Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

How we view ourselves, including our face is an important part of our overall health. Use this forum to discuss psychological aspects of having rosacea such as depression and anxiety for example.

Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby Babsm67 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:01 pm

Hi, I'm new here and was diagnosed with P & P in January. History as follows:

Diagnosed with P & P rosacea in January and given metrogel which did not work (no information given to me about rosacea).
Always blushed easily since teens
Diagnosed with occular rosacea by optician in May after my dr said I had an eye infection despite me insisting that the problem would not go away (MGD)
Currently taking 250mg of clarithromycin twice a day since Friday - I was on 250mg once daily since mid March but the rosacea started creeping back this month (saw dermatologist on Friday who was shocked by low dosage!). Always worsens during 2nd half of cycle).
Cannot take any tetracyclines or penicillins as I react to both.
Now 47 and feeling extremely depressed by this horrible condition as it has impacted EVERY aspect of my life - my marriage, family relationships, what I eat & drink, my job, my faith etc...
The dermatologist also diagnosed me with a condition that I cannot remember the name of, which causes mast cells on the skin of my back to produce histamines so that my back itches and produces bumps if it is rubbed or if I eat certain foods e.g chocolate, ice cream, nuts.

No one in my family understands so I avoid contact with my mother & sister and now don't want to talk about it at home. My daughter doesn't know what to say and my husband has taken up golf and only seems to eyes for that. My 19 year old son is autistic so I have to try & hide my emotional turmoil from him otherwise he will get upset too!). I keep breaking down in tears because I see no way out of this living hell - I have lost 19 Ibs since January through cutting out gluten (I used to have terrible cravings for bread, biscuits, pasta and sugary foods) but my skin still gets bumps and itching (as well as my scalp). Going on holiday to Zante next Sunday but so worried about the sun & what I can eat. My manager at work had a go at me because I refused to do an online course in March as I couldn't face it (I work in a school as a teaching assistant).

Currently use: tea tree oil antiseptic wipes in am, Vichy Aqualia moisturer (many others burn) and a zinc oxide based factor 40 sunscreen every day. At night I wash my face with gentle tea tree oil soap and shampoo my eyelashes, eyebrows, nose and ears with tea tree oil shampoo (I don't use it on hair as it dries out my scalp and hair). Always wear wide brimmed hat in sunshine.

Sorry this post is so long - I desperately need encouragement to lift me out of this depression, please. :(
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby fanny » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:01 pm

I can completely relate, I also have an autistic adult son, I have the redness burning kind of rosacea, possibly a new subtype called neurogenic rosacea. apparently very hard to treat and believe me I have tried lots of things! Currently I have been walking around with an ice pack for the past week, not an attractive look. Anyway, you and I can be depressed but where exactly is that going to get us? So take lots of deep breaths and take charge. For the papule and pustule type of rosacea, finacea works very well, its generic name is azelaic acid. See if your doctor can prescribe it, or if not buy some online.If your doctor does not seem knowledgable or cooperative get one that is. There are also sulphur based topicals that can work well also.
You seem to have a handle on your triggers, and so you can avoid them. Its going to take some time to get your skin healthy, so you will have to be a little patient. But it will happen, it will.
As far as people in your family not relating, how can they? They have no idea what it means to have rosacea. Have your Mum and sister over for a coffee and be as honest as you can, tell them how it is making you feel. There are some good make up products out there and so give that a whirl. I am Jealous of your holiday! Wearing a hat is excellent, drink lots of water, wear sunscreen, relax, breathe, meditate, enjoy. If you feel that you cannot do it by yourself get help, in the form of depression medication, there is no shame in that.
Above all things keep your head up, you will sort it. As for me I am going to a specialist this week or cut my head off(kidding!)
Best wishes
Fanny
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby Babsm67 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:33 am

Hi Fanny. thank you so much for your encouraging reply. I had a very 'low' day yesterday (my poor husband got the brunt of it!). I think I had severe PMS as well - mood swings seem to be worsening lately (probably due to my age). It was interesting to hear that you also have an adult autistic son - when we have others to care for, we feel we must stay strong for their sakes and hiding our emotional turmoil can be difficult at times. So sorry to hear about the horrible problems you have been having with your rosacea - I do hope that the visit to the specialist will prove to be positive for you - this disease is so unpredictable and frustrating.

You are right - I need to take charge of this condition and not let it beat me! I am taking a low dosage of anti-depressants (Cipralex) but, maybe, the dosage needs to be raised (I do have a history of depression and anxiety). During my 'brain fog' yesterday, I forgot to mention that I was recently prescribed Finacea by my GP after I asked for it - a friend used it for her rosacea. Does it take quite a while to work? (I know I need to be patient). The Dermatologist, whom I saw on Friday, also suggested that I take an antihistamine every day as well as avoiding steroids 'at any cost'.

My GP told me last October that the red spot beneath my eye, that wouldn't go away, 'was just a cyst - nothing to worry about'. When itchy bumps appeared either side of my nose to mouth area (irritated further by my recently dyed hair), I was told it was contact dermatitus and prescribed a mild steroid. Needless to say, it got worse and I was finally diagnosed with Rosacea in January. I don't go to the dr's now unless I REALLY need to! (I live in the UK).

