Do you tell 'em?
I was visiting family this last Easter, and I got to talking with my cousin's husband (is that what a second cousin is?), Mark. He's a fellow baldy, and inevitibly, the conversation always hits on our shared condition. It's funny to me how comforting joking about being bald with a fellow baldy can be, as a contrast to how a non-balding person even bringing up the subject can make me want to rip their jaw off and hide away in shame somewhere with it. Ashamed of the balding, that is, not the jaw ripping. That part would be justified.
Anyway, this other guy, Kyle, takes his hat off to scratch his head, and someone mentions that he's losing his hair a bit too. He explains that it's just the hat, and everyone accepts this and moves on. Worst part is, I can see in his face that Kyle believes his hat excuse too. Now, I'm no doctor, but most of us here, through our struggle, have become some of the world's foremost experts on hairloss, and I know androgenic alopecia when I see it. This dude's hat was not deviously ripping his hairs out in a pattern baldness format, just to mess with him. His grandfathers screwed him over, not his accessories.
This is far from the first time I've seen this behavior. Another big one is, "Oh, I'm not balding; I'm just really stressed right now." My fellow hairloss experts are shaking their heads. "Pff, telogen effluvium is cleeeearly a different disorder." But the layman (though likely future hairloss expert) doesn't know that yet. They don't WANT to know that, because knowing that is akin to knowing that they're balding.
My question here is this: "How do you/would you handle this situation, a person in that dreaded first Stage of Grieving, denial?" Do you tell them, so they can start trying to counter the effects now? Or...is ignorance bliss? Do you let them figure it out on their own time? Let them have the last six months, maybe a year, of being able to reasonably pretend that it isn't happening to them?
I can see it both ways. In this particular situation, that guy Kyle f---ing sucks, so I didn't really care. But the situation at least got me thinking!
I think I'd suggest something like: "Hair loss can be a symptom of some other medical issue; just to be sure, you might want to go a doctor and get it checked out." If they follow up, any decent dermatologist should be able to clue them in about MPB.
Originally Posted by Davey Jones
I doubt it would work, given the typical male reluctance to seek medical consultation for anything that isn't excruciatingly painful or life-threatening. But at least you could ease your conscience knowing that you tried.
Why do you need to tell him. I am sure he has worked that out for himself.
That hat and the denial is pretty normal he is self conscious and does not want people to notice. I hate it when anyone comments on my baldness, I want to live my life without that. Yet too often I get someone commenting on it and It just makes me even more depressed.
I guess that's true. It seemed like he genuinely thought it was the hat, but if you want to believe something bad enough, I'm sure you're a more convincing liar. You've already had plenty of practice trying to convince yourself, afterall.
Originally Posted by sausage
Overall, I think you're right. Whether they actually believe it or not, whether it would help them in the long run or not, it's best to not bring it up. I still wonder if anyone can make a compelling argument for telling.
No you don't. It ain't life threatening and only thing you can do is make them feel bad, worried and even depressed.
I have a few friends who have asked me about my opinion concerning hair loss.
They are still in early stages, and one of them had visible vertex hair loss. But I didn't tell him. The guy has enough worries in his life without hairloss, if it continues he will find out on his own, but if it is of slow progression the longer they(him) are in denial less time they will be depressed and affected in case some new treatment comes.
Kyle might be in denial for the next 6 months about his hair loss but thats 6 months longer without hair worries...
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