a future of suffering.


That's a choice within your control. Use it wisely.


Head high, and write more if it helps.

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I had severe acne. Cystic acne. I know how hard it is. I had boil looking pimples that were purple and blue! I went to doctor that changed my life. He first suggested I go on Accutane. But I was scared of taking that. So, he prescribed antibiotics which I took for about a year and a topical cream called retin-a 1%. THIS WAS THE ONLY COMBINATION THST HELPED. I tried so many other things. Hope it works for you. My acne is fully gone and honestly I can't even remember how bad it was. It is just now a distant memory. I know it is hard now but don't do anything that will cause lot term consequences. You'll get through this. Many many people have acne. And many people got through it. You re not alone. The masturbation is a problem. Are you watching porn too? I would recommend finding a good church and get involved there. If you aren't into that do some spiritual healing like yoga. Anything that takes the focus off yourself and focuses on something bigger than you. Oh and serve! Instead of masturbating. Use that time to serve the homeless or do some volunteer work.

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