I took Accutane for 5 months, when I was 15.
I came off the drug a month early (was set to take it for 6 months) due to suicidal thoughts and depression, among other side effects that I was told would be temporary.
Obviously, that wasn't the case.
I'm now 22 and have been off the drug for 6 and a half years.
It's been a horrible time to say the least.
(Please note, I live in the UK)
Here are my main concerns:
- Hair loss (Flimsy/weak hair texture and thinned hair) including body hair and eyebrows
- Extreme fatigue (Mentally and physically)
- Depression (mainly caused by my poor health, in my opinion)
- Receding gums and dental issues (I'm not sure what's causing this, but it's not my lack of dental hygiene. I don't appear to have much inflammation... the gums are just pulling away.)
- sexua| Dysfunction (Hardly ever get random erections, and sex doesn't feel too pleasurable. My penis seems to often be numb and feels seperate to my body)
- Low sex drive (not surprising)
- Weakness in body all around. I can't get away with much exercise apart from walking, and light activity
- Body temperature issues. Often too cold or too hot
- Excessive sweating
- Severe dry eyes and dry mouth, especially upon awakening
- Eye floaters
- Constipation (and hemorrhoids)
- Anxiety (including social anxiety) which seems to be caused by a physical problem.
I never had any health problems before taking Accutane, and I know my issues match many other post-accutane sufferers (or Survivor's, if you prefer).
Does anyone know if it's possible to get better.
If so, how?
I've tried a lot of stuff over the years.
I've tried many supplements, totaling thousands of pounds.
My diet isn't perfect, but I could never stick to anything too confined. I eat very healthy compared to the average Joe, however. I enjoy fruit and vegetables, but I eat what my Mum gets (though am cutting chocolate and processed rubbish where possible). When I was sticking, more religiously, to a strict healthy diet, I didn't notice any improvements, so got fed up and went back to feeling helpless.
Obviously, diet plays a bit part in health and healing, but it's hard to get motivated when it's not showing ANY results.
None of the supplements I've tried have shown improvement.
I remember reading about Reishi and Ho Shou Wu (TCM) and thinking, 'This will heal me'. So disappointing when you don't see any improvement.
I saw a Nutritionist and found out that my Adrenals are in poor condition. I can't deny that I've had major stress since this began, but I don't know if emotional stress caused this issue (Adrenal fatigue), or if Accutane physically exhausted them. Once again, I know this is a common issue for post-accutaners. My cortisol was low throughout the day. Interestingly, my DHEA was high on all readings.
When I read about Hypothyroidism a few years ago, I KNEW I had it. I had almost all the symptoms. I got a blood test from the doctor and was told my Thyroid was normal. (Of course, he then offered me therapy and anti-depressants, because he thinks I'm deluded). I had the test last year, again, and it turned out my TSH was out of range, indicating hypo. Had another test a few months later, and it'd got slightly worse. He offered Thyroxine (T4 drug), but I didn't want to be on any drug for the rest of my life, and after my experience with Accutane, I find it very hard to be trusting of doctor's and the medical industry. Truthfully though, I've been just as disappointed with natural health methods, because nothing has worked, but I do think it's a case of figuring out what the exact issue is, and sticking to a healthy regime consistently. I've gone off the idea of taking dozens of supplements each day.
Anyway, I ended up having another Thyroid test and I was told it was back in range. I know there is a lot of info about how blood tests are inadequate, and that's clearly the case, because I do not feel any better, and haven't done anything (except taking 'Thyroid energy' by NOW) and try to continue eating well/ avoiding stress (which is not possible).
I'm off to the doctor's today to get some more blood work done.
I want to ask if I can have an antibody test, to see if anything comes up. I don't know if my Thyroid problem is Hashimoto's.. I'm hoping not, because autoimmune disorders sound like a downward spiral.
I also feel their is a hormonal issue, with testosterone or something.
I've been using my infra red sauna (just a blanket, cost a couple of hundred pounds) to help detox, though I've used this in the past and it hasn't helped.
I don't know if my Liver is messed up.
I get ill if I drink, so never touch alcohol.
But the blood tests have always come back 'normal'.
I've taken various liver supporting supplements in the past, and this hasn't shown anything.
Really, this is a cry for help.
I just want to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This has ruined the last half a dozen years of my life, and I don't want to see it continue to take my happiness away.
Ideally, I'd have lots of money and be able to afford organic foods and stay in a relaxing place like Hawaii, but the reality is:
- I have very little money
- I can't afford that luxury and stress finds me every day
- I have to work in a bar (only just started) and suffer terribly, because of my social anxiety
PLEASE, point me in the right direction if you know anything about this.