I'll try to make this as short as possible, though it has basically been a long battle I continue to lose. BTW - my story still ended up being very long - I apologize. :( Please don't let that discourage you from reading. I really need any help I can get. I feel hopeless. Please...
I remember like it was yesterday, at 12 years of age, I had my first panic attack. I remember what I had for dinner that night, KFC, which was actually considered a treat to me. A full meal. I grew up poor and was fed processed food all of my life. I would scrounge up money and walk to the store just to buy a bag of chips, or a microwaved meal. Anyway, the panic attacks continued and I felt very weak, out of breath, depressed. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder on top of depression. I saw a psychologist, and I remember having nothing to talk about. Because fortunately, I've never had any tragic events happen to me that would give me a mental disorder in the first place. But I had one. And even the psychologist was puzzled as to why. I remember he kept on asking if I've ever been hit, touched the wrong way, etc. Nope. Although poor, I grew up with a very loving family. He asked if my twin brother's disorder (autism - which has grown worse with age and his weight gain - and I now have made a connection with that to Candida) bothered me. Nope. He was like a normal person in my eyes.
Not long after I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, at the age of 13, I developed SEVERE acne. My face was covered in huge, hard, painful pimples. I had not ONE spot of healthy skin on my face. I have a picture that I'm looking at right now, and I'm not exaggerating. I also had chest acne, along with back acne.
I was prescribed Tazorac (a retinoid derived from Vitamin A) by my pediatrician, and I overused it. My face was red, burning, and peeling off in sheets. I had to carry a cold washcloth with me everywhere I went. This continued on for about a few months, as my parents thought it was a normal side effect from the retinoid, and nobody knew I was overusing it. Well, my face soon became bright and clear. It looked and felt like a baby's bottom. My body Acne also cleared up.
The tube ran out and my insurance didn't cover it well, so my parents refused to buy it again. They said I'd grow out of the Acne soon.
My face exploded again.
I tried many other retinoids to no avail. I wanted badly to go on Accutane, but my dermatologist didn't think it was a good idea. Instead he put me on a course of Antibiotics . After another. After another. And another. I took Antibiotics off and on until the age of 18. That's 5, almost 6 years. I stopped with an Antibiotic called Ampicillin that I used nonstop for 2 years. I was constantly getting urinary tract infections. Actually, at any given point when I didn't want to go to school, I would just say "I burn down there", even when I didn't. My parents would then take me to the doctor and I ALWAYS had a UTI. It never failed. And I would be given more Antibiotics to "cure" the problem. I never felt the UTI symptoms, that burning that comes along with it, so I never thought it was a big deal. I continued with Ampicillin, 500mg every night, for 2 years. All I knew was that it kept my face clear.
Then I had a downfall. I started noticing SCARS on my face, they would come out of nowhere. Not the red ones, the indented ones (holes). It would start off as me feeling a sting or itch first, then I would look in the mirror at the spot, and I would have a newly formed indented scar. It was traumatizing. I went to several different doctors and dermatologists that wouldn't believe me. "You can't get a scar in a place you have no acne." "You probably just didn't notice it before." "Let me sell you this $2,000+ laser to get rid of those." Yeah right. My face is covered in scars now. It's very depressing. Over the past 2 years (I'm 20 now), I've learned to live with them. And they stopped appearing 6 months after I finally stopped taking antibiotics. I also had to start taking allergy pills at the same time, because I suddenly developed bad allergies.
But after stopping the antibiotics, my Acne slowly but surely crept up on me again. These left even more scars - when the acne itself never used to. I figured it was because my body couldn't fight off the infections within the zit without the antibiotics that it got used to. I didn't know what to do. I finally decided to see a gynecologist to check my hormones along with other stuff. Surprisingly, EVERYTHING was normal. I went to the doctor and they ran blood tests. NORMAL and "healthy". So I had good hygiene, supposedly good health, my hormones were balanced. What could be the cause of my acne?! I was told MANY times that diet had no effect on acne.
Bullsh*t. I looked into "natural cures" for acne - which I should've done in the first place - but I was little, and I believed in doctors. In the beginning of this year, I finally changed my diet. I cut out all dairy first, I noticed I stopped getting zits unless on my period. I cut out sugar, less zits on my period. I added in more vegetables. I had a "green smoothie" every morning. I ate something green before every meal. I also ate from lightest to heaviest - vegetables, any starchy vegetables, grains, legumes, then meat. I didn't drink anything 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after a meal. And I only drank water. If I had a big meal, I would add lemon to the water. I added in a good quality probiotic every morning, since someone finally mentioned to me that antibiotics kill off your good bacteria. I also got more Vitamin D by being in the sun at least 15 minutes per day. I exercised for at least 20 minutes every day or every other day. I took Sea Salt /baking soda baths to help "detoxify" my skin. Long and behold, I started only getting 1-3 zits on my period, compared to the 20 I used to get before. AND!!! They healed nicely, leaving a little to no scar. Big improvement. Even with all the scarring I already had, my skin had this glow to it. I had more energy. My muffin top disappeared. I cut my anxiety pill to only .5mg, once a day. My sex drive kicked back up. My tongue was almost completely pink. I didn't need my allergy pills as much. I felt something I hadn't felt in awhile... peace.