Thanks for your suggestion about inviting my mum and sister over - I will see if I can sort something out after my holiday which I am finally looking forward to (thanks to your encouragement!) (rofl)

Once again, thank you for your uplifting reply and wishing all the best for your visit to the specialist. Babs
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby fanny » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:06 pm

Hi
Finacea will take a little time to work, at least a few weeks. Your idea of upping your depression meds seems a sound one. An antihistamine per day also is something a lot of rosacea patients find helpful, so why not give that a try.
Take care
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby LoisAnne » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:49 am

Babs,

Reading about your itchy bumps, which is what I get too, makes me wonder if you would benefit from the soap that I use once a day and which has helped me so much. I see that you already use tree tea oil products so I don't think it would be too harsh for you. The biggest problem is that you live in the UK and so the postage would be a problem. I got a sample of this soap at a craft fair in Tennessee and have used it every since because it does seem to keep the red bumps under control (most of the time). It is called Teen Clean and it is found at the website www.MistyMountainSoap.com.
I also use both metro gel and Finacea, one in the am and one at night. I am sure they help too although they took a long time to do so. It is hard to know what is really working so I stick to the routine of using all three products because they work for me. Afraid to quit any one of them!
Fanny gives you very good advice and I hope that you will begin to feel better. I remember well how depressed I was about my skin when I first developed Rosacea. Not only did the bumps burn and itch but they made me look like I had teen age acne and I was elderly! I also had bumps and itching on my back and chest but that eventually left and has not reoccured.

Enjoy your vacation and try to relax. I love the UK, lived in London for a year and have traveled to Scotland many times. I think I could happily settle down in your country!

LoisAnne
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby Babsm67 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:08 pm

Hi Fanny & LoisAnne

Thanks for your replies - I am now taking the antihistamine every day and it doesn't seem to be making me feel drowsy which is a relief! It seems to be helping my itchy head too. Fanny, I decided to ring my mother on Tuesday and we had a very long chat - we were on the phone for two hours! (Felt more positive afterwards). LoisAnne, I have looked at the Teen Clean soap on the Misty Mountain website and it certainly sounds really promising - unfortunately, there do not appear to be any suppliers here in the UK so I would need to give the company a ring to find out the shipping costs. I am on a higher dosage of antibiotics now and a horrid red bump near my eyebrow is shrinking (the redness from it has gone as well). Trying to steer clear of foods that I think might be triggers - chocolate (Grrr!), tomatoes, ice cream, nuts etc... My mood has definitely lifted over the last couple of days - seen Gynaecologist this morning who confirmed that I am peri-menopausal which I suspect has not helped the rosacea or my moods!

I hope, Fanny, that your visit to the specialist this week will be positive - thanks again to both of you.

Take care. Barbara
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby fanny » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:13 pm

Hi
I am so pleased that things are looking up for you. I did see the specialist who diagnosed me with neurogenic rosacea and started me on propranolol. I will update when I can tell if I am having a response to it.
Take care
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby LoisAnne » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:32 pm

(shocked) Chocolate is my worst trigger and that is just such a nasty shame! So sorry that you share that affliction! I can eat a little of it but I have to know when to stop…and I don't always know.

Could you email the soap company and ask about shipping costs? I think there may be a place on their website to leave messages for them as well.

LoisAnne
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby Babsm67 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:37 pm

Hi, just an update - back in July, I was feeling extremely miserable and felt like there was no way out of my situation with the rosacea. I felt like nobody understood and even said that my poor husband only seemed to have eyes for golf! (Not true - that was the depression talking!) However, my husband HAS been supportive, even if he doesn't always understand why I have found the rosacea distressing.
After seeing a dermatologist, who increased my dosage of Clarithromycin to 500 mg per day, I went on holiday to Greece for 11 days (I was apprehensive about this as I had no idea how my skin would behave in the heat). Well, I am pleased to say, my skin IMPROVED in the sun - the drier heat seemed to dry out my spots and they cleared up! I wore a hat and used high factor sunscreen. The only thing I had to be careful of was not to get too hot otherwise my face would flush (the swimming pool cured that). The other strange thing was that my occular rosacea cleared up and has only just started to become slightly irritating again in the last week (since I returned to work!) Crucially, I was able to completely relax after a very stressful year. A few new spots appeared (in the usual place, above my eyebrows) a few days after I came home (it was hot here too but humid).

I recently had a flare up and I am pretty sure it was because I returned to work after the long, summer break and the first week was very stressful (there were a lot of changes). I am convinced that stress and lack of sleep are two major triggers for me (and I have just come down with a cold as well!). On the whole, however, I do feel MUCH more positive and in a stronger position to deal with this. I do still get 'down' days but have accepted that, much as I hate this condition, it can be
managed with the right medication (I also use Finacea, topically). Above all, it is crucial to try and be positive and the lovely people on this forum have definitely helped me do that. As Fanny said in an earlier post, ' you need to take charge'. DON'T let the rosacea take charge of YOU!

I hope this will be of help :) Thanks also to Fanny and LoisAnne for your encouragement (rofl)
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Re: Please help - feel so depressed and isolated.

Postby fanny » Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:36 pm

Thank you for the update and I am so pleased that you are feeling better, long may it last, I think you are quite correct in supposing stress has a lot to do with it. As a matter of fact some doctors prescribe anti anxiety medication for the flushing of rosacea. To stay calm is quite a trick these days, but not impossible.
Stay well
Best wishes
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