Rosacea Sufferers Have More Anxiety and Depression

Written by on July 11, 2008 in depression & anxiety with 8 Comments

In the past there hasn’t been a lot of research into the relationship between rosacea and mental health. Many rosacea sufferers know that there is a strong relationship between their symptoms and how they feel about themselves. This abstract mentions some research comparing rosacea sufferers with people without any facial lesions. They found that the rosacea sufferers had several psychological problems not found in non-rosacea sufferers.

Do you related to having difficulty in everyday life, have a generally poor health perception, feel high levels of anxiety and depression, feel like you have poor social support or social integration ? Well then you are not alone. It might even be claimed that these feelings are normal for rosacea sufferers.

Do you have any suggestions for how you cope with the anxiety and general negative feelings of rosacea ? Leave a comment below, or check out the Psychological Aspects support section.

Psychosocial impact of rosacea, [Article in Polish], Chodkiewicz J, Salamon M, Miniszewska J, Woźniacka A.

Rosacea is a common skin disease. Because of its recurrent character, frequent unsatisfying results of treatment and a cosmetic problem, the skin lesions cause negative patients’ psychosocial functioning. The purpose of this study was to evaluate life satisfaction, social support, general health, anxiety and depression level in people with rosacea. An attempt to select conditions which determine the life satisfaction in these patients was also made. 40 people with rosacea and 40 people with no skin lesions were the subjects of the study. It was demonstrated that in comparison to the control group, patients with rosacea are less satisfied with their lives, subjectively feel that they receive poor social support, develop great intensity of symptoms, have difficulty in functioning in everyday life, worse general health perception, along with a higher level of anxiety and depression. Level of anxiety and depression as well as social integration proved to be the predictors of life satisfaction.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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8 Reader Comments

  1. Phil Cooper says:

    Hi everyone,
    I suffer from rosacea. I am and always have suffered from depression. I never even thought that depression could affect the Rosacea condition. But I guess it makes sense, depression has to affect the body. It has to manifest itself in some way. I have never been happy in life or with my life and it has really affected people around me and my career. Its a very lonely existance. I would love to be a part of a support group or anyone can email me and we could chat.

  2. Hi Phil,

    You might like to try the Psychological Aspects section in the community site. as this is specially for people who want to talk about these sorts of issues – which are quite important for rosacea sufferers.

    Looking after your mental health is important so do try to see what support you can find around you.


  3. Christina St. Clair says:

    I have recently been diagnosed with rosacea. It’s not so bad on my face which can be covered with inexpensive makeup, but my eyes hurt a lot. I am not by nature derpessive nor do I suffer from anxiety. My life, in fact, feels very blessed. However, when the ocular symptoms occur with burning and making me feel very tired, I do get depressed. So I don’t think depression is causing the rosacea, but rather rosacea is causing the depression.

  4. Hi Christina,

    I think there is definitely a tie in between symptoms and depression that feed off each other sometimes.

    You might find this article interesting: Flushing: it’s all in your nerves and emotions


  5. susanne says:

    Hi all,

    I must say I have been suffering from anxiety all my life, but since I have developed a form of rosacea including ocular problem which is only reduced when I take minocyclin I feel much much worse, making me feel insecure even with my nearest and dearest, my boyfriend. I simply cannot imagine how anyone can possibly like to kiss somebody with such a face. Even my best girlfriend couldnt help saying that NOW I do look really not very attractive. I used to be considered as that by her …
    It is like having lost my face, not being able to go out and show my face really to others.
    If that is not causing depression and anxiety, what is?
    I had problems with acne when I was young, and suffered from psoriasis and allergic eccema. But all this did not have the same severe effect on my emotional stability as now rosacea.
    I just wish so much that some day I wake up to find my skin is clearing up again, just as all the other skin problems did. They suddenly ceased to exist.
    I am very doubtful that depression causes rosacea, for me it is the other way round.
    But I may be seeing it very one-sidedly..

  6. Christina St. Clair says:

    The ocular rosacea worried me the most.
    My eyes not only looked red, they hurt.
    I began to worry if there was something I was not “seeing” in my life.
    I made a decision to leave a job that was causing me a lot of stress, and that I had unrealistic aspirations about.
    It has been a little over 7 months since I moved on from that job, and not only have I gained insight about the previous job situation, the ocular rosacea has gone away.

    So, is there anything in your life you need to look at deeply? What are your dreams? What do you love to do and hope for? Make changes towards your real aspirations, hopes, dreams…

  7. M says:

    This really reminds me of the chicken v. egg conundrum. Which came 1st and does it matter? Now it seems as if both psych. and skin conditions feed off each other. As Phil has noted, depression must manifest itself somehow. This is a prime example of mind and body connection. I have had clinical depression, as well as panic disorder my entire life. I was prone to embarrassment and blushing as a child, and now this.
    While I do feel grateful to finally have a diagnosis-and thus a remedy, I admit, I am bitter about it. But what can I do? In a way, I can look at this as my body’s way of telling me I need to get the self-consciousness under control. The paradoxical aspect of this-the less I care about how I appear outwardly, the better the skin condition gets, is not lost on me.
    I heard somewhere that our physical appearance is but a jacket we wear on the earth plane. I like to keep that in mind. I’d rather have a comfortable jacket that I can live with.
    *rambles* I definitely think there’s a correlation. Perhaps bottled up stress finally making its mark? I’d be interested to see how many Rosacea sufferers were abused as children and/or made to feel extremely self-conscious by others, and were subsequently extremely hard on themselves.
    Thank s for listening-hope you’re well.

  8. Maybe it would be good to say affirmations of self-worth daily? Look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful! I do, especially when I have a outbreak of rosacea, and I also try to laugh at my Rudolph nose.

    I was not abused as a child, and really, I think my rosacea is a result of exposure to sun when gardening (for years and years without bothering to use any sun-screen) and it’s heredity too. Fair skin, blue eyes.

    Diet is important too.
    I have recently discovered that dairy fats are particularly hard on my colon which I think is connected to the facial condition. Chinese medical practitioners believe this.

    Also, and I never would have believed this, but I recently began using a #30 sunscreen on my face, under my makeup (water-based) and my skin is much better, so maybe exposure to any daylight was hurting. Can’t say for sure.
    We may be more than our bodies, but our bodies are us too, and it is hard to face the world in a body that feels ugly. I turned 60 and the looks cease to matter so much, but still I’d rather have good skin and be trim.
    Thanks for your comments and insights.

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