FINALLY, I thought to myself, the war is over and now I can just focus on healing these scars (with a dermaroller, peels, etc).
Then I had a stressful event happen (August of this year). I just couldn't catch a break! My boyfriend and I broke up, ending our 5 years together. My acne flared up with vengeance with my stress, and this time, they weren't healing. :( My skin eventually lost its glow. I couldn't eat, and when I did, it would be something small. No more nice green vegetables prepared. I didn't have the taste for them, or anything, actually.
I was depressed. I lost the first love of my life. I felt weak, probably due to the lack of eating. My face was a mess once again. I didn't want to live.
I didn't know who to turn to with all of this, so I went to my family doctor. We got to talking, he talked to me for 2 hours. He prescribed me the retinoid Differin for my acne, since I showed a lot of concern about it. He told me the topical would help them heal. Then, me being the MOST STUPID PERSON ON EARTH, I asked for a prescription of antibiotics. I told him I wanted the safest one possible, and for short-term. I wanted them because I knew Differin could give a horrible initial breakout, and I couldn't handle anymore indented scarring. I thought to myself, my spontanous scarring is over with, and antibiotics couldn't have given me scars anyway. He prescribed me Minocycline.
I felt dizzy and short of breath a little while after every dose, but I thought it was just because my body needed some time to get used to it. Fast forward a week on it, and my chest was covered in little red dots - some inflamed, some filled with pus - but all very little red dots. I immediately stopped the antibiotics, but things only got worse. I noticed it would flare up even more when I was feeling stressed or hot. It crept up from under my breasts, in-between and around them, up to my shoulders. Then up to my neck, spread along the top of my back, and a little on my face. I noticed my tongue was and still is covered with a white coat, being worse in the back of my tongue, which look like spores.
And my face started getting those random scars again. :'(
I was frantic. I cried, and I cried. And I cried some more. My anxiety got worse. I had pulse rates up to 160 per minute (my mom has a vitals' machine) every time I woke up, and I would have diarrhea early in the day. This time I really couldn't eat. I was losing weight, and FAST. I lost 5 lbs within 2 weeks.
I wanted to die. I didn't care about anything or anyone anymore. I just wanted out of my body.
My mom got my doctor to send me to a psychiatric facility. She also told the facility that I wouldn't eat anything and I was losing weight. They put me in an anorexic program. I went along with it, thinking it'd help me gain my weight back. Wrong again.
In the program, I had to eat 1 fruit, 1 dairy (which I was completely avoiding!), 1 fat (not healthy neither, a thing of butter or peanut butter!), 1 vegetable, 1 starch (which was usually a bad one), and 1 protein at every meal. 3 meals per day. Snacks that contained Sugar in-between the meals. And I couldn't leave not one grain of rice on my plate.
While in this hospital, I noticed a new symptom going on with my skin. I started getting random scratches on the bottom of my back, my arms, and my hands. Sometimes they showed up already healed (with a scab on it)! I thought I was going crazy, after all, I was stuck in a metal facility for a couple of weeks.
They upped the mg's on my anxiety pill since my anxiety was out of control. But now I'm completely dependent on them. I got out of the program the middle of last month (October). I haven't been the same since.
The beginning of this month is when I started reading into Candida. I have been following the diet for about 3 weeks now, taking probiotics, and sometimes taking virgin coconut oil on a snack. I tried adding in raw onions a couple of weeks ago, as I've read it helps with Candida, but I experienced too bad of die-off symptoms. My back exploded into hard zits, I couldn't stop sneezing, my nose kept running, the rash on my chest flared up again, I had horrible gas. So I stopped the raw onion thing. But I feel horrible. I'm underweight (5'6 and 115 lbs - I was 135 at the beginning of this year). I have stretch marks all over my breasts, butt, thighs, and even on my lower back, that weren't there before. My scalp is itchy, my hair is thinning. I'm getting random, hard zits on my back that leave scars, and sometimes on my neck or chest. The zits on my face just won't heal, and I'm pretty sure they're going to leave behind more indented scars. The scratches are still appearing, only more frequently, and they leave behind thin white scars. My body will be full of scars if I don't get rid of whatever is happening to me, and soon. :( Whenever I have an itch on my body and scratch it, it gets red and swells up badly for a few hours. It never used to do that. The bottoms of my feet are peeling - looks but doesn't feel like Athlete's foot. My once long, beautiful nails are short and chipping. I feel nauseous most of the day. Sometimes when standing, I feel like I'm going to faint. My anxiety gets bad. I can't think. I feel weak. I feel depressed.
I feel like giving up on life.
I just don't know what to do with myself, and I don't even know exactly what I'm asking from you guys. I guess I just want some advice, encouragement, hope, and an idea of what the heck is actually going on with me. Especially with the random scars and scratches. And maybe some tips on how to put back on some weight. What anti-fungal/herbs should I take, if any? Since I'm already experiencing bad "die-off" with changing my diet. I need some guidance, badly. Please, please help me. I would truly appreciate any feedback.